From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



A c. 1930 Soviet propaganda poster stating “Down with kulaks in kolkhozes!” (farming collectives)

de- +‎ kulak +‎ -ize, a calque of Russian раскула́чить (raskuláčitʹ), from рас- (ras-) (a variant of раз- (raz-, prefix meaning ‘removing, undoing’)) + кула́к (kulák, wealthy peasant, literally fist) + (-i) + -ть (-tʹ, suffix indicating infinitives of verbs).



dekulakize (third-person singular simple present dekulakizes, present participle dekulakizing, simple past and past participle dekulakized)

  1. (transitive, historical) Usually with reference to the Soviet Union and communist Eastern Europe: to dispossess a kulak (that is, a prosperous peasant) of his or her property and/or rights. [from 20th c.]
    • 1930, J[oseph] Stalin, “Collective Farms”, in International Press Correspondence, volume 10, Berlin: Richard Neumann, →OCLC, page 341, column 2:
      [W]hen, in their eagerness to achieve a higher percentage of collectivisation, they began to employ force against the middle peasants, to deprive them of the right to vote, by "dekulakising" and expropriating them, the united front with the middle peasants began to be undermined and the kulak obtained the opportunity, as is quite clear, to make fresh attempts to recover his position.
    • 1938, Ivan Solonevich, “The Soviet ‘Active’”, in Warren Harrow, transl., Russia in Chains: A Record of Unspeakable Suffering, London: Williams and Norgate Ltd [], →OCLC, pages 122 and 124:
      [page 122] Ivan ‘dekulakises’ a peasant’s pig, and delivers it to the police. [] [page 124] [A]ll this [rotting] meat had originated with pigs ‘dekulakised’ from the peasants, and slaughtered by the Activists. About a month after this fragrant event, half of the local Activists were themselves slaughtered by the peasants and the remainder fled.
    • 1969, E[dward] H[allett] Carr, R[obert] W[illiam] Davies, Foundations of a Planned Economy: 1926–1929 (A History of Soviet Russia; 4), volume I, London: Macmillan and Co. Ltd., →OCLC, page 179:
      Or admit the kulak who dekulakizes himself. But can we now entertain the illusion that kulaks on any considerable scale will go in for self-dekulakization?
    • 1989, R[obert] W[illiam] Davies, “The Repression of the Peasantry”, in Soviet History in the Gorbachev Revolution, Bloomington, Indianapolis, Ind.: Indiana University Press, →ISBN, part I (The Mental Revolution), page 49:
      [T]he Belorussian novelist Vasil’ Bykov, following the award of the Lenin prize for his novel Znak bedy, explained that in Belorussia ‘we did not have any kulaks generally, but they required us to dekulakise’.
    • 1991, Eduard Shevardnadze, translated by Catherine A[nn] Fitzpatrick, The Future Belongs to Freedom, London: Sinclair-Stevenson, →ISBN, page 25:
      Later, [Mikhail] Gorbachev asked me: "What do you think he is, exactly?" / "A farmer," I [Shevardnadze] said. "A good manager. But if you like, we can de-kulakize him. Then there won't be any farm, milk, or livestock."
    • 1993, Lynne Viola, “The Second Coming: Class Enemies in the Soviet Countryside, 1927–1935”, in J[ohn] Arch[ibald] Getty, Roberta T. Manning, editors, Stalinist Terror: New Perspectives, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, part II (Backgrounds), page 88:
      Local officials may have had no other resort but to dekulakize illegally or tax as kulaks the households of otkhodniki in order to raise the collectivization rates or increase the landholding of the collective farms.
    • 1994, Yuri Slezkine, “The Conscious Collectivists”, in Arctic Mirrors: Russia and the Small Peoples of the North, Ithaca, N.Y., London: Cornell University Press, →ISBN, part III (Conquerors of Backwardness), page 206:
      As in 1930, the local officials were blamed for collectivizing and dekulakizing the people whose level of development had not prepared them for such undertakings. Personal property should not have been collectivized; the kulaks should have been limited and squeezed out—not liquidated; and the speed of reform should have been adjusted to local conditions.
    • 1996, Lynne Viola, “‘We Have No Kulaks Here’: Peasant Luddism, Evasion, and Self-help”, in Peasant Rebels Under Stalin: Collectivization and the Culture of Peasant Resistance, New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 86:
      More than one million peasant families—five million people, at least—were dekulakized during collectivization.

Alternative forms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]