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Evacuation of the Soviet population to Kazakhstan

25 October 2016
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The mass evacuation carried out in the USSR in 1941–1942 was unprecedented in the history of nations and peoples, both in their scope and duration, also on the circumstances in which it was conducted.

Five days after the beginning of the war, when a significant part of the territory was invaded by Nazi Germany, the CPSU (b) and Council of People’s Commissars accepted a decree "On the order of removal and placement of human contingents and valuable property". The Council was created for the evacuation, which started work on order and engaged in the development of priority transport network. It began to unfold evacuation center for people food and medical care. Since there was an acute shortage of passenger cars, the evacuation was carried out in the freight cars, specially equipped for this purpose, or sometimes on platforms [1].

Evacuation was carried out with great difficulty. On November 25, 1941 Secretary of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Kazakhstan N. Skvortsov received a directive signed by Secretary of the CPSU (b) Andreev: "In the CPSU (b) there is evidence of improper attitude towards evacuated from areas near the front office workers and collective farmers in the route, and on arrival at their destination by the local authorities and the railway administration. A few weeks many human trains went from the place of loading to the destination, standing idle at the stations for several days. Fuel supply, food provision and boiling water, as well as primary health care for wagons with evacuees were organized poorly. There are also facts, when evacuees by the arrival to destination not only receive assistance with placement and employment in collective farms and state farms, but often met and clearly hostile attitude from the local authorities".

The Directive obliges the party organs "take control of the railways and help to move the railroad trains with evacuated workers, employees and members of their families, by systematically checking the performance of the decision on the resolution of State Defense Committee on provision at the stations of other trains human levels and giving them an advantage over others in promoting trains except military, ensuring a daily rate of not less than 500–600 km".

It was also prescribed to "check the status of each person on the train with evacuated population in terms of providing food, care and health care, supply boiling water, ensuring fuel cars". Particular attention was paid to unload rail stations "from accumulated evacuees stragglers from trains or on followed in an irregular manner" and sending them "with the ordinary or specially organized trains to their destination". [2]

From August 1941 to January 1942 the main stream of evacuees followed the Kazakh SSR. By September 1, 1941 the republic has equipped 24,258 people, including the RSFSR — 10,941, USSR — 6620, the Byelorussian SSR — 5159, Lithuanian SSR — 550, Lithuanian SSR — 231, Latvian SSR — 294, Estonian SSR — 158, the Moldavian SSR — 113, the Crimean Autonomous Republic — 11 181, other regions of the USSR — 181. Among them were 10,968 Russian, 2695 Ukrainians, 1259 Belarusians, 8218 Jews, 159 Poles, 32 Germans, 39 Lithuanians, 159 Latvians, 160 Estonians and 569 people of other nationalities. 60.8% of them were women, 36.3% — children and 39.2% — men [3].

According to the evacuation department of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Kazakh SSR on October 2, 1941, to the republic from Leningrad and Moscow arrived 65,691 evacuated, including 11,931 male, 28,213 women and 25,547 children. All of them were located in different regions of the country: in Western Kazakhstan (Guryevskaya West Kazakhstan, Aktobe region) — 14 257 people in South Kazakhstan (Zhambyl, Kyzylorda, South Kazakhstan, Alma-Ata) — 13 728 in central Kazakhstan (Karaganda) — 1105, in Northern Kazakhstan (Akmola, Kostanay, Pavlodar, North Kazakhstan) — 22 524 in East Kazakhstan (Semipalatinsk, East Kazakhstan) — 11 443 in Almaty — 2634 [4].

In general, from August 1941 to January 1942 arrived 386,492 evacuees. [5]

In the first half of 1942 there was a sharp decline in the number of evacuees: from January to July arrived 31 911 people to the republic. According to the documents of Council of People’s Commissars of the Kazakh SSR, they were mostly persons "individually follow from the Ukrainian SSR, Leningrad and other cities that get delayed in transit due to illness or other reasons. The most significant group of evacuees during this period was from Leningrad. From May to July 1942 arrived 6197 people from there. "Since middle of July the second evacuation stream came to the republic: coming „mainly from Voronezh, Stalingrad, Voroshilovgrad and Rostov regions and the North Caucasus".

