* Stalinist Great Terror: handicapped targetted deaf and dumb

Stalinist Great Terror: Handicapped Victims

Figure 1.--This is the Leningrad football team of deaf and dumb (hearing impaired) athletes (1932) The NKVD arrested four of the team menbers and accused them with no evidence that they were plotting to assassinate Soviet leaders. Other members of the hearing impaired community were also arrested and shot (1937). Others were sent to the Gulag where many died. Source: spbvog.ru.

One of the many horrenous killing programs of the NAZIs was the T4 Euthanasia Program targetting handicapped children. The NKVD was not immune from targetting the handicapped. When the mass arrests began, the NKVD had to work hard to find new targets. So their reach also expanded to the handicapped. Now unlike the NAZIs, this does not see to be an ideologically motivated to remove the genetically defective, but there was a commonality. The NAZIs wanted to remove 'useless eathers". In the Soviet Union people were treated in terms of their capability to perform 'socially useful labor'. According to on author, 'those who could treated much as other Soviet citizens were and those who couldn�t with suspicion and repression." And during the Graet Terror the NKVD had to come up with numbers. People called at the time called the deaf and dumb came to the attention of the NKVD. The All-Russian Society of the Deaf and Dumb provided some assuastance, but many to make ends sold pictures and pencils on the street, especially in railway stations. And this seems to have triggered the NKVD terror machine. the NKVD incredably invented charges about the existence of a terrorist group aming the deaf and dumb that the authorities said was planning to kill leaders of the Soviet state. The NAZIs did there T-4 killing secretly. The NKVD actually justified their actions by claiming that their victims were enemies of the state. The NKVd had a problen in getting confessions. Not matter how much they beat these defenseless people, they could not confess. Thevhistorian covering this writes, "Interrogating those arrested was difficult for the militia NKVD which did not have sufficient numbers of people capable of working with the deaf and dumb, and so these victims were even more likely to be tortured than others and even more likely than other categories of people to be sentenced to be shot. Thirty-four of the 53 deaf and dumb people arrested in Leningrad were sentenced to be shot, with the remainder dispatched to work in the Mordvinian or Karaganda camps. The few of those who managed to survive were released in 1940, and all who were killed were posthumously rehabilitated in 1955." [Goble]


Goble, Paul A. "80 years ago, Stalin’s NKVD began to arrest and shoot the deaf and dumb," Euromaidian Press (May 29, 2017).


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Created: 5:14 PM 8/17/2020
Last updated: 5:14 PM 8/17/2020