Formation of kolkhozes in Gruzdžiai County

Arūnas Gumuliauskas

Based mainly on the data held in Šiauliai County archive, the peculiarities of sovietisation in Gruzdžiai Valsčius in 1948-1950 are revealed in the paper. 
Although the first Soviet land reform in 1940 comprised the Šiauliai County with Gruzdžiai Valsčius in it, the formation of kolkhozes had not been started yet. The real collectivisation in this area took place from the spring of 1948 to the June of 1950, when the administrative territorial division was changed and such units as county and valsčius were disestablished. The kolkhoz ‘Tarybinis karys’ (A Soviet Soldier) established on April 16, 1948 in the village of Valdomai was the first collective farm in Gruzdžiai Valsčius. 

Most intensively the kolkhozes were being founded in the period from December 19, 1948 to February 25, 1949, when 26 kolkhozes were formed. The collectivisation in Gruzdžiai Valsčius had no specific features. The same methods and means of kolkhoz creation were applied here as in other areas of Lithuania. From March 3, 1950, when ‘Poviliškiai’ kolkhoz was joined to the ‘Gruzdžiai’ kolkhoz, the process of kolkhoz enlargement began and lasted by 28 January, 1975, when two kolkhozes–‘Tarybinė aušra’ (Soviet Dawn) and ‘Gegužės 9-oji’ (the May 9) in Gruzdžiai area joined together and were named after the latter one. 

The paper is supplemented with some archive data: ‘The 1945 Gruzdžiai Valsčius agricultural farm registry data’, ‘Gruzdžiai Valsčius kolkhozes in 1948–1949’, ‘Number of kolkhoz members and homesteads in Gruzdžiai Valsčius’, and ‘Number of animals in Gruzdžiai Valsčius kolkhozes’.