This chapter examines excisionary violence as an attempt by Soviet officials to physically remove segments of the population deemed harmful to society in general. It first considers the origins of excisionary violence as well as the conceptual and practical prerequisites for the forms of state violence employed by the state. It then shows how the state created systems of social categorization and social excision, including concentration camps. In particular, it discusses the tsarist government's internment of roughly 600,000 “enemy aliens” and deportation of as many as one million citizens (ethnic Poles, Germans, Jews, and Muslims) from border regions in the early years of the twentieth century. The chapter also explains how the practices and instruments of state violence became part of the Soviet state's goals of reforming society.
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