Communal Living in Russia: Documents
From Police Archives: A complaint about harassment
  Summary
  An old woman writes a complaint to the police, claiming that she is being systematically harassed by her neighbors.
  Basic Facts and Background
  This document is one of many similar complaints against co-tenants in the communal apartment that A. A. E— sent to the supervisor of the local police precinct. The author calls this complaint "No. 16."

Since, as can be concluded from looking at other documents in the case of A. A. E—, these petitions to the police did not produce the desired result (it would be interesting to find out what A. A. E— was counting on), the petitioner went to the next administrative level to complain about the inaction of the police. This is according to our informants; the texts were unavailable.

The petitions refer to a situation which, in principle, could certainly take place in a communal apartment: certain co-tenants systematically harass others. But the specifics of the harassment and the way it is described, along with information received by the precinct policeman in the course of his investigation—visits to the apartments, conversations with A. A.E— and other tenants—leads to the conclusion that we are dealing with the complainer's overwrought imagination. The series of documents shown here illustrate a fairly widespread phenomenon, familiar to Russian psychiatrists as a delusional disorder whose content is tied to the life in a communal apartment, the so-called apartment-type delusional disorder.

  Translation of the Russian Transcript
  Supervisor, Police Precinct

from A. A. E—

70a M— St., apt. 4

No. 16.

Declaration

I am the widow of a World War II veteran a former reconnaissance officer I— A—h M— Group 1 Disability. The tenants are bullying me. M— B— slashed my table and my little stand they steal everything in sight they insult me with four letter words. Anya smokes in the bathroom and the lavatory after her and her husband you can't go in there I have a heart condition and the moment I go in it flares up. I am also a disabled war veteran with injuries to the lower limbs M— their grandma gave me a concussion and twisted my finger, the precinct has documents from my doctors. Our medals [indecipherable] were all stolen and our things too. I ask you to protect me from these criminals and thugs in our apartment so I can live in peace now they are poisoning me with rat poison I beg you and ask you to take immediate measures against this family and put an end to the stealing and disorder I can't go on anymore with these people in the apartment and get signatures from all of them. To make them stop terrorizing a defenseless disabled veteran.

7/16/96 (signature)

7/18/96 They stole my room key we had to knock down the door, and they were standing around and laughing.

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