COLLECTION OF MATERIALS of International scientific conference «GREAT FAMINE
IN KAZAKHSTAN: TRAGEDY OF
THE NATION AND THE LESSONS OF HISTORY») published in Astana, 2012
For years, the tragic pages in the history of the Kazakh people were not covered in any historical publications or mass media. Archival documents were classified or were in limited access. Even in collections of archive documents dedicated to collectivization, the history of agriculture or other researches of the agrarian nature of the matter of consequences of policies pursued by Soviet authorities in village, if I may use the expression, were slyly mentioned or treated deathly silence. In these collections there were no hint of those «historical event» that caused such terrible consequences – the death of millions of representatives of the Kazakh people. At the turn of 80–90s of the ХХ century archivists of Central state archive have been taken at fist timid attempts to lift the veil that existed on this tragic page. In particular, the director of Central state archive, Marat Zhaksybayevich Khasanaev published number of articles in mass media, where it touched the thorny and long-hushed subject. Publications were based on document of achieves, especially the historical and documentary collections of personal origin, stored in archives. About one of them – the personal fund of Tatiana Gavrilovna Nevadovskaya, I would like to stay alone because her memories grow visibly startling facts of that distant time. Tatiana Gavrilovna Nevadovskaya, a doctor-surgeon from Pushkin situated near Moscow, in that time when she were 17 years old daughter of Professor Gavril Stepanovich Nevadovsky, who was exiled to Kazakhstan. At that time he was in charge of the Alma-Atinskaya zonal experimental station «Soyuzsahar», organized in 1931 in the abandoned village by Kazakhs – Chimdavlet at the river Karagaldy-aul. Her memories and heartfelt poems «Kazakhstan’s tragedy» convinced that in those lean years people did not become hardened and did not lose their inherent sense of compassion and humanity. T.G. Nevadovskaya, being an eyewitness and witness of the terrible tragedy that claimed millions of lives, skipping through itself all the bitterness and pain of the Kazakh people, after many years cannot forget and wondering – who is to blame, what are the reasons of that national disaster? The album «Years, people and destiny» she writes, «This is a picture – a document revealing a stunning period of so-called «distortions». Early spring 1933, I went with someone from the staff. Had a camera with me ... on the highway near our house were sitting exhausted, famished Kazakh. He dragged himself with difficulty from the field work, exhausted, groaning, and asked to eat and drink. I handed the camera to companion and hurried to fetch water (su ...) – he drank greedily. I did not notice when my friend took a picture of me (that’s the photo). I hurried back home to bring him a piece of bread and sugar. When I approached him with the bread ... he was already dead. So people died in that terrible year of 1932–1933 ...» . Verses 19 years old Tatiana Nevadovskaya «Kazakhstan’s tragedy» authentic document revealing the era when «in a huge case, which affected the fate of the majority of the population, there had been a retreat from Lenin’s policies towards the peasantry». Let me read a few lines of poetry: In the nature is march – spring came intoxicated ...And forget everything – do not remember, I can not ...Oh, the grass first, and I remember Frozen shapes in the snow. No, I do not shudder with disgust, But I cannot look calmly, As humans, falling from exhaustion, Plucked ears of corn in a haystack. And ... this corpse Kazakh on the boundary. Who gave the order? I want to know – and understand, Who sent the death and misery here? Where people lived from time immemorial, roaming with a camel, a donkey, and tending the flock ...  «In memory of undeserved and unnecessary suffering of the Kazakh people at that time I would put up a monument, as obelisks placed on the graves of unknown soldiers », – these words of T.Nevadovskaya deserve now more than ever, special attention . For a long time has become the traditional formula of «difficulties of period of industrialization and collectivization», as it was not subject to explanation. Very sporadic and superficial study called the famine of 1931–1933. in Kazakhstan – «food difficulties». Many of the documents of institutions and organizations such as the Kazakh Central Executive Committee and Council of People’s Commissars, the People’s Commissariat of Education, the People’s Commissariat of Health relating to this period – were classified as secret. In fairness it must be admitted that the volume of documents and information content were not as great as appears to us, and to many researchers interested in this topic. Still, the Soviet institutions and organizations, whose documents are stored in our archive, for the hell were mere executors, the main organizational role in this period