"During the great patriotic war many of crimean tatars were parricides..." (stereotypes of soviet period and their re-adoption in post-soviet public media)

From the author:

The justification for writing of this article was the publication of archival documents on collaboration of the peoples of the USSR in the Russian weekly “Kommersant-vlast”. The scope of this first article is very modest - to answer to the unscrupulous and not quite accurate publication of opinion from inadequate sources. During this work its scope has been changed to enable me to reflect on the problems of interpretations of the participation of the Crimean Tatars in World War II as reflected in the Soviet period and in modern Russian Mass Media. However, the present article doesn’t pretend to be an exhaustive historiographical analysis of Soviet and post-Soviet discourse on the Crimean Tatars. It is rather the marginalia of an historian observing the media, an attempt to capture the most general tendencies and changing motives of ideological discourse and partly to promote its demythologizing.

Readers’ interest in the publication of archival documents has become greater than ever during the past decade. The previous censorship of information and inaccessibility of many archives during the Soviet period has generated for modern readers a heightened belief in the information that is kept in archival documents. Likewise the professional researcher in archives (historian, philologist, journalist and so on) is likened more often to a haphazard gold digger, than to a dusty academic. It is no wonder that this attitude toward information, which is contained in documents, becomes the final word.

The popular Russian weekly “Kommersant-vlast” regularly publishes on its pages the archival documents. In #29, #31, 2001 in its column “Archive” were placed the documents under the name “On occupied territories”. The publication is prefaced by the words: “For decades the fact that in 1941 a lot of our compatriots welcomed the soldiers of the Wermakh was kept from Soviet citizens. “The Vlast” correspondent, Evgeniy Zhirnov, came across in documents that “the German liberators” were welcomed in different regions of USSR.”

The reader is provided with the example of the Crimean Tatars, Belorussians and Ukrainians to illustrate this thesis.

Publication of this kind of documents makes it incumbent on the publisher to provide to the reader two types of information - information on the providence of the document (date, originality of historical existence of document and so on) and the information in the document itself. However, the popular publications seldom conform to such a rule, they frequently do not go beyond bare publication of the document. The publication in “Kommersant” makes us recall, what had been considered by the public as something of the past which had infected even professional researchers, and journalists. The speed of publication of archival documents leads one to term it ironically as simple Xeroxing. Alas, or one has no time to write the required prefaces and comments, since the editorial staff lays down a requirement for volume. In this specific concrete case, apparently, the editorial staff didn't limit the author in volume, but gave him space for texts in three whole issues. Nevertheless, they were published without any comments. It is a pity, - it is really necessary to give some explanations.

The subject on collaboration was considered for a long time as a taboo topic of Soviet historiography. The Collaboration during WW II was a prevailing occurrence and took place practically in each occupied country. One should elaborate the political, military circumstances and historical realities to understand the essence of this occurrence in each concrete case, and try to understand the psychological reasons, which were faced by each population, and who was forced to deal with the enemy. In publication of “Kommersant” there is not any hint of such an approach: explanation of the problem with a (preface) is lacking (one cannot say that the ungainly copy cited above fits this description), also missing is the information on the archival funds and sources, exact archival references and comments as mentioned above.

Currently, when in Russian society the process of creating a tolerant, democratic community is proceeding; to publish documents on so a delicate subject as “Kommersant-vlast” has done is strange at least. When one is dealing with the “collaboration” of peoples, who were accused by the Stalinist regime in general of rampant cooperation and who were subjected to deportation from their places of living, such publications inflame opinion on such delicate subjects as national feelings and inter-ethnic relations. The thoughtless xenophobia exemplified by this publication has encouraged me to think of the level of historical perception, and about formulating in the real current political and social situation the contemporary opinions about one of these peoples (Crimean Tatars) , about whom the authorities for many decades molded the image as “foreigner”, “enemy”, “betrayer”.

The accusation of “many Crimean Tatars” in parricide, desertion from military units of the Red Army, going over to the enemy, forming of “voluntary Tatar military units”, “brutal carnage of Soviet partisans”, creation of “Tatar national committees”, assistance to “German occupants in the organization of forced deportation of Soviet citizens into German slavery” and so on, was formulated in the Resolution of State Defense Committee #5859 dated 11th May of 1944, on the basis of which Crimean Tatars were completely, as a single ethnos, deported from Crimea.

The bewilderment and protest because of this deportation and the groundless accusation by the authorities was enunciated in many of the first letters of the Crimean Tatars, who were returning from the front lines, to high bodies of government. After the XX Congress of the KPSS and end of the regime of special settlements, the petitions which had been growing in number relating to this injustice towards Crimean Tatars, took on a mass character. In one of such letters, I. Mememetov from Yangiul wrote about the books by A. Perventsov “In mountains of Crimea” and I. Kozlov “In Crimean underground” (the last was given a Stalin purse for 1947): “The authors of these books spoke slanderously against a whole people - Crimean Tatars, without ceremony naming tens of thousands of Crimean Tatar participants of the Patriotic war and partisans as parricides. In these books not a single Tatar family is named as having participated as a member or as leaders and heads of underground groups and soldiers, commanders of partisan troops - Crimean Tatars, while many of these comrades have certificates on their participation in underground and partisan activity with the signature of Com. Kozlov himself, who fulfilled the duties of deputy head of Commission on underground organizations of Crimea after liberation of Crimea. Such falsification of history on the Patriotic War and history of underground-partisan movement in Crimea promotes ethnic animosity to this day”2 (See also attachment).

In the middle of the 1960's the activists of Crimean Tatar Movement for return to Crimea applied to high authorities with request to immortalize a memory of the heroes of the war – Crimean Tatars. The department on rewards of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR retained a petition of 24 activists of the movement, who applied to the Presidium of Supreme Soviet of USSR requesting granting of the rank of Hero of Soviet Union to Alima Abdennanova, head of underground group of village Dzhermay-Kashik, and Abdulla Dagdzhi, one of the heads of Simferopol underground organization.3

Separated from official Mass Media, having no an opportunity to develop their own history and professionally study it (besides secret prohibition on studying of Crimean Tatar history, existed also restrictions in acceptance of Crimean Tatars in institutes of higher education on humanitarian specialties - history, law, journalism and so on), Tatars undertook their own historical researches. Thus, in 1965-1966's the movement activists began to accumulate information on the deaths during deportation and places of exile (according to “people’s” census, during deportation and in first years of life on new places 46, 2 % of Crimean Tatars died). The history of World War II in the Crimea was constantly revealed and disputed in the documents published by the movement, and which were submitted to high bodies of government. They contained numerous facts that refuted the falsification of history on partisan movement in Crimea and their participation in war.

This required a really Sisyphean efforts to knock on the doors of the powerful until the leadership of the country would hear of this problem. In preparatory documents to Decree of Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from 5 September 1967 “On citizens of Tatar nationality, who before lived in Crimea”, which was adopted under strong pressure of different actions of national movement, we found an official answer on one of the most painful questions for Crimean Tatars: “many Crimean Tatars cooperated actively with the Hitlerite aggressors during the Great Patriotic War, in which connection, a basic mass of the Tatar population didn’t oppose these betrayers”. The demands of Tatars to eliminate such accusations were declared to be groundless, because “the facts of betrayal, which had a place during the Great Patriotic War, were not disproved by anybody”.4 Actually, it was practically impossible to disprove such accusations, because the authority objected in every way to publication of any alternative information on this subject.

Nevertheless, a non-professional, “catacombs” Crimean Tatar historiography, which existed in samizdat “Information” on the Crimean Tatar movement, and appeals to Party-official bodies, was competing with this official line. One has every reason to be believed that this persistence, with which the activists of the movement tried to inform the authorities with the simple idea that “the people cannot be a betrayer”, played its positive role in adoption of the decision on removal of groundless accusations about betrayal in the Decree, dated 5 September 1967.

However, cultivation of this trumped-up myth about some special guilt of Crimean Tatars in the Great Patriotic War was continued in the 1970-80’s. This fully corresponds to the spirit and logic of the official and historiographical discourse on Crimean Tatars which constituted the ideological justification for the policy relating to a whole complex of problems connected with restoration of the rights of the Crimean Tatar people (mass return of people to Crimea, restoration of autonomy and rehabilitation).

In the beginning of the 1990’s, after long struggle of Crimean Tatars for return to their Motherland, the process of repatriation in Crimea was started. In 1989, the Declaration of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR “On recognition of repressive acts against peoples as illegal and criminal, who were subjected a forcible deportation and recognizing their rights” was adopted. The Resolution of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated 07.03.1991 in connection with adoption of this document reversed the acts of the supreme bodies of government, which had served as the basis for unlawful forcible deportation of peoples, restriction of their rights and illegal liquidation of their national-state formations. In current effective Criminal Code of the Russian Federation there is even the article “Genocide” (art.357), which provides for punishment for “actions directed on total or partial extermination of national, ethnical, racial or religious group by way of killing of members of this group, doing heavy harm to their health, forcible prevention of child-bearing, forced transfer of children, forcible deportation or making living conditions with intention to exterminate members of this group”.

