Law of Spikelets

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Law of Spikelets or Law of Three Spikelets (, Zakon o (tryokh) koloskakh) was a common name of the law based on the decree of Central Executive Committee and Sovnarkom of the USSR "About protection of the property of state enterprises, kolkhozes and cooperatives, and strengthening of the public (socialist) property" (Об охране имущества государственных предприятий, колхозов и кооперативов и укреплении общественной (социалистической) собственности) dated August 7, 1932.

The common name came into use because peasants (including children) caught gleaning (hand-collecting the leftovers of grains or 'spikelets') in the collective fields after the harvest were arrested for "damaging the state grain production".

The law was also known as the "Seven Eighths Law" (, Zakon “sem’ vos’mykh”“), because the date in Russian is written as 7/8/1932.Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago

  • Section I covers theft at railroad and water communications.
  • Section II covers theft of kolkhoz and cooperative property.
  • Section III of the law covers violence, threats and intimidation of kolkhozniks. The punishment was 5 to 10 years of prison camp time.<!--yes, "concentration", the law says so. (please don't delete this comment.)-->


The primary punishment for theft according to this law was death by...
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