Book

Victims of Their Faith: The Lives and Fates of Iranian Political Activists and Migrant Laborers in the Interwar Period Victims of Their Faith: The Lives and Fates of Iranian Political Activists and Migrant Laborers in the Interwar Period
Victims of Their Faith: The Lives and Fates of Iranian Political Activists and Migrant Laborers in the Interwar Period Victims of Their Faith: The Lives and Fates of Iranian Political Activists and Migrant Laborers in the Interwar Period

Touraj Atabaki, Lana Ravandi-Fadai

Victims of Their Faith: The Lives and Fates of Iranian Political Activists and Migrant Laborers in the Interwar Period

To the memory of all Iranians who, driven from their homeland to a new land, perished in an arduous and dark age


Еditor: Denis Volkov, Nina Mamedova
Reviewer: Lyudmila Kulagina, Nikita Filin

Institut vostokovedeniya RAN, Mezhdunarodny`j institut soczial`noj istorii

Moskva, 2020, 532 pages

ISBN: 978–5–89282–940–3

"Victims of Their Faith", by Dr. Touraj Atabaki and Dr. Lana Ravandi-Fadai, explores the fates of the first generation of Iranian communists in the Soviet Union, many of whom made significant contributions to the development of Soviet Iranian studies and were later engulfed in a dark period of Soviet history that touched on all republics and ethnicities within the Soviet Union — the Stalinist repressions of the 1930s. The authors bring to bear original research from archives in Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan and other countries to reconstruct the histories of these political activists, revolutionaries and scholars. Soviet case files and investigatory materials are examined here for the first time, providing new insights and correctives to previous studies. Forces and pressures at work during this troubled time render the application of accustomed categories of behavior problematic. Many of the subjects of this study were well aware of the stakes and prepared to sacrifice themselves for a future good in which they fervently believed. Taking into account the larger historical canvas, the book situates these individuals in the context of the early communist movement in Iran and demonstrates how the evolving socio-political atmosphere in the Soviet Union during the decades prior to World War II first enabled the Iranian communists, especially within the burgeoning school of "Red Orientalism", and then led to their destruction, imprisonment, and marginalization.

Contents

INTRODUCTION ... 11
CHAPTER I: Iranians in the Russian Empire and the Seeds of Revolution ... 16
Hamshahri. Iranian Migrant Workers in the Russian Empire ... 16
Children and Women‘s Labor ... 25
Working and Living Conditions ... 28
The Beginnings of Revolutionary Consciousness and Action ... 32
Iranian Entrepreneurs at the Turn of the Century ... 35
Iranian Schools ... 41
The Influence of Pan-Turkism ... 46
CHAPTER II: The East Catches Fire ... 52
Brave New World: Constructing the Soviet State ... 52
Revolutionizing the East ... 56
First Shoots of Socialism in Iran ... 58
Political Organizations in Iran ... 61
The Adalyat Party: 1916/7–1920 ... 64
The Socialist Soviet Republic of Gilan ... 69
The Rises and Falls of the Iranian Communist Party ... 78
CHAPTER III: Conflicting Visions of Iran ... 89
The Comintern, the Peoples‘ Commissariat of Foreign Affairs and Iran ... 89
1919–1921 ... 93
1922–1927 ... 97
1927–1937 ... 105
CHAPTER IV: Labor and Women’s Movements in Iran ... 115
Conditions for Workers in Interbellum Iran ... 115
Labor Unions ... 118
Women‘s Movements ... 139
CHAPTER V: The Rise of Red Orientalism ... 154
The Smithy of Cadres for Exporting the Revolution East ... 154
Iranians Re-envision Their Country Through a Soviet Lens ... 166
Three Red Orientalists and Their Work ... 171
CHAPTER VI: The Revolution Begins to Turn on Itself (The Politics of Class Warfare) ... 184
How Did it Happen? Factors Leading to Mass Repressions ... 184
The Purges in Transcaucasia and Central Asia ... 189
CHAPTER VII: Deportations ... 208
To Be or Not To Be a Soviet Citizen ... 208
Deportations of Iranians and Other Peoples ... 209
Persianate Peoples in the Larger Context of the Great Terror ... 223
CHAPTER VIII: Martyrology ... 227
Iranians implicated in ―The Valden Case‖ ... 227
Sentenced to Death ... 236
Ashuri, Hasan Abdulkasim ... 236
Hasanov, Chingiz ... 239
Zarreh, Abul Gasim ... 240
Kamran, Rizayev Amirovich ... 248
Ladbon, Nuri Ibrahim-zadeh ... 253
Roshan, Bagher Guseynovich ... 257
Seyfulla-zadeh, Houlam Reza ... 257
Sultan-zadeh, Avetis ... 259
Hesabi, Dehzad ... 270
Ehsanollah Khan, oglu Aliakber Dustdar ... 272
Erani, Taghi ... 282
Sentenced to Ten Eears without the Right to Correspond ... 286
Agayev, Bahram ... 286
Hasanov, Hasan ... 288
Hasanov Kerim, a.k.a. "Nikbin‖" ... 289
Deylami, Kasym ... 292
Abbasov, Mussaib ... 293
Babayev, Ali Mammad ... 294
Huseyn, oglu Azim ... 294
Ismail, Salman oglu ... 294
Karimov, Rustam ... 294
Kurbanov, Ahad ... 294
Kazimov, Agha ... 295
Mamedov, Agigat ... 295
Mamedov, Shir-Mamed ... 296
Who Made it Through ... 297
Official Report from the NKVD Archive ... 298
AFTERWORD. The Judgment of History: Rays of Light in the Darkness ... 301
EPILOGUE. Victims of Their Time ... 304
APPENDIX I. Extract from ―Feast of the Immortals‖ ... 305
APPENDIX II. List of Iranian Male Victims of the Great Terror ... 311
APPENDIX III. List of Iranian Female Victims of the Great Terror ... 435
APPENDIX IV. List of Scholars of Iran Who Fell Victim in the Great Terror ... 437
APPENDIX V. Article 58 of the Stalin-era Criminal Code ... 525
APPENDIX VI. A Letter Concerning Zabardast ... 529

RUS