February 1, 1942 as directed by the State Defense Committee of Central Information Desk at the Council for the evacuation was carried out a census of that people who came from threatened areas of the USSR. According to census data, for example, by November 10, 1941 in Fort Shevchenko Guriyev region were evacuated 718 people (among them — 507 Jews, 125 Russian, 50 Ukrainians and 5 Belarusians). In Dosor Guriyev region 588 evacuees arrived (among them — 324 Jews, 171 Russian, 58 Ukrainians, 13 Belarusians, Tatars, 15). In this area the trains going from Zhytomyr, Vinnytsia, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv regions, Crimea, of Zaporozhye, Balti, Kharkiv, Calarasi, Vitebsk and other [6].

Arrival of the evacuees in some territories was primarily due to the relocation of industrial enterprises and accompanying people. From July 1941 to October 1942 in Kazakhstan were moved 142 large industrial enterprises with complete equipment and the necessary raw materials: plants heavy and medium machine-building, as well as textile, cotton spinning, shoe and other factories. During the war in Kazakhstan were moved more than 300 plants. Equipment of several evacuated enterprises was used to complete the projects under construction. So, new Aktobe Ferroalloy Plant Equipment received Zaporizhia Ferroalloys, unfinished building repair plant in Alma-Ata became the basis for workshops Lugansk heavy engineering plant. New food industry south of the country received equipment 14 sugar factories in Ukraine.

In 1941–1942, 532.5 thousand evacuated from the western regions, as well as 50 thousand experienced workers and technical workers and repatriated about 970 thousand Poles and Germans, who were mostly settled in villages and towns, found shelter and work in Kazakhstan. The ranks of the working class of the republic joined two thousand builders of Donbass mines. [7]

In Alma-Ata were deployed 8 evacuation hospitals, established 15 universities and colleges, about 20 research institutes and more than 20 cultural and educational institutions. [8]

Massive, sudden and unprepared resettlement caused many problems. First of all, it is household problem. Most of the evacuees were resettled in villages and rural areas (64.6% as of July 1, 1943). 35.4% of them were rehabilitated in the cities where the housing problem, before the war was acute and now escalated even further: if in 1940, in the country to one citizen accounted 5.1 m2 of living space, in the war period- 4.3 m2, and in Karaganda — only 2.2 m2 (in fact, people living in more cramped conditions).

2970 thousand rubles were provided to evacuees who were in acute need. There were other ways of provision of financial assistance to the evacuees, including workers and employees. [9]
Attitude of the local population to the evacuees was inconsistent. B. Tulegenova, People’s Artist of the USSR, said: "Evacuees seemed to us very rich. Everyone said: "They came with bags of money". We always thought, "My God, how come people have so much money?" We provided washing, bleaching and cleaning to them in order to survive"[10].

Evacuees were faced with sympathy, indifference and callousness. Sometimes they were forced to live outside the evacuation center for a long time as transportation for their delivery to the place of residence was not provided. Also, there were no help with settlement, etc. Faced with indifference and callousness, they complained to the authorities mentioned in the newspapers.

One of these letters describes a difficult situation in which there was a family of Elena Fomina evacuated from Leningrad to Dzhuvalinsky district of South Kazakhstan region. Being in desperation, she wrote to the editor of 'Kazakhstan Pravda": "I persuasively ask you to consider my complaint, which I have to write due to it accumulated situation".

Then she outlined the history of the evacuation of her family: "I am a widow, my husband was killed. He died for our country. I was left a widow with five young children. It was very hard to lose my husband, staying with a bunch of kids, I thought my life was over, violated my happiness and my sorrow is great. However, it lasted a few days. Then everything went, because there was no time to cry… and ashamed. I started working on my husband’s place. I knew that my husband died for happiness and for the future of my own children. Our government has helped me through my misfortune. Me, who past 64 kilometers, exhausted, with two children, three boys were in the hospital. Our Soviet comrades helped me, my mother and my children cured. I got back recovered children. Despite the fact that five years my son was in the bombing buried in the ground and wounded by shrapnel, I do not think he will be alive. I as a mother, which had a pile of children to help: my children shod, clothed and given an allowance, evacuated, wanting to save my children. Comrade Zhdanov spoke to us, mothers, urged on behalf of our party, on behalf of Comrade Stalin, that we should try to evacuate our future, he said that we, the mothers, will work in the rear and front help, and our children will have the education and leisure. Our children will not starve, they starve in Leningrad. This man wanted to believe he was talking to us, like a father"

