Day of remembrance of victims of political repressions marked in Kazakhstan


Day of remembrance of victims of political repressions marked in KazakhstanIn accordance with the decree of the President of Kazakhstan as of April 5, 1997, the day of remembrance of victims of political repressions is marked in Kazakhstan on May 31.

This is the day to remember the victims of those who died during the Stalin’s regime.

In the 20th century, Kazakhstan had the biggest concentration camps of the GULAG system, such as ALZHIR, Steplag, Karlag.  The country was turned into one big prison. About 5 million people were sent to Kazakhstan over the years of repression. According to some information, the total number of prisoners was much higher than that.

In the period from 1921 through 1954, 100 thousand people were sentenced in Kazakhstan and 25 thousand of them were executed.

Then, in the 1930s and 1940s, mass deportations of the entire nations were organized to Kazakhstan. In the autumn of 1937, hundreds of thousands of the Koreans, Turkish, Iranians, Kurds, Azerbaijanis were sent to Kazakhstan. Then, during the Great Patriotic War, the Germans, Balkars, Greeks, Chechens, Ingush people and other ethnicities were sent to Kazakhstan. Their number is estimated to be around 1m million 200 people.

Some outstanding public figures of culture and art of Kazakhstan were among the victims of the repression. They were A. Baitursynov, A. Bokeikhanov, M. Dulatov, M. Tynyshbayev, S. Seifulin, I. Zhansugurov, B. Mailin. S. Asfendiyarov and others. Many others got into that system that did not have mercy for anyone.

Most often the Kazakhstanis were accused of being Japanese spies, antisoviet agitation and propaganda which did not have to be proved. It was just a reason to sentence people.

The fight against supposed public enemies resulted in establishment of a large network of concentration camps in Kazakhstan. Many regions of the country were just circled by the barbed wire and guarded by armed soldiers to shoot anyone attempting to escape.

In the mid-50s after the death of Stalin and arrest of Beriya, the process of reconsideration of the sentences for convicts in the concentration camps began and many people were resealed. The large-scale rehabilitation of the victims of political repression is a demonstration of a failure of the repression policy held by the Soviet State and unjustified penal practice.