It would seem that the appreciable steps in legislation on the way to transformation of a totalitarian state into a juridical state is to be accompanied by raising the level of awareness of legal rights, a change in the public conception about the horrendous events of the Soviet past, such as the deportation of non-dominant groups of population and “delinquent” peoples. The researchers have an opportunity to study subjects connected with the history of the repressed peoples, based on a new set of rules, with a totality of scope, without any hesitation due to strong directions (censorship) by party bodies, and without the necessity to castigate peoples.

Yet again and again it is still the pet occupation of many authors to use their selective interpretation of documents in an attempt to establish a level of guilt of Crimean Tatars in the Great Patriotic War.

In the article “For what Stalin deported peoples”5 by anonymous author on web-site, of which the general mindset is to prove the opinion that Stalin had some reason for deportation of Crimean Tatars, Chechenians, Ingushes and representatives of other deported peoples, we read: “After the start of the war many Crimean Tatars were called up in the Red Army. However their service was short.” Let’s quote a report of deputy People’s Commissar of Security B. Z. Kobulov and deputy People’s Commissar of Internal Affairs of the USSR I. A.Serov in the name of L. P.Beria, which was dated 22 April 1944: “All called up persons in the Red Army totaled 90,000 persons, including 20,000 Crimean Tatars..... 20,000 Crimean Tatars deserted in 1941 from 51st army during its retreat from Crimea…”.

The author of this article is oblivious to the strangeness of this wording – “20,000 called persons - 20,000 deserted persons”. The question hasn’t occurred to him how did the 51st army conduct the war in 1941, what losses were suffered and how did it become possible that the Soviet commanders surrendered the Crimean peninsula for some long period of years of occupation. And that these commanders latter laid all blame on “peoples-betrayers” (let’s recall that in addition to Crimean Tatars under accusation in collaboration with enemy were deported Greeks, Armenians and Bulgarians, and at the very beginning of the war were deported “potential”, in understanding of authority, collaborators of Fascists - namely the Germans and Italians). The author didn’t indicate also that the notation in this report of B. Kobulov and I. Serov is citing evidence of a lack of exact information on number of Tatar population in Crimea - the executors of grievous action only approximately knew a number of Crimean Tatar population, who were subject to deportation.

Doctor of sociological sciences I. Khriyenko in an article, which was published in “Krimskaya Pravda”6 also has a question “what were the criminal acts made “by many Crimean Tatars”, and for what the State Defense Committee of the USSR deported all of them from Crimea?” He also raised the question on desertion: “On this question was published a number of official documents, statistical and analytical information. In particular, a special report to Stalin, by the People’s Commissar for Internal Affairs of the USSR, said that “from military units of the Red Army in 1941 were deserted over 20,000 Crimean Tatars, who became parricides, came over to German’s side, and with weapons fought against the Red Army”. I. Kriyenko doesn’t indicate the origin of the document he is referring in his article there is no any information. However, it is obvious that there is a close genetic connection between the referenced document and the notation in the report by Kobulov and Serov from 22 April. One says to the reader that the author quotes a notation by Beria to Stalin from 10 May 1944. The attachment to it is the draft resolution of the State Defense Committee “On Crimean Tatars”, under which Crimean Tatars were deported.7 In the document from 10 May figures a number - 20,000 deserters, which was taken, apparently, out of the document dated 22 April, however, there was no reference to the 51st army in the second document. As we can see a figure was taken from the first document, whose authenticity is questionable, and then went into the second document. The second document from 10 May - is a planning document. Just because a figure appears in this document does not make it any more reliable8. Let’s note that the author doesn’t pay attention (or knowingly keeps hidden), that a number of interrelated documents is concerned, which constitute a complex of preparatory documents about the forthcoming deportation of Crimean Tatars on May 18, 1944 - documents being obviously propagandistic character, which justify the authority’s actions.

One wonders not only at the uncritical approach some modern authors take toward information contained in these documents, but also at the ease with which they “give” off-the-cuff appraisals about peoples, who found themselves in truly extraordinary, extreme wartime conditions. The heroic myth about the Great Patriotic War, which was made by Soviet historiography, for many years described it in monochrome - black-and-white tones, formed from an infinite number of stereotypes. The “Human dimension” in Soviet historiography on the war was presented in a very restricted manner. I want partly to fill this gap, and to present to the reader not a faceless type of “soldier of 51st army”, but a history about a quite concrete person, my grandfather, teacher and historian Abduraman Bariyev (1899-1970), in whose archive was kept a big manuscript “The memoirs on war years in 1941-1945s” (“Dzhenk yillari khatirleri”. 1941-1945. P. 1. 23. IV. 1941-15.V.1942)9 This is the memoirs of an “ordinary” person on war, a simple clerk, “soldier” of the 476th regiment of the 51st army. His description of the first phase of struggle for Crimea (24 September-16 November 1941), which gives the flavor of the conditions, a wartime slaughter-house, into which people were thrown: “For the entire battalion only 18 rifles in operating condition were given. The rest 700 soldiers of battalion stood before the Germans with shovel and pick. Mortars and machine-guns were broken and useless. To offer resistance was useless. The German forces, military equipment was several times stronger. When mobilization began, many soldiers had no rifles. Many of them were not trained in military science. Few of them could shoot. The Soviet army on the Crimean Front has disintegrated. Soldiers either died, or were taken prisoner, or they escaped to Sevastopol. Some of them escaped to Feodosia and Kerch and across the strait to Caucasus. A small part of them escaped to partisans in the forest. After one gave an order: “Let each goes when he wants, only to save himself” - each cared about himself, otherwise he would be taken prisoner by the enemy” (p. 49). After the Germans arrived in Crimea in November 1941, many people including my grandfather were taken prisoner.

As a result of the Kerch-Feodosia landing operation, which was carried out from 25 December 1941 till 2 January 1942 and was completed by the capture of this important bridgehead, Soviet troops returned to Kerch peninsula. A. Bariyev describes a return of “ours” in January 1942: “Requisition the people’s cattle and ship it out. People have already got into the habit of such payment long ago and agreed to be hungry, they got into the habit of giving and continue to give. But what was beyond the norms of usual behavior was the actions that were taken by soldiers of Special department - battues, detentions and examinations - which terrorized the people and made them think twice.” (p.142).

Meanwhile battles continued and aircraft were bombing in the western region. A great number of soldiers were living in houses in the regional center. There was great hunger in each village. The population was in a difficult situation, practically in the front lines and under fire. Very many people from cities and villages were taken to prison because they had worked for the Germans, it means that they were sympathizers. The Red Army men who had retreated during the Crimean battles, and who had been taken prisoner but then escaped from POW camp, were caught by the Red Army, and made to work and tortured like Roman slaves, and examined as if they were contra-revolutionists and saboteurs. Could perhaps such people be guilty or could weak, unarmed soldiers, who couldn’t resist the enemy who was strong and armed to the teeth? Could perhaps be guilty the heads (commanders and commissars, who left soldiers) under order “Save, who can, and by any way” (p.144).

Escaped from German captivity, Bariyev got in a Soviet processing camp: “Whoever escaped from captivity was taken to a special camp. In special camps came hundreds of investigators, each prisoner was separately examined, a questionnaire was filled out, documents were made, prisoners were examined a lot of times. If on first examination a given answer did not coincide with other examinations he was taken to the KPZ, the gulag, as parricides” (p.160). My grandfather had “luck” he was transferred to the Kuban. He remained in the war, and after the war he found his relatives only in places of special settlements in the Middle Asia.

This episode is from the life of a real and not fabricated person, who was in statistics of NKVD among “20,000 deserters-Crimean Tatars of 51st army”. For this war, epithets such as “real” than “heroic” or “victorious” might be more appropriate. As another historian describing similar personal documents has pointed out, when one reads these non-cunning, unskillful lines “unpremeditated evidences”, already one doesn't want to give simple answers and pass severe sentences on people, who found themselves “between hammer and anvil”, between foreign enemy and own criminal authority.

Some authors, who cultivated a myth on the particular guilt of Crimean Tatars, for some reason don’t pay attention to the fact that a deportation of Tatars was not at all a single incident. The repressions, which began from 1920s and were directed against different groups of population developed a mass character - eventually against the entire peoples. The systematic character of the repressions gives grounds to say that a permanent search for guilty persons, “enemies”, and “anti-sovetchiks” was one of the basic characteristics of the Soviet regime. Crimean Tatars were not the first and not last, who were accused by Stalin of unreliability, so to repeat a Soviet myth on the total betrayal of Crimean Tatars - is to justify not only the obviously criminal act of deportation, but also all Stalin’s repressive policies. The regime searched for guilty persons – and it found them. An indirect confirmation of this opinion is that on the territory of Crimea during the period of occupation existed not only the notorious Tatar Moslem committees, but also the German-established “Party of true-Russian peoples” (which was established in 1942), branches of “National-labour Union of new generation” (which was established in 1943), “Ukrainian national committee” (which was established in 1943), nevertheless for some peoples a presence of anti-soviet and pro-fascist organizations (and yet one has to study, what were real goals and tasks of these organizations) became a crime, and for others not. It is enough to turn over the pages of newspaper files of “Golos Krima” (The voice of Crimea), which was issued in Crimea during the period of occupation, to estimate an ethnical composition of authors and editorial staff and understand that occupation authorities had support of different ethnical groups of peninsula.