belonged to the party organs, that’s why this period is called «time goloschekinskih repression». Each event, like the historical, economic and social has its root cause. Speaking about the mass starvation of 30s, in most cases we are talking about the consequences, the scope and types of which are terrible. No less terrifying look and the causes that can be called a man-made, for a short time, which led the country to disaster. This is evidenced by declassifi ed documents of the archives of the Kazakh Central Executive Committee and Council of People’s Commissars of the Kazakh SSR, which are presented in the form of minutes of meetings, circular letters, directives, reports of authorized representatives of Kazkraykom and Sovnarkom, briefs of representatives of a secret department of the USPD, etc. What can these documents tell us? Reading them, and consistently analyzing, you can create a full picture of that time – the confi scation of property and eviction of large bayskih farms, forced collectivization, grain procurements, meet procurements, the excesses committed in the course of their implementation, the fi rst food diffi culties that led eventually to the famine, migration of farms, the loss of life on the basis of fasting, the return of «otkachevschikov» ... Each of these, tentatively called «stages» composes separate blocks of archival documents. Disregard of national peculiarities, social-economic development of the region, which has remained a nomadic way of life of the Kazakhs, the ratio of class forces, the degree of consciousness and organization of the toiling peasantry, other classes of society has led to tragic consequences. A violent failure of crops of the largest grain growing areas in a south of the country – in Ukraine, North Caucasus and Lower Volga only exacerbated the magnitude and consequences of disasters. Could we have avoided this mess? At all times, a little wheat or cereal ear meant much for the fate of the people. Exactly on this basis arise or crumble the mighty civilizations. In dreams of thinkers of many people and time there were sunny extravaganza of the welfare, happiness and satiety, where the main place is given to a humble wheat spikelet and to a man, who producing it. According to the calculations in Kazakhstan in 1929 were 40 million head of cattle, and in 1932 there were only about 6 million head, and 2 million of them were in soviet farms, out of 4 million falling to the collective farm and the individual sector, the majority of them were in Russian regions and not the former major Kazakh breeding areas . Since animal husbandry was the main occupation and almost the only source of income for most of the Kazakh population, such condition of animal husbandry hit in the first place as the Kazakhs. What are the causes of such mass destruction of livestock? There were many reasons. The main ones that led the country to the famine were: a campaign of forced collectivization, forced collectivization of livestock and the use of the arbitrariness in the practice of direct cattle procurement. Significantly affected by the reduction of livestock numbers were wrong planning. Some of them can tell the archival documents. In the fund of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Kazakh SSR there is an information of deputy authorized representative of the USPD in the Kazakh SSR send to Kazkraykom AUCP(b) on November 11,1931, where we learn about the following fact: «In connection with the onset of cold weather and snow in the northern part of Country, revealed some lack of preparation meat-packing plants to the mass flow of the feeding of cattle herds and the ongoing preparations. Distillation paths are not always provided with fodder. Before-slaughter cattle at meat processing plants, too, are under threat. Much of the blame falls on this Kraykontor Soyuzmyaso. Due to extremely bad put to account for the feeding operations, defective planning, neglect of individual workers, Kraykontor Soyuzmyaso has no idea where, in what quantity and condition of the feeding herds, driven to the northern mills. It should be noted exceptional clumsiness, irresponsibility Soyuzmyaso workers of the entire system from top to bottom. On November 5, next year, within the limits of Petropavlovsky meat-packing plant has accumulated 53,697 heads of cattle and 114,920 sheep. On the station Karatal and its surroundings accumulated 60,000 head of cattle from Taldykorgan meat-packing plant. Cattle are not secured by any forage or room. There no fatten bases on the following paths. In view of started snowing and strong winds and the case without the debilitating livestock is inevitable. From the Dzharkent, Taldykorgan snapping going on. Combine lack of slaughtering men can not handle...» . In addition to threatening the status of fattening herds of Soyuzmyaso were established cases unscheduled shipment of cattle from Kazakhstan in other areas. For example, in such a way were systematically exported cattle to the Middle Volga: at the beginning of November