The role of Gruzdžiai and Šakyna MTS in sovietisation of the rural area

Arūnas Gumuliauskas

Based on the data stored in the Šiauliai County archive and the historiography, the activities of Gruzdžiai and Šakyna MTSs (Machine Tractor Station) formed, respectively, in 1949 and 1952, are discussed in the paper. Both these MTSs operated by 1958. The political and social economic role of the MTSs to incline the peasants to join the Soviet farming system is also analysed. The paper notes that MTSs had to provide direct assistance to farmers and kolkhozes to increase the efficiency of farming and propagate the advantages of heavy machinery and Soviet-type farm associations in farming. From the very start of Gruzdžiai MTS establishment, the administrative posts were occupied by non-Lithuanian persons sent in from the Soviet Union. They were typical representatives of the communist system obeying blindly to the orders of the USSR Communist Party and the Soviet government and contributing to the russification of Lithuania. Lithuanian cadre in Gruzdžiai MTS appeared only at mid-1950s, while Šakyna MTS administration was dominated by ‘local cadre’. All the time of its operation Gruzdžiai MTS was lacking of modern equipment. Situation in Šakyna station was a bit better, since it was established later, when new agricultural machinery reached Lithuania. Special political teams were established in Gruzdžiai MTS (in 1950) and Šakyna MTS (in 1953) in order to control the sovietisation in the region.