The reasons for the deportation of Crimean Tatars, apparently, were deeper and more sinister than some authors try to convey. The collaboration of some part of Tatar population was one of the factors or grounds, which allowed Stalin to realize a cleansing of Crimea from indigenous population of other “unreliable” ethnoses. One thinks that a complex study of this problem sheds light on many details of these tragic events, which were unknown up to now. Unfortunately, many documents preparatory to the deportation are still secret (or were destroyed) - in particular, most part of documents of the State Defense Committee and documents mentioned in reports of Beria “Special file on Crimea”, in which, apparently, was concentrated information on Crimea.

The position of the author Pavel Polyan, who is one of the newest researchers on the history of forcible migrations in the USSR, concerning subject of “punished peoples”, is definitive: “Injustice <…> based on a new precedent of “punishment of peoples”, substituted legal proceedings against concrete persons. Irrespective of any statistics ascribing collective guilt (here and further was italicized by P. Polyan - author) and implementation of collective punishment on the basis of ethnical belonging is a serious crime against humanity, equally with capture and execution of hostages”10.

Coming back to the subject of collaboration in post-Soviet historiography, let’s note the pleasant fact of the appearance of serious scientific-historical researches on collaboration, because it is also a part of “real”, non-glamorous war.11 For example, the works by I. Gilyazov “On other side. Collaborators of Volga-Ural Tatars during WW II” (Kazan, 1998), S. Drobyazko “WW II. 1939-1945. Eastern legions and Cossacks units in Whermach" (Moscow, 1999), M. Semiryaga “Collaboration. Nature, typology and display in WW II” (Moscow, 2000) and others. The attempt of the considered, non-politicized approach to research on Crimean Tatar collaboration was taken in an article of Ukrainian researchers A. Bobkov and M. Tsarenko “Krimskotatarski formuvannya v skladi zbroynih sil tretyego reykha” (Crimean Tatar formations in composition of military forces of third Reich). In the above mentioned works the collaboration is considered in its extreme complexity and by no means as marginal phenomena, connected with unworthy behavior of separate persons or peoples. The authors try to understand this phenomenon in the context of a many-faceted historical jumble with the use of modern theoretical - methodology.

The historians of the new generation in the post-Soviet period at last escaped from servile abasement towards authority. However, the conception, approaches, conclusions and generalizations of scientists for the present, unfortunately, are not published enough in contemporary Mass-Media, and therefore very weakly influence public opinion (the historical “boom” of the first years of perestroika, when historian were real owners of ideas, alas, has passed).

Undoubtedly, the subject of collaboration, including that of the Crimeans and Crimean Tatars, has the same right for elaboration as any other. The study of the present subject is impossible without an interconnected assessment of the question on the defeat at the Crimean front and an explanation of its reasons, the difficulties of development of the partisan movement in Crimea, and finally of the correct historical reflection on the historical, socio-political, psychological reasons, that resulted in collaboration of part of the Crimean population, including the Crimean Tatars. The evaluation of statistics out of sources of different origins is to be made by scrupulous analysis, correlation of which only can correct statistical information. However, using statistics that lend credence to former myths cannot give anything except an increase of negative stereotypes.

As it is known, the reverse side of a guilt complex is a complex of aggression. Thus, should humanitarians bring about strife in so shaky an inter-ethnic situation as that in the Crimean peninsula?


In the Soviet period, the Crimean Tatar problem was denigrated in one of two basic tendencies: it treated as “a figure to be passed over in silence”, or it was portrayed from an exclusively negative viewpoint. The modern Russian journalism in lighting the history on the Crimean Tatars of recent past, including the events of the last decade with their participation - has continued the same Soviet line. And yet again as it has been for many years past, the political considerations define the discourse on Crimea and Crimean Tatars.

The break of Kyiv with Moscow in the beginning of the 90’s - which legally fixed and demonstrated the obvious aspiration of Ukraine for independence - was met with extreme painfulness not only by representatives of the Russian political elite, but also by journalists. The political coolness between the two Slavic brothers immediately reflected on representations of Ukrainian realities: in Russian press of 1990 we find a wide range of emotions towards the “unwise” neighbor - from simple touchiness to expressed contempt.

The separation of Ukraine was perceived in Russia as a loss, and was accompanied by sharp nostalgia about Crimea - a paradise, which, was then perceived as an irrevocable loss. As the astute note by a Russian cultural figure, Andrey Zorin stated: “In the long list of separated provinces there is yet another, whose loss still burns in our public consciousness. Undoubtedly, for anybody it is clear, that as regards the Crimea, the underlying causes of the loss are explained not by a complex policy namely that Russia’s historical role was possession of Crimea which is now just a dim memory.12

Concerning Crimean Tatars, that their return to their Motherland took place in difficult economical conditions of the 1990s without participation of Russia, which after the collapse of the USSR distanced itself from the troublesome affair of resettlement of Tatars in Crimea, this ultimately defined the position of the Crimean Tatar political leaders, who now connect their hopes with the restoration of rights of their people exclusively within the Ukrainian state and states of the world community.

Moscow considered Ukrainian-Crimean Tatar union for itself as an affront. Such was the real political state of affairs of a covert “informational” war, which was developed by the Russian Mass Media in the 1990’s, that sometimes provided to the reader (watcher) quite obviously falsified representations of the current situation in which the Crimean Tatars themselves participated.

If one asked himself the question: what can one know about the Crimean Tatars from the Russian Mass Media, the answer is that there is practically nothing, or something drawn from the repertoire of the Soviet period.

The spectrum of information about the Crimean Tatar problem in Russia (I mean not only printing organs, but also Russian Internet and TV) has a lot of lacunas, it consists of fragmentary, carefully selected information, directed toward representing the Crimean Tatars in an exclusively negative form (sometimes re-broadcasting about the topic of “betrayal”, and myth “on ideological closeness of Tatars to Turkey”, for which they will blame the “surrender” of Crimea by Tatars and so on.). In productions of Russian Mass-Media there is neither mention of a long, persistent struggle of Crimean Tatar people for return to their Motherland, nor of the state manipulation of the Crimean Tatar people which has lasted for many years and which resulted in the elimination of the very ethnonym of Crimean Tatar. And because of this it is impossible to establish the number of the Crimean Tatar people. And for many years they distorted the history of the Crimean Tatars in books and popular publications, and (in the best case) informed the readers (watchers) that the Crimean Tatar National Movement has some likeness to a totalitarian sect. And they failed to describe the humiliating procedures, which were faced by each Crimean Tatar family during its attempt to enter in Crimea even after the rehabilitation Decrees of 1967 and 1974.

The basic goal of Russian tele-productions on Crimea and Crimean Tatars - internalization in consciousness of unconscious observer the label and cliche conceptions - again with expressed negative shade. The visual topic was carefully selected and arranged. In addition to the old, one can say, archetypical types (“Crimean Tatars – betrayers”, “Crimean khanate - state of thieves” and so on), are created new myths – “Crimean Tatars - a stronghold of Wakhabism in Crimea”; “Mejlis - instrument of Turkish and NATO intrigue” (G. Dzhemal), “Russian population of Crimea considers Mejlis as a real threat” (K. Zatulin), “30 or 50 years latter a subject of negotiations (on Crimea - author) first of all will be Turkey” (M. Leontyev). This fantastic juxtaposition of the old and new “frights” represents the familiar negative ethno-stereotype of Crimean Tatars, riding from film in film, from broadcast in broadcast.

There are also in this “performance” main dramatis personae. For example, the director of the Institute of the CIS, Konstantin Zatulin. His key idea is Crimea – “Russian land” (“Sevastopol - city of Russian glory”, in struggle for Crimea Russian Empire, Soviet Union lost 1,5 mln. Soviet persons for 200 years”13 ). Zatulin is the ideologist of the conception of “Russian” Crimea in its modern formulation. This conception was formed from the middle of 1940s, when Crimea was cleansed from “extreme ethnical diversity”14. It is not accidental that Zatulin’s formulations sometimes coincide with formulations by P. Pavlenko and P. Nadinskyi which were fixed in Mass Media and historiography of the 1940s. Re-broadcasting of this conception in new, post-Soviet Russia gives one grounds to think that Russian ideologists would be not against a return to the “golden” Stalin’s times of the first postwar years. Apparently, what Zatulin said in the lobby of the popular “talk-show” “Freedom of speech” was symptomatic as he was the author of these lines: “You (Crimean Tatars-author) were deported for collaboration with Germans It is not understandable, why were you allowed to return”. It is impossible to assume that the director of the Institute of CIS didn’t hear that on the German side with arms in their hands or in different troops branches served approximately 300,000 Russians, about 250,000 Ukrainians, 70,000 Byelorussians and so on, but the double standard towards the problem of collaboration is present. One can only hope that the ideas which were spoken in the lobby are not made public.