However, his words here in the rear were not fulfilled. I arrived at the station Burnoe of Dzhuvalinsk district appealed to the executive committee, there was seeing the documents. I explained that this situation formed in such way when it necessary to send the kids to rest as soon as it possible, as they were exhausted, scared and starved those children. They heard me and decided to send to the Kazakh farm, where no chance to get a pint of milk for a sick child. There was no nursery no school for evacuated. No explanations have helped. There was nothing to do and had to go where sent. I got directions to the farm "Kyzyl — Aryk". Happiness not always smiles. Two days with sick kids rishlos spend on the street, since it was not, you can post on my family farm. Had to spend two days on the street with kids, as there was nothing on what I could send my family to collective farm.

It was late when they arrived to this (it will remain in my memory) farm, placed in an empty barn. It was night, the Kazakhs want to go, they lured the warmth of their tents, and my children are hungry, exhausted, settled down on the straw in the barn. I cried like a child. I remember the words of Comrade Zhdanov: "It is rest in the rear". This holiday sometimes represents Hitler’s horde: it threw hungry and chilled people as an unnecessary thing. People here were alien to Soviet law, my children, who have suffered so much horror, grief, cold and from bombs of the Nazi lost health. Their father gave his life to save them. I asked myself: why new flour I brought my children here? Why I brought my children here? For new sorrows?
Also I was afraid for myself, I had a terrible disease — a month and twenty days I was crazy and if upset, the disease can repeat. For two days I was in the barn. Finally, the chairman of collective farm came and explained that he will wait for the chairman of the village council. When in the evening, he came, by his instructions I was given three kilos of potatoes and two kilos of flour. However, I was not on anything and had nothing to cook. I had to stay in the barn one more night. Finally, the chairman of the village came. He inspected my property and decided that the barn is too large or too posh for me. He took me and showed me where he permitted to live and fear gripped my members. It was something like a slum. I flatly refused and began to ask to send back to the district, but the chairman refused and he decided to give another apartment. He has sent me to one evacuee, where we together were ten people on 3.5 meter of living space, where there was no oven. However, here I met people who were our, the Soviet people. I have nothing to bed. I put the straw and the kids could relax on the straw. It was better than the nothing. One child, five years old, was seriously wounded, and was almost dying. I appealed to the Executive Committee with the request to send me to another farm, where I could get milk for sick children. However, the chairman of the executive committee refused. He wrote a memo to the chairman of the collective farm and I passed by appointment, but got nothing. 22 October [1942].

I worked on a combine harvester. Although, from life shocks that I experienced there was no desire to live, but I had to work. After the famine and disease there were no strengths and work on the combine was very difficult. Healthy Kazakhs women worked on light work or did not work. I asked the chairman of the collective farm work easier, but he said: "If you do not go to work I would not give you bread“. I worked fifteen or eighteen days, but on the twenty-second I did not finished my work, lost my strengths and I fell down. More than an hour and was unconscious. When I woke up, my Russian workers carried me to home and for three days I laid on the straw. As I was not working, I and my children were left without bread. Sold two children’s shirts, which were donated in Leningrad our Soviet comrades. We were lucky not dying in hunger. Comrades, up to the roots of my hair I was very angry. I will write not only to you, I’ll scream for help, save me from these barbarians, who are in the pocket of his party card, and themselves act as paltry Nazis.

They do not want to know that our best people did no spare their life, when their children are in the rear, dirty, hungry and after injury from Nazi bombs lying on the earthen floor. Damn the rear, where not only my children could attend, as Comrade Zhdanov, that the war should not touch our kids. They just need to sit on the floor to catch lice and scratch scabies. Probably, the father of my children was killed for such care" [11].

How was developed the future fate of this family was not able to figure out. In the documents was preserved only "Help on complaint of the citizen E. Fomin', where was mentioned that "verification of authenticity of facts set out in its statement was not possible due to the departure of the last in an unknown direction"[12].