in Kinel received 74, in Samara 2500 vans of sheep. The sheep were not provided with feed. As a result, all the cattle on the road were hungry for six days, losing 50% of the weight, instead of 30 kg and weighed 15 or less. There was a massive loss of the cattle .The famous fi ve-year, initially held under the slogan «give fi ve years ahead», «Bolshevistsky swing», the leap from «feudalism directly to socialism», industrialization in the shortest possible time, dispossession and collectivization, grain procurement, meet procurement which were exported, for the most part all these campaign carried out by force, and in their implementation were allowed excesses. Documents about excesses compose a separate group, refl ected mainly in the USPD reports in Kazakhstan. Here is an excerpt from some: «...on the farm « Jana-Daur» was arrested on suspicion of stealing collective property of the poor Tuksambaev, Kusaybaev, Urazbekov and Sultabaev, who has publicly beaten with sticks, victims, unable to bear injuries died. Kolhoznik Urazbekov was also subjected to fl ogging for theft of wheat, and then died. His family was deprived of rations and died of hunger ...» .Hunger is covered primarily of representatives of the oldest class of human society – the peasantry, which were the breadwinner in relation to other segments of the population. The fi rst victims of famine became children. In the boundless steppes, cut off from the world of the lack of communication, whole villages wiped out. At the end of 1931 the representatives of USPD reported to the Government of Kazakhstan about cases of death by starvation: «In connection with acute shortness of food in some areas, there were fi xed the cases of hunger-strike farmers and even death from starvation. Thus, in the Pavlodar region, in the village number 16, some farmers are scavengers. In recent years, died of starvation two farmer and 19 children. In Kyzyl-Tansk district, village number 1 fi xed hunger-strike farmers. In the village number 3, in the natural boundary «Murzhik» a group of collective poor women, in an amount of 20 people walked with babies in villages searching for food. A similar situation was noted in the natural boundary «Idrey» . In the USPD reports for 1932–1933 number of deaths on the basis of hunger is increasing with the «excessive speed». On these reports have already mentioned the use of human beings to eat ground squirrels, dog meat, tulak (treated sheep skin). From the summary information of the authorized Kazkraykom AUCP (b) and the Sovnarkom Oraz Zhandosov from February 15, 1933 send to Kazkraykom and the Government of the Republic: «When I detoured villages I met a families in which for ten days, the bodies are not buried. The remaining women and young children for that matter no one helps. Needy eat everything that got. Collect bones and boil for ten times the food. I’ve met several people who ate dog meat, and do not hide. In the village number 5 I was approached by a pregnant woman, partly swollen from malnutrition, with a request for her to shoot the dog...» . And today it is no secret that in those tragic days there were cases of «cannibalism ». The mass slaughter of livestock in cattle procurement and random migration from black spots only complicated the conduct of the ordered measures to save lives. In those reports of secret-political department of the USPD can be found the ever increasing phenomenon – the mass migration of Kazakh households: «According to incomplete data for only two and a half months from September 1 to October 15, 1932 migrated in a Country 7354 households. Migration covered 44 districts. Especially migration increased in East Kazakhstan and Karaganda regions. Mortality looms large. The population is set in panic, throws the property and runs along the direction of the city Akmolinsk and Karaganda ...» . And such examples set forth above for each negative phenomenon can result in tens. Some of these fragments are shown in the current exhibition of archival documents «Famine in Kazakhstan, 1932–1933: facts and documents». Archivists are designed to effectively implement their professions triune task – to collect, save and publish, through their daily hard work successfully meeting its obligations. Archival documents – these silent witnesses of the tragic pages in the history of the Kazakh people for a long time were in the classifi ed section today are completely open and waiting to be explored.
general director of Central
of the Republic of Kazakhstan
1. CSA RK. F. 269. Inv. 1. C. 4. 32 page
2. Ib 44 page and об.
3. Ib 32 page
4. journal «Party Life in Kazakhstan». 1990. № 6. 83-89 pages.
5. CSA RK. F. 30. Inv. 7. C. 80. 104-105 pages
6. Ib 107 page
7. CSA RK. F. 30. Inv. 7. C. 167. 7 page
8. CSA RK.F. 30. Inv. 7. C. 80. 37 page
9. CSA RK. F. 30. Inv. 7. C. 166. 22 page
10. F. 30. Inv. 7. C. 167. 107 page
Data was given from the Institute of State History, Committee of Science of The Ministry of Education and Science
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