Talk:NKVD Letter № 00794/B

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Russian-English Translation[edit]


от 5.III.40 г. -> 5th of March, 1940

ЦК ВКП(б) -> Central Committee, VKP(b)

ВКП(б) = Всесоюзная коммунистическая партия (большевиков)
-> VKP(b) = All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks)

--Avia 03:43, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

Document Attribution[edit]

1. It is incorrect to attribute this document as "an order", because it is a proposition addressed by Beria to Central Commitee, not an order.

2. It is incorrect to attirbute this document as "an order by Stalin", because the author of the document is Beria.

3. It is incorrect to attribute this document as "an order of execution", because the formal conviction of polish nationals listed here is yet to be done. Beria here just asks Central Commitee: 1) to permit simplified trials (by "trojka") on those "enemies of the Soviet regime", 2) to permit this "trojka" sentence them to death (which only courts or martial courts were permited by law).

Stalin adn Co granted all this to Beria, but aquila non captat muscas - it was way below Politbyuro level to issue "Orders of Execution". Fat yankey 17:07, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

I will rename this article more in line with how WP handles these documents. (w:NKVD Order № 00689)--BirgitteSB 02:49, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, this way it's much better. But again, this is not an ORDER, but a LETTER. If there is no objections, I'll move it to "NKVD Letter № 00794/B 1940" in a few days. (I suggest 1940, because the numeration rolls over on January 1 every year). Fat yankey 21:45, 25 September 2006 (UTC)


As pointed out above, this is not an order, but a letter, an entirely different thing. I will try to rename it now. --Sergey Romanov 01:46, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

New users are prevented from moving pages, as we do not want pages moved without careful thought and a clear understanding of why they are being moved.
That said, if it is named incorrectly, and you give a good argument, an admin will move it when they have a better understanding of the issue.
Does the NKVD have two series of documents numbered in this way, i.e. "Letters" and "Orders", or is it a single series of documents, with some being called "Orders" when they are officially approved? John Vandenberg (chat) 02:51, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
John, the NKVD letters could contain anything and were letters in a literal sense, they could be sent to Stalin, Molotov, subordinates, etc. They could contain proposal (like this letter), general information etc. They could also contain orders or directives to subordinates.
Orders, on the other hand, were just instructions to be followed. And they were on completely different blanks.
This letter follows Beria's "personal" numbering system. The letter "B" stands for "Beria". When Merkulov became chief of NKGB (after NKGB and NKVD split) he wrote "m"-series letters, e.g. "100/m". The number is from a registration sequence from the beginning of the year. Thus, nnn/B number means that it is the letter from Beria (OR his deputies, but rarely) which was registered as nnn-th in an outgoing correspondence book for this year. Thus there was 794/b letter for 1940, 794/b letter for 1941 etc.
And, by the way, it is not "00794/B" but strictly "794/B". No zeroes.
Orders had a similar system, relative to the beginning of the year, but were not "personalized", like the letters were. And they were in "00nnn" style.
So: orders and letters were on different blanks, they had different numbering sequences and served mostly different (sometimes overlapping) purposes. --Sergey Romanov 04:32, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Just to clarify a lil' bit more: although the "personal" [e.g., Beria's] NKVD letters could contain orders/directives, those were usually aimed at a single person at a time. Official NKVD Orders, on the other hand, were supposed to have a more wide circulation (e.g., among all local NKVD chiefs, etc.).--Sergey Romanov 04:50, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Why hasn´t this document been renamed ? The argument made by Sergey Romanov seems very valid to me. Iselilja (talk) 20:34, 16 June 2012 (UTC)


I clarified the comments somewhat, added more info. Also deleted the "5th" date at the top of the document, becase the date is simply not there, as you can see in any decent reproduction (see the wiki Katyn massacre article for a color one).

AND will please someone rename the article into "NKVD Letter № 00794/B"?--Sergey Romanov 02:10, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

It sounds like you have access to the original, or copies of it! Is it possible for you to create an image of the document? John Vandenberg (chat) 02:52, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
John, images of the original letter are in the Wikipedia Katyn massacre article. They can also be found in hi-res on the Russian Katyn site at , specifically:
This is b/w. And the color version is on this page:
--Sergey Romanov 04:10, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

"prisoners of war"[edit]

Need the help of a Russian translator. Throughout the text there are some references to "prisoners of war" which implies a different legal status. Priests, police, and landowners are not "prisoners of war." The original text in my understanding does not imply them to be "prisoners of war," although some may have been held in POW camps. And further, the original text implies this understanding, that civilian and non-military personal were not POWs.

Anyone available to clarify this in translation? 19:36, 5 February 2017 (UTC)