Poor Peasants Groups

Poor Peasants’ Groups


associations of poor peasants and farmhands sponsored by village soviets, volost’(district) executive committees, village cooperatives, committees of peasant mutual aid societies, machine-tractor stations, and kolkhozes on the eve and during the course of wide-scale collectivization of agriculture in the USSR. Formed on the instructions of the October Plenum of the Central Committee of the RCP (Bolshevik) in 1925, they were a way of organizing the rural poor and proletarians and uniting them around the party and Soviet power. The groups were called upon to strengthen the union of the workers and village poor with the middle peasantry, to stimulate the work of local soviets and cooperatives, to direct the political activity of the peasantry toward the socialist reconstruction of the countryside, and to give constant aid to the village poor.

The poor peasants’ groups appeared chiefly during the period 1927–29. Their representatives participated in the preliminary consideration of the resolutions of the soviets, offered a single list of poor and middle peasant candidates during the reelections to the soviets, and drew the laboring peasantry into the cooperative movement. Moreover, they participated in the distribution of grain confiscated from the kulaks, made sure that the grain stores were handled according to class principles, and helped to organize kolkhozes. They were the first to enter the kolkhozes, thus drawing the middle peasants along by their example. Poor peasants’ groups continued to exist until the completion of mass collectivization (1935–37).


Istoriia kolkhoznogo prava: Sbornik zakonodatelnykh materialov SSSR i RSFSR, 1917–1958, vol. 1. Moscow, 1959. Pages 116–17, 129–30, 257–59.
Kollektivizatsiia sel’skogo khoziaistva: Vazhneishie postanovleniia Kommunisticheskoi partii i Sovetskogo pravitel’stva, 1927–1935’. Moscow, 1957. Pages 73–75, 177–79, 188–92, 198–200, 210–12, 263–64, 269–75.