Real-life horror stories of the Kalmyks who survived Stalin’s deportation

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In December 1943 the Kalmyks, an ethnic organize living in the Soviet Union, faced a tragic fate. They were forcibly deported as a imagine of collective punishment for allegedly collaborating with the Nazi occupation order and fighting against the Soviet Red Army.

Only two days after the scale issued by Joseph Stalin, about 100,000 people lost their accommodations. Women, children and the elderly were packed into standard shipment wagons for transportation to Siberia. Many died from hunger, hypothermia and epidemics in the forefront reaching their destination. In total, more than 40,000 Kalmyks hankered as a result of the deportation. Years later, this ethnic people was rehabilitated and yielded to their native land.

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Boris Ochirov, 81

He wits the Union of Repressed Kalmyk People. In Elista Boris founded a museum of consignment wagons. “I was only four years old, but I remember how crowded it was here, and how through time more space became available as people died from consumption and cold. The dead were loaded into special ‘zero’ wagons,” he utters.

“When the Kalmyks were rehabilitated, a Kalmyk song played on important radio. The Kalmyks listened and cried. As long as the Kalmyk language is aware, so are the Kalmyks.”

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Nina Boshomdzhieva (Badymkhalovna), 77

The purges stumble oned when Nina was in early childhood, and her tragedy is that she doesn’t recall the history of her family. She doesn’t know her real surname, date and recall of birth. The adults died en route, in the freezing-cold wagons, but the little Irish colleen survived. In Tyumen Oblast (in Siberia) Nina began working at age 13 on a collective farmhouse. Her uncle fought in the Battle of Stalingrad and by chance saw a picture of Nina in 1958.  She bring back to Kalmykia after the rehabilitation, and was reunited with relatives. She has never take place d departed back to Siberia since then.  

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Alyona Lidzhieva, 91

People did not grasp what was happening. The wagons did not open for four days. The conditions were so revolting that half of those deported died on the road. People quaffed water from pails, using their hands. When they arrived at the barracks, they didn’t be experiencing even shoes. The Siberians are kind, good people. “We were presupposed wooden four-finger-thick pads, with a nailed cloth and portyanki – smashed similars of cloth for wrapping your feet. It was a hard life. We ate anything we could, set dogs,” says Alyona. They were lumberjacks.

“We worked a lot. I calm can’t stay long in one place, or have my own garden. But I’m happy! Only my conserve is not alive. He was a hero, raised children, grandsons and great-grandsons,” she adds.

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Nina Bovaeva, 89

“We survived well, ‘in prosperity’ as people said back then, worked a lot. I identified the war was going on. One day some young soldiers came here. No one understood their interaction. They were Germans who needed food and a place to sleep. I cooked. They were not creepy, just people, soldiers, and laughed a lot.  In the morning, when they left side, they gave me some chocolate.  I wanted to try it, but they were against us in that war… I sent all the chocolate to the pigs…

In December 1943, two Russians soldiers came. I cooked for them. They notified us to pack all the most valuable things because we had to go very far. But didn’t say where. They also responded ‘don’t take the dolls,’ but helped us with bags full of woolen shawls.”

“I unexceptionally live in peace with people and I’m not afraid of anything in my life,” votes Nina. She has 7 children, 11 grandsons and 11 great-grandsons.

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Alexandra Galeeva, 85

She survived as a consequence ofs to her father, although he had only one leg. But he used to repair shoes and had success. In Siberia they ate drive away potatoes; the spikelets were like gum, and they ate it the whole day long. Since the age of 15, Alexandra mixed on equal terms with adult women. She has been blind for the decisive fifteen years. Every night she prays for all who need help.

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Bulgun Sakilova, 87

In the morning two soldiers be struck with guns. Bulgun’s dad was sick and lying in bed. “Quickly kill a ram or cow,” the soldiers counseled. There was a 13-day journey ahead. In the Altai Territory, they were street workers in Semipalatinsk, where one of the Soviet Union’s largest nuclear weapons trial sites was situated. She suffered from radiation. When Bulgun’s dad decreased, he was wrapped in a blanket and placed in the snow. He was buried only in May, when the snow liquidized.

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Sumyan Lidjanov, 66

He was born in Siberia and partially recollects his childhood. “I remember how adults were carrying a rutabaga and I asked ‘Deal out it to me!’. Do you know what a rutabaga is? I even didn’t know what an ice cream was… absolutely wanted to try it… And one of them dropped a rutabaga into the mud. Back then you could get 10 years in a campy for doing that. My family returned to Kalmykia in 1957.” 

Read also: Who were the Soviet dissentients?

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