And the subject “why Tatars were returned to Crimea” - is already not a private matter of a famous specialist on “Crimean Affairs” but is open to public scrutiny. Zatulin’s formulation about the repatriation of Crimean Tatars comes down to the idea that the mass return was initiated by Crimean Tatar “national-extremists” and was made exclusively under pressure of these forces: “And why was it necessary for the extremists (Crimean Tatars - author) by this way to excite 40 - 50 years latter, an exodus from their old haunts of the mass that returned during the political campaign to Crimea, thereby creating problems for itself and other peoples? Not all of them wanted to return, but they were pressured to return”.15 I am afraid that no grounds can prove for K. Zatulin the obvious idea for any Crimean Tatar that only in Crimea he feels himself in his Motherland, and so it was easy “to raise” Tatars - they for all these years “sat on suitcases” and waited for return to homeland (that is Crimea). And some of them took desperate attempts to return to their Motherland, and were subjected to brutal repressions, and in this connection they received a label “national-extremists” (and some time before – “autonomists” and nationalists). It is difficult to believe that this fact was not known to so recognized an expert about the problem, as Mr. Zatulin. It means he has hidden reasons for keeping some facts from the wide public.

The known Russian specialist on political technologies, Gleb Pavlovskyi, states that for him Crimea - is first of all the question of the Russian economy. He pontificates to a multimillion audience that “The Crimean economy is financed by Russian tourist. And should Russian tourists leave it (he means money - author) for Crimean Tatars?”

The question was obviously intended to play on the ignorance of the listeners and on their predecessors who had already a lot of times informed Russians that Crimea - dangerous area, something like “our Chechnya” and that Ukraine has its own Chechens - Crimean Tatars. And what can be worse for a modern Russian than a meeting with “evil Chechens”, with whom so conveniently are associated “Crimean Tatar”? One can, of course, give advice to Gleb Olegovich to re-read at night the numerous memoirs of Russian travelers of the XIX century, who visited with pleasure Tatar Crimea and left with very favorable feelings about the Crimean Tatars. One can, finally, give him advice to go to Crimea and to talk with Crimean Tatars without any fears for his own life. Only it is impossible to talk to Mr. Pavlovskyi. But, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t realize that this is a Kremlin specialist on political technologies at work.

One should say that Russian ideologists and political scientists generally like very much to discuss, from their usual position of Big Brother, a wide variety of problems - interests of Russia in Crimea, “injustice” during last elections in Crimean parliament towards “our person” in Crimea Leonid Hrach, in general to discuss “the gnats in other’s eye”. But, I remember an old anecdote, when I see such next “meeting”:

“- Doctor, why do you eat and drink without any restrictions, if we have the same disease?
- But you prohibit me?”
- Dear friend, there is a big difference between us.
- What kind?
- You want to receive medical treatment, but to my head didn’t come such idea”.

Our political scientists remind me very much of such a doctor. Only, I want very much to say to such a “doctor” what is sacrilegious in the Soviet state, namely: “Make a complete recovery yourself”. May be, because for a long time “a small victorious war” with Chechnya already turned into “endless war”, Turks-Meskhetians from Krasnodar region are persecuted as were persecuted Crimean Tatars from Crimea in 1940-1980s, and certainly, so wild outburst of xenophobia as in Moscow and other Russian cities, no one of the post-Soviet states could dream.

One can, of course, be in a position of the “doctor” knowing all and not receive medical treatment for one’s own “diseases” - calmly to turn away from modern problems of the “small and forgotten”16, thus not realizing their own culpability with respect to them, at the same time, making up any fables about them. It is possible, as during many decades of the Soviet regime, to put the state priorities above democratic interests that are common to all mankind. But what in this case will Russia face - that, what was prophetically written over 170 years ago by the famous philosopher, P. Chaadayev: “We walk so wonderfully in times, that as we go ahead, that which we suffered as a People was quickly forgotten - moral creatures, exactly, as separate individuals. They are educated by centuries, as persons are educated by years. One can say about us that we are unique among peoples. We belong to a community, as if we are not a component of humankind, and exist only to give a great lesson to the world”?

The history, as written by another Great Russian thinker, V. Kluchevksyi, doesn’t give lessons, it only punishes those, who don’t want to study. The history of the XXth century showed obviously that a failure to overcome the past - is an embryo of future conflicts and cataclysms.

Unofficial translation


Appeal of former soldiers-Crimean Tatars to the First Secretary of the CC CPSU, S. Khruschev, Chairman of Council of Ministers of USSR, N. A. Bulganin, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, K. E. Voroshilov, Ministry of Defense of the USSR, G. K.Zhukov, on the situation of the Crimean Tatars and with request to meet.

Nikita Sergeevich KHRUSCHEV
Nikolay Alexandrovich BULGANIN
Kliment Yefremovich VOROSHILOV
Georgyi Konstantinovich ZHUKOV

Dear comrades!

Former soldiers, seamen, officers - participants of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945s apply to you, and ask you personally to familiarize yourselves with this letter.

We understand that this will divert you from important public affairs, but a concern for the destiny of our people, for the destinies of tens of thousands of former soldiers, seamen and officers - soldiers of the Fatherland of Crimean Tatars force us to apply to you, our senior comrade - combatants.

Currently, the attention of all former soldiers, seamen, officers, the attention of children, wives, fathers and mothers, and deceased soldiers, who gave their lives in battles for happiness, for a bright future of the Soviet people in battles, is focused on you, their fighting leaders.

Immortal Lenin said: “Not one citizen of Russia, without distinction of sex and religion, can be restricted in political and generally any rights basing on their origin or belonging to any nationality”. (Lenin, v.20., p.154).

And what happened with the Crimean Tatar people?

At the first call of our party we, the sons, and daughters of the Crimean Tatar people with the multinational people of the USSR stood up for defense of own Motherland. Some went to the front in the active army and fleet, others remained in the mountains and forests of Crimea to be partisans, and half of them went underground.

Tens of thousands of us, defended the Motherland under your command, and that of other marshals and generals, honestly fulfilled their own duty before the Motherland, and the Party.

Many thousands gave their own life for the happiness of the Soviet people, many of them lost arms and legs.

Those who survived on their own fighting path went from Moscow to Berlin, from Stalingrad to Port-Artur, bore a banner of Victory over the enemies, some of them served in the Soviet Army up to now: colonels Amzayev, Seferov, Umerov, majors Khiyardzhi Kadir, Vaapov Muslyadin and many others.

The heroism of soldiers of the Crimean Tatar people was marked by deserved rewards of the Soviet government. Abdul Teyfuk, Reshidov Abduraim, Seit Veliyev, Seit Nafe, Abduramanov Uzeir and others became the heroes of Soviet Union, and pilot Amet-khan Sultan became twice Hero of Soviet Union.

The war ended, during which many thousands of Crimean Tatars lost bread-winners-fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. The guns thundered announcing a glorious victory of the Soviet people to the whole world. Then came the day of farewell with fighting friends: Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians and others, who shared their last bread piece in battles, fought in concert and won. Now, everybody dreamed to come back to home.

The Crimean Tatars also returned victorious - to Sevastopol-Bakhchisaray, to Simferopol-Dzhankoy, to Yalta, Kerch, Feodosia - everybody dreamed of their return to their native Crimea, to start again their life, to rebuild the burnt and destroyed cities and villages, gardens and vineyards, to regenerate the former glory of Crimean vegetables and fruits, and turn again the Crimea into a prosperous region.

This dream of the Crimean Tatar soldiers was not to be. We were not allowed to enter in to our native home, in native Crimea, though many of us were most direct participants in the liberation of Crimea.

The reason for such inexpressible, humiliating and abusive attitude to us was that we are Crimean Tatars, and that our children, wives, fathers and mothers were considered as purported traitors and in the night of 17.05.1944 and were deported from Crimea.

As one can see, they didn’t take consideration of that father of a child or husband, son of a old man, or old woman in this night, in these tragic hours in their life fighting honestly with guns in the steppes of Ukraine, Byelorussia, bringing a liberation from fascist yoke to Byelorussians, Ukrainians and others, selflessly with out regard to their nationality, giving their lives for their happiness.

We were forced to wander in our country, looking for our relatives, our peoples, who were deported to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Molotovskaya oblast, Mariyskaya republic and other places.

Many in this tragedy, lost their children, family, relatives and peoples (it was impossible to find out the exact place of their exile) forced to settle where they could, some of us because of the possible restrictions were forced to take another nationality while creating documents - so our destiny spread us all over the Soviet Union.

But were we, soldiers-sons, daughters of the Crimean Tatar people, who gave all forces, knowledge, lives for victory over fascism, really guilty in something before the Motherland?

Did we not live up to the title of citizenship of the Soviet Union, title of soldier, seaman, officer of Soviet Army? Did we really, soldiers, communists, Komsomol members deserve such humiliation and insult?

What is issue?

1. In the beginning of the war, as heads of the partisan movement in Crimea were appointed Mokrousov (commander), Martinov (commissar) persons, who were not able in modern conditions to organize and head a partisan movement in Crimea. They didn’t take into account the national composition of the remaining population in occupied Crimea.

These leaders of partisan movement in Crimea instead of uniting the inhabitants of Crimea Russians, Tatars, Ukrainians, Jews, Bulgarians and others, who were living under occupation and energizing them into a holy struggle against the fascist monsters, conducted a wrong policy on kindling of hostility between Russians, Tatars, Ukrainians and others.

The result was that Mokrousov and Martinov gave instruction to shoot all Tatars, who appeared in the forest, regardless of whom they were, and they expelled the Tatars-partisans from the forest, not trusting them in defense of the Motherland.

