Creating Communist Authority: Class Warfare and Collectivization in Ieud, Marmures

Gail Kligman


Collectivization was the first mass action through which Romania's young communist regime initiated its radical agenda of transformation, promoting class warfare to achieve its goals. Ieud, a village in Maramures in the far north of Romania, was the first there to be collectivized despite the poor quality of the land. Based on in-depth interviews and archival research, I examine collectivization as the means by which the transformation of property relations transformed social relations and personhood, and, simultaneously, established and institutionalized communist authority itself. I conclude that collectivization in Ieud correlated highly with the degree and forms of resistance against communist rule rather than with economically-driven policies of socialist transformation. Where communist authorities perceived the "bourgeois" past to be a significant impediment to the socialist future, collectivization disciplined the population. I also discuss collectivization, memory, and the rewriting of history.

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