Truman press-cutting from a Pentecostal criminal case in Ukraine in 1953

6_60259_110311.jpg

Dublin Core

Title

Truman press-cutting from a Pentecostal criminal case in Ukraine in 1953
Вирізка з журналу з зображенням Американського президента Трумена як речові докази по кримінальній справі проти п’ятидесятників, 1953 року
Вырезка из журнала с изображением американского президента Трумэна как вещественное доказательство из криминального дела против пятидесятников, 1953 год

Subject

Communism and Christianity
Communism and Christianity--Europe, Eastern
Communism and religion
Communism--Europe
Communism--Europe--History
Communism--Europe--History--20th century
Communism--Europe, Eastern
Communism--Europe, Eastern--History--20th century
Communism--History--20th century
Secret police (secret service)
Totalitarianism
Material culture--Religious aspects
Religion and politics--Europe
Religion and state--Europe
Religious groups
Religious sects
Sects
Christian sects--Soviet Union
Communism and culture--Soviet Union
Communism--Soviet Union
Communism--Soviet Union--History
Communism--Soviet Union--History--Sources
Confiscations
Evidence fabrication
Evidence photographs
Evidence, criminal
Pentacostalism
Soviet Union. Ministerstvo gosudarstvennoĭ bezopasnosti
Trials (Political crimes and offenses)--Soviet Union

Description

This press-cutting with an image of the American President Harry S. Truman was confiscated from an arrested Pentecostal woman in February 1953 in Ukraine. The first image shows Truman receiving an international delegation of journalists. The picture has a title in Russian, “In one of the halls of the White house, the president of the US receives American and international journalists almost every week”. The press-cutting was taken from an unknown, presumably Russian diaspora journal printed in the USA.

The item comes from a 1953 MGB penal case against four Pentecostal believers, all Ukrainian women. The confiscated press-cutting was used as incriminating evidence of their anti-Soviet activities and pro-American propaganda. Reading or possessing an American journal was illegal in the Soviet Union, as the Soviet political censorship banned most foreign media, particularly of diaspora origins.

One of the arrested women was known as a Pentecostal prophetess. As the numerous, mostly fabricated, interrogation reports show, the woman preached the advent of Truman, anointed by the Lord to Ukraine and the coming peace and freedom of the country. As Truman was a Baptist and a religious man, she appears to have genuinely regarded him as the liberator of all believers. She preached that Ukraine would become the Millennial Kingdom where all people would receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In 1937, the NKVD had arrested her husband, also a Pentecostal believer. The woman never heard of him again.

The closing indictment contained in the file, additionally states that, during their religious meetings, the arrested women also read Soviet newspapers one of which included the UN Charter. This was also used to incriminate the group on trial as it stated that the women intentionally “perverted the message” of Soviet newspapers.

“Illegal” religious groups and their members were not persecuted expressly for their religious beliefs as, on paper, the Soviet Constitution granted religious freedom. Most of the repressed religious believers were incriminated for “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda” or “counter-revolutionary activity” and penal cases against them are characterised by an extreme politicisation of religious practices. As a KGB report from 1963 states, “We do not fight against believers or religion, but we do fight against using religion by anti-Soviet elements… hostile to the Soviet state”.

This image comes from the State Archive Branch of the Security Services of Ukraine, fond 6, spr. 60259. The file contains records of arrest and transcripts of interrogations of four Pentecostal women on trial, transcripts of interrogations of witnesses, as well as a closing indictment, court records and a final court sentence. Two women were sentenced to 25 years and two others to 10 years in labour camps. Alongside the image reproduced here, the file contains two notebooks with handwritten Pentecostal prophecies and writings that were also used as incriminating physical evidence. Twenty confiscated photographs and twenty one personal letters later destroyed as having no relevance to the case.

For further entries relating to this case and Pentecostals in Ukraine see:
Manuscript of Pentecostal prophecy confiscated by MGB in Ukraine in 1953

Creator

Tatiana Vagramenko

Source

Галузевий державний архів Служби безпеки України
ГДА СБУ ф. 6, спр. 60259
https://ssu.gov.ua/

Publisher

Hidden Galleries (ERC project no. 677355)
Funded by Irish Research Council, GOIPD/2017/764

Date

1953

Rights

Copyright for these images belongs to the State Archive Branch of the Security Services of Ukraine
https://ssu.gov.ua/

Format

Image/ jpg

Language

RU

Type

Image

Identifier

SBU Archive, f. 6, spr. 60259
https://ssu.gov.ua/

Coverage

Ukraine
Soviet Union
20th Century

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Photo

Physical Dimensions

Various

Citation

Tatiana Vagramenko, “Truman press-cutting from a Pentecostal criminal case in Ukraine in 1953
,” Hidden Galleries Digital Archive, accessed July 15, 2018, http://hiddengalleries.eu/digitalarchive/items/show/15.

Output Formats