As a result of this policy towards Tatars-partisans, from the forest were expelled a chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Crimean ASSR Abdurafi Seit-Yayayev, director of wine factory Asan Seferov and many others. These communists, patriots of the Soviet Motherland, were captured by the fascist occupants and were shot.

The bureau of the Crimean Oblast Committee (b) by its decision from 18.11.1942 was forced to recognize this mistake and discharged as a commander of the partisan movement of Crimea Mokrousov and sent workers of indigenous inhabitants-Tatars to the forest. But what had already been done by Mokrousov and Martinov to the Tatar population, when they headed the partisan movement was only profitable for fascist occupants. The Fascists, as one could see, used this opportunity, the “favour” of Mokrousov and Martinov, who gave half the Tatar population into their hands. They effort to turn the local population against the partisans with assistance of Mokrousov and Martinov was partially achieved.

Because of that, the damage which was made by Mokrousov and Martinov to the partisan movement in Crimea and also to the implementation of Lenin's national policy of our Communist Party in so critical a moment in the life of the peoples of the Soviet Union was extensive and its consequences were tragic.

2. There really were among the Crimean Tatar population of Crimea some traitors and betrayers, who served the enemy: Gzhik Appas, terrorist, sons of former kulaks: Fefsi Ablay, Adzhiyev Emir Usein and some others. These traitors supported the occupants in all their crimes, betrayed and killed Soviet people, including Crimean Tatars, and kindled hatred.

Because of these circumstances an exaggerated and prejudiced opinion about betrayal by all Crimean Tatars to the common cause was created.

Instead of condemning Mokrousov and Martinov for the organization and kindling of national hostility, for the shooting by Fascists of Tatars-Communists, and for expelling from the forest into the Fascist hands of loyal Crimeans, the authorities deported innocent children, old men, partisans and women-partisans, participants of underground organization, soldiers, seamen, officers and their families.

Indeed this is just? - No! A few traitors are not the entire Crimean Tatar people.

In a report of the German diplomat, Ditman, to Typpelskrih, from 05.08.42 item 2 (the documents of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, issue 2 - 1946, p.87, a publication of Archival Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of USSR) the following was stated: “Concerning Crimean Tatars, that as far as I know it has already been decided not to give them a right for self-government. Approximately, three weeks ago there was even an opinion that one should to deport Crimean Tatars from Crimea, and turn it into an only-German oblast. This plan was discarded first of all because of technical difficulties connected with its realization”.

As you can see the Fascist leaders wanted to deport Tatars from Crimea and turn Crimea into an only-German oblast, but they failed to accomplish this, not because Tatars became “obedient to German occupants, but because of the technical difficulties connected with its realization”. The people cannot be a betrayer. And our suffering people didn’t betray the Motherland, and fought with courage for its liberation, for crushing defeat of fascism.

The leading article of the newspaper of “Krasnyi Krim” (the Red Crimea) #49 from 16.02.1942 wrote about the selflessness and courage of the Crimean Tatar people, fighting in the Red Army and fleet, about the courage of military commandant Karayev, senior political instructor Reshidov, and soldier Alimov.

The newspaper “Izvestia” #149 from 27 June 1942 wrote about the heroism of fighter pilot of Crimean Tatars Amet-Khan Sultan from Alupka, who at an altitude of seven thousands meters rammed and shot down a Fascist aircraft Yu-88. The commander of squadron, Hero of Soviet Union was satisfied about his pupil.

The head of the Party archive of the Crimean regional committee (VKP/b), comrade Miroshnichenko, in letter #304 from 30.09.47 confirmed that Chapchakchi Khatidzhe Azizovna, who was born in 1911, a member of VKP (b) in period of temporary Fascist occupation of Crimea, and who was a member of the Simferopol underground patriotic organization from October of 1942, in June of 1943 was arrested by the Gestapo and was shot.

The newspaper “Krasnyi Krim” (the Red Crimea) from 24.08.43 informed that Germans ruthlessly shot Russians, Ukrainians and Tatars. Fascists tortured the Soviet soldier Umerov for 45 days and latter brutally killed him.

The newspaper “Krasnyi Krim” (the Red Crimea) (#26 from 26.01.42, and #97 from 07.04.1942) informed about the courageous signalers Semedinov, Abkadirov, Sakayev and others. Sakayev died in this battle.

The leading article of newspaper of “Krasnyi Krim” (the Red Crimea) from 02.07.43 informed about the glorious sons of the Crimean Tatar people, heroic affairs of Lieutenant-colonel Muratov Beytulla, Colonel Seferov, Major Irsmambetov, Captain Settarov Kyazim, captain Medjitov, commander of mine-sweeper Muratov, Senior Lieutenant Murtazayev, Senior Lieutenant Dzhemilev, Lieutenant Apazov and about the heroism of young soldier - sniper Khalilov, who killed 242 fascists already in 1942.

The newspaper “Moskovskyi Bolshevik” (Moscow Bolshevik) #18 from 21.01.47, the article “Odna semya” (A family) wrote about the Tatar family of Esma Seydametova, her 8 sons took part in the Great Patriotic War two of them died in battles.

In this family there were eight communists. In total this family had 35 state awards, Esma Seydametova - mother-heroine, in one of her letters to a at the front wrote in verses:

We win enemy-fascist!
And again we build best houses.
Best roads and best bridges.
There will come a holiday
And in Moscow, and in Stalingrad, and in Kyiv
A happy dawn again lights up us
And my son again will sit
with his loved girl in native garden.

However her son was not able to sit with his loved girl in native garden, as mother dreamed. In newspaper “Krasnyi Krim” (the Red Crimea) #162 from 02.07.41 a poet Mefayev in verse “Sevastopol night” called soldiers and toilers to defense of city:

Oh, my Sevastopol!
Oh, my Motherland!
The land of fathers
We will stand up for you
We defend you!
Famous in battles
Oh, my city, hits enemy
We will win!

And we see the former member of collective farm, Asanova Nayle, working at N-skogo factory as a metal worker, fulfils 2-3 norms, and by 31st anniversary of the Red Army promised to fulfill 4 norms (“Krasnyi Krim” from 02.02.1942).

Komsomol member - Stakhanovite, Islyamiya Abuzarova, fulfils 3 norms on assembling of grenades (“Krasnyi Krim” from 01.04.1942).

The electricians of Krimenergo dedicated all their work in the interest of providing for uninterrupted electric power to defense objects. Comrade Asanov, a head of area, secretary of Party organization, by his persistent work increased the power of alternating current. (newspaper “Krasnyi Krim” #21 from 21.01.42).

Many sons of the Crimean Tatar people, who were models in the realization of tasks of the commanders of the defense of Sevastopol under decision of Sevastopol city committee on defense and by order of the commander of the Black Sea fleet, received awards. There names are: Bakhtulov, Zaryadinov, Seid Memet, Feyzulayev, Seitova, Asanov, Dzhelil and others (“Krasnyi Krim” from 05.03.42 and 26.03.42).

Thousands of Crimean Tatars, workers of factories, soldiers of Soviet Army, party and soviet workers gave their lives defending heroically the native Sevastopol.

Thousands of members of underground organization, who were devoted to the Motherland, partisans-Crimean Tatars died for glory of the Motherland: Abdulla Dagdzhi (uncle Volodya in novel by Kozlov “In Crimean underground organization”) - one of the leaders of underground patriotic organization of Crimean Tatars in Simferopol, Server Useinov, Amet Bekirov, Tagirov, Ilyas Osmanov, Shaip Umerov, Ablyazis Osmanov, Mustafa Sarana and his wife, Usein Yenaliyev, Osman Kumalyak, Kerim Belyashov and many others.

The commander of the 300th Ground Support Aircraft Brigade, Colonel Kovalev, didn’t forget about the heroic death of his pupil, Commander of Squadron Crimean Tatar comrade Ali from the village Duvankoy of Bakhchisaray district, who flew out from the aerodrome Demblin, for a second bombing of the motto-mechanical units of the Fascists on the road Rodom-Opochka, and who when he was shot down dove his burning aircraft into a column of Fascists, and wiped out a big number of enemy equipment and men and horses and heroically died, while repeating a immortal epic of heroism of the Hero of Soviet Union, Captain Gastello.

The commander of 393rd Separate Marine Battalion, Hero of Soviet Union Captain- lieutenant comrade Botalev, doesn’t forget his understudy, Crimean Tatar, Tantan Sabit, from village Partenit of Yalta region, who heroically died during the night on September 12, 1943 during liberation of Novorossiysk.

One can give very many such heroic examples of epics of heroism of sons and daughters of the Crimean Tatar people.

As a result of non-objective information about the real situation in Crimea during the period from November 1941 to March 1944, by virtue of such false opinion, and because of some prejudiced bias in June 1944 after deportation of Tatars from Crimea, a half of the non-commissioned officers, who honestly and devotedly fought on fronts of the Great Patriotic War, who were communists and Komsomol members were withdrawn from the active army and fleet and moved up into works in forests and factories of Volgograd, Yaroslav and Gorkov oblasts.

