«Indispensable for the work in terms of the decree of separation of church and state»: Documentary portrait of M.V. Galkin (1885-1948)

M.Y. Krapivin, Y.N. Makarov

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© 2014 Bylye Gody. The article attempts to reconstruct the life journey of one of the most prominent functionaries of the "Union of Soviet Atheists" M.V. Galkin (1885-1948). He was the author of the working draft of the decree on the separation of church and state and school, published in December 1917 within the pages of the party semi-official newspaper 'Pravda'. Being employed as a full-time «expert» of VIII («Church») department of the People's Commissariat of Justice, Galkin (member of the Bolshevik Party since 1919) took a distinct position of militant atheism. He was among the most active participants in the campaign of the opening of graves with the remains of Orthodox Saints (1919-1920s) and of the confiscation of church values from churches and monasteries (1921-1922s). The State Political Directorate engaged Galkin in the preparation and organization of the split in the Orthodox Church. The authorities made extensive use of pre-revolutionary publishing experience of Galkin when editing antireligiou
Original languageRussian
Pages (from-to)645-650
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014

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