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Diana Siebert. The Establishment of Civil Registry Offices in the SSRB: Citizenizing and Individualizing through State Administration.

One of the first activities of early Soviet Power – and in its importance often not observed – was the establishment of Civil Registry Offices throughout the Soviet space. As shown by the example of the multi-religious and multi-denominational Soviet Socialist Republic of Belarus (SSRB), the Bolsheviks snachted away the power from religious communities to carry out and to register changes in the marital status of their members.

Certainly, this was due to ideological reasons and those of power, but, nevertheless, through the tearing-down of barriers of estates and denominations the subjects became citizens and registered individuals, particular regarding things very important to the people, such as birth, death, marriage, and increasingly also divorce.

In contrast to other institutions established during the founding period of Soviet republics the civil registry offices exist to this day, and soon their 100th anniversary will be celebrated.

For Soviet power in this area did not exercise through terror but through bureaucratic acts of well-regulated solemn celebrations in preferably representative buildings. And this was hardly objected by anyone.