A part of the soldiers and officers, participants of liberation of Crimea, who were on leave, which had been given them by their commanders and who were on the night on May 17, 1944 at their relatives, were disarmed by bodies of the Ministry for Internal Affairs and deported from Crimea with the entire people. Only those who suffered it could imagine what kind of humiliation and insult for soldiers of the Red Army this was.

In the places of exile, the horrors and insults did not end. The honest and deserving Soviet soldiers and officers with orders and medals, and shoulder-straps, being insulted and humbled, roamed in new places of residence.

This unprecedented and non-deserved humiliation was added to by the chauvinistic works of writers A. Perventsev “The honesty in one’s youth”, Ovcharenko “The way to victory” and others.

If the Soviet writer, Sergey Smirnov, as a result of honest, laborious work found immortal heroes in the Brest Fortress, and insisted on their innocence, and actively took part in their rehabilitation, and helped some of them to be restored into the Communist Party, then the writer Perventsov, not thinking, not investigating, lost his conscience as a Soviet writer, to please the cult of personality with a stroke of the pen turned into “traitors” hundreds, thousands of Communists, Komsomol members, pioneers, children, fathers, mothers, soldiers and officers and went on his way to kindle hatred and hostility towards the entire Crimean Tatar people. He wrote despite the fact that he was an eye-witness to the heroic fighting of the sons and daughters of the Crimean Tatar people who fought, worked and died in Sevastopol, where he was a military correspondent.

He saw the events of the night on May 17, 1944, on which occurred the tragic deportation of Crimean Tatars, Bulgarians, Armenians and Greeks, innocent children, grandfathers, mothers, fathers and sons, who in these tragic times of their life continued to liberate the Motherland.

Perventsev didn’t find the courage to write the truth. If Perventsev had set himself, he could have assisted in finding the truth, he could have distinguished an honest soldier, honest partisan from a real betrayer, but to do this, first of all, he would have had to work laboriously and with diligence. He easily found single partisan of Crimean Tatars in partisan groups in Crimea, somebody named Fatikh, who latter became a traitor, but Perventsov didn’t want to think about the tens of thousands of front-line soldiers, partisans, members of underground organization. He, who had a goal to insult and slander the entire Crimean Tatar people, was disinclined to note these patriots, who gave their life. There was a group of patriots-members of the underground organization from village Dzharmay Kashik of Leninskyi region, who were shot in March of 1944:

1. Batalov Abdurakhip, date of birth-1907, former chairman of collective farm “Krasnaya zvezda” (The Red Star).

2. Mamadzhanov Khayrulla, date of birth - 1916, former accounter of collective farm “Krasnaya zvezda” (The Red Star).

3. Mennanov Dzhafat, date of birth-1928.

4. Menannov Seyfednin, date of birth-1914.

5. Batalova Nadzhibe, date of birth-1916, teacher.

6. Abdennanova Alime, date of birth-1918 (was sent to Crimea from Krasnodar for realization of special task).

7. Umerova Vasfiye, date of birth-1918, medical nurse.

Besides, the German occupants burned hundreds of Tatar villages because they supported the partisans. Some of the villages were burnt with their inhabitants.

The tragic destiny of villages Azdhi Koy, Ulu-Sala, Aylyanma, Chermalik, Beschuy, Kazanli, Kermenchik and many others testifies to the opposition of Crimean Tatars to the Fascists.

In village Ulu Sala, for example, were burnt with house father, mother, grandfather and grandmother of an officer of the Soviet Army, communist comrade Kadirov Ibraim.

The writer Perventsev managed to find a commissar Logunov in the army in the Far East, but he ignored there others including: the commissar Refat Mustafayev, former secretary of underground Regional Committee of party, commissars Selimov, Asan Emirov, Khairulayev in other formations. He didn’t need to make a big effort to find the best scouts-partisans Tatar-Communists Osmanov Bekir, Muradasilov Abduraman, famous partisans, who were awarded by orders of the Red Banner, Veliyev Ismail, Appazov Memet, partisans Memet Molochnikov, Seferov, Ibraim Ametov, Nafe Belyal, were awarded by orders and medals! And many others. Perventsev knew very well that equally with Russians and others there were also a lot of Tatars among the partisans and members of underground organization, who died in selfless struggle against the Fascists, because many of those Tatars-partisans and members of underground organization, who survived, were personally acquainted with Perventsev.

Why and for what he passed over in silence and continues to fail to mention about their epics of heroism on defense of the Motherland? May be, because they are Tatars?

If Perventsev doesn’t want to know about the tragic destiny of his comrades, Crimean poets, journalists, then we will inform you with deep pain in our hearts. The conscience of these dead comrades is clearer than the conscience of Perventsev. Here are their names: Osman Batirov, journalist. For underground activity he was confined in torture-chamber of Gestapo, before execution he wrote on walls of chamber that he dies honestly for Soviet Motherland.

The talented poet Osman Amit, member of underground organization, was caught by Gestapo and was brutally killed.

The writers Amdi Alim, Ennan Alimov, Mennan Dzhamankli, Bekir Vaap, Tair Usein, Mamut Dibag and many others died at the front during the Great Patriotic War.

Composer Abdula Kovri was for underground activity confined in prison by Fascists and was shot.

The talented artist of Crimean Tatar theatre, Reshat Asanov, died being a fearless scout-partisan.

Ali Temindar, producer and honored artist of Crimean theatre, was shot by Fascists and his corpse was thrown in a well.

Respected teachers - Tatars Adzhre Aibedin, Murtazayeva Fakhriya, Zekiye Irikh for underground activity were shot.

The talented poet, son of the Crimean Tatar people, Irgat Kadir (Kadarov Khalil), senior lieutenant, commander of Rifle Company, holder of an order of Patriotic War, died heroically 26.01.45 in Konigsberg.

One of the active members of the underground patriotic organization of Simferopol, Sofu Gulzade, was brutally tormented.

Former leader of one of the underground patriotic organizations of Simferopol com. Grigorov Michael Vasilyevich, who still lives at the same place in Kalinin str.5, ap.3 in his letter informs that Sofu Gulzade was a member of an underground patriotic organization he headed, and fulfilled the tasks and instructions with love, as befits a patriot of the Motherland. In the beginning, Sofu was condemned for detention in concentration camp – “this circumstance, - as wrote com. Grigorov, says that she didn’t confess during interrogation her connection with the patriotic group and didn’t betray her friends.”

If Perventsov wants to retain yet a little honesty and the conscience of a communist, Soviet writer he is to:

1. Admit his gross slander towards the entire Crimean Tatar people.

2. Write in CC CPSU a real truth, commit to paper all the reasons, which made him throw mud at hundreds of thousands of communists and Komsomol members, honest partisans and members of underground organization, when he accused the entire Crimean Tatar people in betrayal to common cause, p.370 (Kursk publication).

3. Return the medal of Laureate and premium to Committee on Lenin’s premiums, which was given by Stalin, as received not according to his deserts.

4. Perventsev should return every kopek of the state honorarium that he received for publication of his book “The honor from the youth” in different cities of the country, in trade for the honor and conscience of hundreds, thousands Crimean Tatars.22

But latter 27.10.43 among the 2000 political prisoners Sofa Gul’zade was shot in sovkhoz “Krasnyi”.

The blessed memory on these heroes will always live in hearts of our people. There are a lot of such patriots among us. But why their epics of heroism are kept in secret and appropriate documents are kept in archives of the Crimean Regional Committee of Communist Party of Ukraine and are not published.

As you can see these facts were unprofitable for Perventsov: he was not able to become a Laureate of Stalin premium. He decided to fling black mud on the entire people. Such attitude to description of history cannot promote the correct implementation of Lenin’s national policy, such situation cannot strengthen the friendship of peoples, and on the contrary this book continues to kindle hostility up to now.

We, former soldiers of the Great Patriotic War even today are deprived some rights of citizens of the USSR, are subjected to insults and humiliations for their nationality.

The hundreds and thousands of representatives of different nationalities who arrive with children without a local place on a tour of Crimea from different places of Soviet Union, are temporally registered for residence, but if a Crimean Tatar arrives, he is not only not registered, but also he is required to leave Crimea for 24 years. It is a humiliation for us, former participants of Patriotic War, and an insult for a Soviet person.

We knew with big pleasure on the Decree of Presidium of Supreme Soviet of USSR from 09.01.1957, in which were completely corrected the mistakes, which were made towards Balkarian, Chechenian, Ingushian, Kalmik, Karachainian peoples. Our people is particularly gladdened that these peoples return to their previous places of residence and restore their republics and oblasts.

But a gladness of Crimean Tatars for happiness of these peoples became darkened because in the Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR were not taken into account their desires and requests for their return to their previous places of residence in Crimea.

Now a general situation of our people became more aggravated. We are told: “You are not rehabilitated, You are guilty, and because of it you remain in previous places of deportation”.

Because of this our people is disturbed for its future.

The leaving of our people in places of deportation some explain as, for example, objection from the hand of Ukrainian leaders to return Crimean Tatars in Crimea, and also as if Crimea is overcrowded and there are no places for new settlers.

It is completely obvious that such arguments only discredit Lenin’s national policy of our party, which contains the principle directing the development of friendship of our peoples.

Why do the Ukrainian people object against the return of indigenous inhabitants-Crimean Tatars in Crimea? Did we offend the Ukrainian people, its family, children, or intended to do something bad? Why do the Ukrainian people have a hostile attitude to us, sons, daughters of the Crimean Tatar people, soldiers of the Great Patriotic War?

Isn’t it known that the valiant son of the Crimean Tatar people Guards-captain com. Abdul Teyfuk from village Partenit of Yalta region, commander of rifle battalion, was given the rank of Hero of Soviet Union for epics of heroism, for liberation of Ukrainian people from German yoke.

Probably, the inhabitants of Shulgovka, Yakovlevka, Dnepropetrovsk oblast remember September days of 1943, the soldiers, their liberators - a battalion of Guards-captain Abdul Teyfuk.

If one looks at the military path of thousands of soldiers, sons and daughters of the Crimean Tatar people in the Great Patriotic War, it becomes clear that the most of them fought namely on the territory of Ukraine, liberating it from Fascist yoke. Many of them gave their life for the happiness of Ukrainian people.

Did they deserve by their epics of heroism the hatred by the Ukrainian people? Here the question arises about for what reason the Ukrainian people hate today the sons and daughters of the Crimean Tatar people and prevent their return to their Motherland.

In this connection, the question arises can this idea of hatred, hostility of one socialistic nation to another exist in our Communist society? Will our Lenin’s Communist Party teach it to us, or teach us Leninism.

2. Overfilling of Crimea and a lack of places for return of Crimean Tatars in Crimea.

The article of newspaper “Pravda” from October 7, 1956 # 281 “To turn Crimea into oblast of gardens and vineyards” says that preliminary calculations show that realization of planned works on gardening and wine-growing, beginning from 1957 the oblast will to receive annually not less than 8-9 thousands families of settlers. In this connection, it is necessary, to step up in every way possible the building of housing. The Plenum adopted a decision to accomplish the tenth plan on development of gardening and wine-growing in Crimea ahead of schedule. The newspaper “Krimskaya Pravda” from 12.02.1957 #30 “Quickly and well to build houses for members of collective farms-settlers” says: “A big and responsible task on further development of all branches of agriculture of Crimean oblast stands before toilers of collective farms and sovkhozes and MTS. They are to dramatically increase the production of meat, milk, wools, eggs, and to achieve new successes in irrigated cultivation and sheep-breeding; to turn the Crimea into oblast of gardens and vineyards.

A solution of such important tasks in many respects depends on replenishment of collective farms with labour forces supplemented by families of members of collective farms from other regions.

It is enough to say that in the next 4 years in Crimean oblast will move 30,000 families. One should solicitously meet each family of settlers and create for it the good living conditions.

In the current year, a more responsible task was put before rural and city builders: it is necessary to build 5200 houses for members of collective farms-settlers. Thus, 2800 houses are to be build by contractors, Regional trust, and Sevastopol trust #38 and Kerchstalurgstroy, and 2400 houses by collective farms with their own forces”.

In Crimea continue and will continue to arrive the settlers-members of collective farms from a number of regions of Ukraine. Over 3000 families already arrived in the beginning of the present year from Volinskyi, Rovenskyi, Drogobichskyi, Stanislavskyi, Lvovskyi, Ternopolskyi, Chernigovskyi regions, in present days in western regions of Ukraine another 3000 families of members of collective farms draw up papers for moving, who gave their wish to move to Crimea for permanent residence. (Newspaper “Krimskaya Pravda” #59, from 29.03.1957).

This is the reality about the so-called overpopulation of Crimea, and a lack of places for new settlers. Does not this circumstance prove that there exists all that is necessary for the quickest fair solution of the question on the return to Crimea of its primordial toilers, specialists, experts of gardening, wine-growing, tobacco-grower and field-crop cultivation - Crimean Tatars, Bulgarians, Greeks and Armenians? It would be a big political act in our life and economically profitable under state point of view. It would profit by a hundredfold from the laborious, honest work of these peoples. What can explain this fact?

1. When in issues of the newspaper “Krimskaya Pravda” for 1957 one can see the advertisements on need for permanent work of experienced brigadiers on vegetable-growing, engineers-builders, agronomists, doctors, medical nurses and other specialists, but in Crimea they refuse to register a participant of the Great Patriotic War, doctor, Guards-major of medical service in reserve com. Ablayev Enver, who were transferred to another work in Crimea under order of Ministry of Health of USSR #1769 from 02.08.1956, only because he is Tatar.

2. When one publicizes the need of agronomists, then it is strange to refuse a residence permit in Simferopol to a wife of communist Votyakov Alexander Makarovich, who live in Simferopol at Karl Marx, 18 str. ap.8 - communist Votyakova Fatima Safarovna, former senior agronomist of Bakhchisaray MTS because her origin is Crimean Tatar, in spite of that she was taken on party registration and there are the instructions of the Main Department of Militia of USSR on residence permit.

3. Former commander of rifle battalion of the 1023 Regiment of 307 Rifle Division of the 50th Army, captain, cavalier of the orders “The Red Banner” and “The Red Star” from Alupka of Yaltinskyi region, member of CPSU Molla Abdurakhman, who demobilized from Soviet army in Sumskyi region, and married on Ukrainian, cannot go to Crimea with his family because he is Tatar and because of it he was refused a residence permit in Crimea. There are a lot of such facts.

We view this attitude today to the solution of so important a question on the destiny of one socialistic nation as unjust and not meeting thee requirements of Lenin’s national policy in our country. One shouldn't take into account only the name, Tatar, but should also take into account the content of this Tatar, his life’s journey in our soviet time, and in particular during the period of the Great Patriotic War, where all his characteristics were checked.

In severe battles, tests, deprivations we suffered misfortunes, and remained forever true to great banner of Lenin, party, country, became firsts in work by open-hearth furnaces in Begovat, and became famous for their work in mines Angren, Almalik, by honest work on cotton fields in Uzbekistan, we made own endowment in three millions tons of cotton.

The hands, which became accustomed to work in the name of freedom, happiness, couldn’t be inactive. We Crimean Tatar participants of the Great Patriotic War apply to You, to our eldest members of revolutionary fighting group, not out of pity for us former soldiers, seamen and officers, partisans, members of underground organization, all honest citizens, who were deported from Crimea, Tatars, Greeks, Bulgarians and Armenians, but for justice and restoration of Lenin’s national policy and to investigate this tragic question concerning them.

There are now all opportunities for it. It is not now a war. One can calmly gather all participants, who created this tragedy and under Lenin’s policy to open the reasons, which caused these events, to define a level of guilt of each person, and to rehabilitate all innocent persons, to return in native places, to home, to native Crimea. To give an opportunity for us to build Communism with Russians, Ukrainians and other peoples, who live now in Crimea, as before we built socialism, and deserved, as one of the first republics, our award of the Order of Lenin (1934).

To stop a practice of deportation of Crimean Tatars within 24 hours, who arrive in Crimea for rest, even if they have a travel order.

We live already for 40 years in Soviet Union, are educated and educate our youth, our people in spirit of communism, in spirit of friendship of peoples, in spirit of devotion to Motherland, in spirit of devotion to our Lenin’s Communist Party.

V. I. Lenin indicated: “that only a big attention to interests of different nations removes a ground for conflicts, and removes mutual distrust”. (Works, v.33, p. 349).

It is time, to put an end of the atmosphere of distrust, suspiciousness, insult of national honour and humiliation of dignity of honest, devoted Crimean Tatars, citizens of Soviet Union.

We ask and hope that you change the position of the Crimean Tatar people and take efforts for its quickest return to the Motherland - Crimea.

We ask You to spare some minutes of attention and receive us for personal statement of additional facts on this question.

Respectfully and sincerely devoted to You, your former soldiers, at present time in reserve:


1The article was written by financial support of Foundation by John D. and Katrina T. Makarturov within work over project “Political Projects Aimed at Resolving the Problem of Crimean Tatars in the USSR (1950s-1980s): Power and Ethnicity” (grant № 02-73282-000-GSS was alloted by Program of individual research projects of Foundation.

2The extracts from this letter were kept in "Summary of letters-responses on Resolution of CC of CPSU "On overcoming of cult of personality and its consequences" from 22.07.1956, was signed by deputy editor of main party body of country “Pravda” I. Kirushkina and submitted in CC of CPSU//RSAAS, f.5, i. 30, c.140.

3SARF, f 7523, i1, c.2836 (28 March 1967).

4SARF, f.7523, i.101, c.640, l.7.

5“For what Stalin deported peoples” (http://stalinism. narod. ru).

6The article by P. Khriyenko “Tatars of Crimea: three problems of paradigm of repatriation” was published in October of 2000 in newspaper “Krimskaya pravda”. See text on web-site of newspaper: http: //www. kp. crimea. ua

7The document was kept in State archive of Russian Federation (Moscow) in fund “The special file of Stalin” (c.65, l.41-52), in which composition entered different documentation of NKVD-MIA of USSR, was received on name of Stalin, Molotov, Beria, Malenkov.

8The significant surprise is created that really hypnotically influence on some authors the figures and static data, which were fixed in archival documents. Apparently, such piety connected with long dominance of positivism in Soviet historical science with its literalism attitude to text of document. It is pleasant that the post-soviet historical knowledge – it is an anthropocentric discipline, which drew its look on human being. In such approach a using of statistiacl apprach – only one of the phases of knowledge of historical reality anf human being in context of historical events. Currently, to prove a propriety of Stalin’s decisions on deportation of peoples with assistance of arguments on supposedly very big figures of deserters – it is at least, a methodological anachronism. Concerning statistics that it cannot be absolute exact in principle (“second lie”), and particularly Stalin…

Only one example. Under information of annulled (“repressive”) census in 1937 in Crimean ASSR lived 994 778 citizens. But already under census in 1939, apparently, satisfied expectations and intentions of the ruling circles, a population of Crimea constituted 1 126 429 persons as a whole, including Tatars 218879 (19,4 %). Information of that and other census raises doubts, on which R. Khayali and others: in second anniversary between censuses, a population of Crimea was increased more than on 120000 persons that would hardly be real.

The calculation of Crimean Tatar population is complicated by that circumstance that a census in 1939 didn’t take into account separately the Crimean Tatar population – as accounting unit was adopted ethnonim “Tatars”. It is well-known for certain that a geography of settling of Crimean Tatars to the beginning of war didn’t limited by territory of Crimea, so remains as open a question as on total number of population, as on a number of Crimean Tatars mobilized in the Red Army, who were called out as from Crimea, as from other regions. There is no exact information on a number of Crimean Tatars, who were evacuated from Crimea. We dwell on this subject more detail to show as unreliable basic data on which are based the conclusions of other researchers, who hold the thesis on mass (and even total) betrayal of Crimean Tatars and so justify an act of deportation.

9The manuscript was kept in archive of author of article. This is two account books with volume of about 370 pages, were full of notes in legible handwriting, almost by block-letters with violet ink – in Cyrillic alphabet in Crimean Tatar.

10Polyan P. Not by own will... History and geography of forcible migrations in USSR. - М., 2001. P.104.

11Foreign historiography of subject is more extensive. Here only some works: Beher H. Erinnerungen an den Sonderverband, drei Bataillone und an die Kameradschaft Bermann. Krailling 1983; Benzing, Ionannes. Die turkvolker der Sowjetunion, in: Der Orient in deutscher Forchung. Vortrage der Berliner Orientalistagung, Herbst 1942; Bollmus R. Das Amt Rosenberg und seine Gegner. Stittgart 1970; Dallin A. Deutscher Herrschaft in Russland. 1941-1945. Dusseldorf 1958; Gehlen, Reinhardt. Der Dienst. Erinnerungen 1942-1971. Mainz-Wiesbaden 1971; Glasneck, Iohannes; Kircheisen, Inge. Turkei und Afghanistan - Brendpunkte der Orienpolitik im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Berlin (Ost) 1968; Heiber, Hellmut (Hrsg.). Hitlers Lagebesprechungen. Die Protokolframente seiner militarischen Konferenzen. 1942-1945. Stuttgart 1962, S.73-74; Hoffmann I. Die Ostlegionen. 1941-1943. Turkotataren, Kaukasier und Wolgafinen im deutschen Heer. Freiburg 1976; Hoffman I. Kaukasisien 1942/1943. Das deutsche Heer die Orienvolker der Sowjetunion. Freiburg, 1991; von Mende, Gerhard. Erfahrungen mit Freiwilligen in der deutschen Wehrmaht wahrend des Zweiten Weltkrieges, in: Vielvolkerheere und Koalitionskriege. Darmstadt 1952; von Mende Gerhard. Volkstumfragen im Osten, in: Ostaufgaben der Wissenschaften. Vortrage auf der Osttagung deutscher Wissenschaftler. Munchen 1943, S.80-91; von zur Muhlen, Patrik. Zwischen Hakenkreuz und Sowjetstern. Der Nationalismus der Sowjetischen Orienvolker im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Dusseldorf 1971; Krecker, Lothar. Deutscland und die Turkei im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Frankfurt/ Main 1964; Neulen H. W. An Deutscher Seite. Internationale Freiwillige von Wehrmaht und Waffen-SS. Munchen 1985; Reitlinger, Gerald. Ein Haus auf Sand gebaut. Hitlers Gewaltpolitik in Russland. 1941-1944. Hamburg 1962.

12Zorin A.. Crimea in history of Russian self-consciousness//New literature review. 1998. №31. P.123.

13See for details: http://materik. ru

14The expression by A. Zorin.

15See for details: http://postman. ru

16So was named the article of Russian intelligent Aleksey Kosterin on destinies of deported peoples, which was written in 1967 and received a wide circulation in Samizdat.

17Heading of publicist. The document was kept in Russian state archive of newest history in Moscow (RSANH. f.5, i. 31, c.56, l.180-206). Underlining was kept as in text of document (was made, obviously, one of the addressees). Slips of pan and grammatical mistakes were corrected, style of text was kept.

18Khruschev N. S. (1894-1971) – member of Politburo (Presidium) CC VKP (b) - CPSU in 1939-1964. In 1938-1947, 1947-1949 – first secretary of MK MGK VKP(b), in 1947-1949 – first secretary CC CP(b Ukraine), at the same time in 1944-1947 - chairman of CPC (SM) Ukr. SSR, in 1949-1953 – secretary of CC CPSU, at the same time, in 1949-1953 – first secretary of MK party, 1953-1964 – first secretary of CC CPSU, at the same time, since 1958 chairman of Soviet of Ministers of USSR and since 1956 – chairman of Bureau of CC CPSU in RSFR, since 1964 – on pension.

19Bulganin N. A. (1895-1975) – member of Politburo (Presidium) CC CPSU in 1948-1958. In 1931-1937 – chairman of executive committee of Moscow soviet, in 1937-1938 – chairman of Committee of People’s Commissars of RSFSR, in 1938-1941, 1947-1953 – deputy chairman of Committee of People’s Commissars (SM) USSR, in 1941-1943 member of military councils of a number of fronts, in 1944-1947 – deputy People’s Commissar on Defense (minister on Armed Forces) USSR, in 1947-1949, 1953-1955 – Minister on Armed Forces (defense) USSR, in 1953-1955 – first deputy chairman, in 1955-1958 chairman of Council of Ministers of USSR. Since 1960 – on pension.

20Voroshilov K. E. (1881-1969) - member of Politburo (Presidium) CC VKP (b) - CPSU in 1926-1960. In 1925-1940 people’s commissar on military and sea affairs (people’s commissar on defense) USSR, in 1940-1953 deputy chairman Committee of People’s Commissars (SM) USSR, at the same time, in 1941-1945 member of State Defense Committee, in 1941 Commander-in-Chief of troops of Northern-Western direction, Commander of Leningrad front, in 1953-1960 chairman of Presidium of Supreme Soviet of USSR, in 1960-1969 – member of Presidium of Supreme Soviet of USSR.

21Zhukov G. K. (1896-1974) – member of Presidium of CC CPSU in June-October 1957. In 1941-1945 – deputy of people’s commissar, first deputy of people’s defense committee of USSR, at the same time, in 1941 head of General Staff of the Red Army, in 1942-1945 – deputy of Supreme Commander-in-Chief. In 1953-1955 first deputy minister, in 1955-1957 – minister of defense of USSR. In October 1957 was discharged, and was excluded from Presidium of CC and CC CPSU. Since 1958 in retirement.

22Italicized by author a fragment relates to fragment on A. Perventsov. After this fragment is continued a narration of authors on Sofa Gulzade.

23All signatures were written with one’s own hands, and were made by ink.


Khalilov Suleyman Khaybullayevich [signature] commander of 198 Guards Motorized-rifle Regiment, Guards - Major

Khalilov Khalil Mustafayevich [signature] assistant to head of 5th department of staff of 109 Rifle Division, agent on army procurement.

Molla Abduraman Abduallayevich [signature] Commander of 1st battalion of 1023 Rifle Regiment of 307 Rifle Division, 50 Army

Gafarov Basir Gafarovich [signature] captain, senior agitator of regiment

Asanov Suleyman Osmanovich [signature] assistant to head of staff of artillery, 5th Guards Kenigsberg Corps, 39 Army, Guards-Captain.

Resulev S-Veli Dzhelilich [signature] Commander of Company, 117 ODSB, 13 Army of 1st Ukrainian Front, Engineer-Captain

Seydametov Refat Ametovich [signature] Dnepropetrovsk flotilla seaman, helmsman-signal-man

Seydametov Fuat Ametovich [signature] senior operator radio-technical stations, sergeant.

Kumulov Osman Mustafa Commander of Platoon of 7th Sea Brigade, Main Sergeant-major of Fleet

Selimov Midat Abduramanovich [signature] doctor 718 VG, Major m/s reserve

Aliyev Shinasi [signature] Commander of Sanitary Platoon, 3 Battalion, 1185 Rifle Regiment, 365 Division, invalid of Patriotic War, military doctor's assistant

Ablayev Enver Mustafayevich [signature] head of medical service of 18 Guards [heavy] Mortar Brigade, Guards Major of Medical Service

Emirov Server Seitkhalil [signature] head of staff 2 Tank Battalion, 2 Tank [?] Brigade, 17 Army Senior Lieutenant.

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