January 9, 1943 to the Secretary of the Semipalatinsk regional committee came a statement: "We, the wives of military frontline, ask to help us in our grief and to bring the perpetrators to justice". Further expounded our story: "We, a group of women with children, were sent by the of Semipalatinsk evacuation center to the residence place in Kokpenti district November 10, 1942. We arrived at the station Zhangiz Tobe. Only 18 authorized of the area came with carts. But we have five families refused to drive, because it’s time for our children from cold and hunger sick with measles and pneumonia. Commissioner Kuntrovskaya gave us a promise that once our kids recover, will be sent to us with the bread and carts enclosures to be sent to the destination. December 5, we finished quarantine and telegram was sent to us in Kokpekti executive committee… We started call to executive committee in order to take us from the station Zhangiz Tobe, but it all was ineffective.
During this time we have two children died. The local clinic was not able to save our children due to the lack of any basic medication. District doctors did not have any help for our children… We have… sold off everything in order to be able to buy bread and soup. We, completely healthy women, get used to and able to work, but bureaucrats and criminals hiding behind the "Soviet cap", made us steal and beg.Not for that we walked hundreds of kilometers, covering by our body children from German machine guns barbarians. Here, in the rear of the Soviet Union, we are not given the opportunity to earn a piece of bread for the surviving children. Help us to save the children, they are entitled to it. Their fathers with their blood earned them the right. Give us the opportunity to define and has to find a roof and bread for our children. Cut off the hands for arrogant bureaucrats and maybe for criminals for their heinous attitude to the Soviet people. January 9, 1943, Ostach Orlova, Brauwers and Burtsev Mavrienko" [13].

Such letters of complaint were received a lot. As a result, the check was organized that revealed that „the director of the farm "Chigelek","Comintern" Kokpektinsky area, of the collective farm "Red herder" Zharma area farm "Ulguli-Mayshi" deliberately did not take the people from the station, considering them inferior workers because many of the evacuees were children".

Director of the collective farm "Red herder" Tsepura wrote to Director of Semipalatinsk trust state farms Opryshko: "In our farm and without the people you sent a sufficient number of dependents. I ask Nikolaev to recruit to send these people to the farm, which can carry out the instructions of Comrade Stalin…" introduced to the station Zhangiz-Tobe people were on their own, without anything to livelihood".
They were brought to such a state that some of them are looking for funds for suicide, and four people died of starvation and disease". "…In three rooms measuring 62 square meters could be placed 47 adults and 41 children. Floor area of the rooms did not have enough to keep it could stay during sleep all people". Although, the food was organized, people did not have money, because among other things they had to find the money to pay for „apartments from 1 to 4 rubles per person per day". To survive, "they were sold (who had) their latest stuff. Some wives of soldiers with children sold everything, including the latest baby dress, sold out all, were forced to go begging and even begin stealing beets. At the same time, there were cases when women were seen in place when they stole beets, were beaten"[14].

With the placement of evacuees’ party and government organs had been worked on the international education of the population. Through the media and visual propaganda promoted the idea of unbreakable friendship of nations and nationalities of the USSR: lectures, held rallies, etc. The relationship between the evacuees and residents of different nationalities at the household level were quite friendly. However, there were exceptions.

Thus, among the local population arose anti-Jewish sentiment. Authorities in various ways sought to neutralize them. October 15, 1942 the USSR Prosecutor v. Bochkarev reported deputy chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars A. Vyshinskii: if the first half of 1942, "across the country for the pogrom agitation, incitement and bullying against evacuated Jews were convicted 20 people, in the period from August 1 to September 4, only in Alma-Ata and Semipalatinsk regions put on trial for it same already 42 people…"[15].

December 16, 1942 edition of "Kazakhstan Pravda" had received the letter of T. Gendina and Faynish, which refers to the manifestation of anti-Semitism in the Almaty region. Accompanying his leadership of the republic, editor Nefedov wrote: "farm "Kazakhstan Today" of Ili region evacuated selflessly worked for a year, helping the farm to grow and harvest crops. But here Turapov became the head of the collective farm. He promised to kolkhoz — Kazakhs that cleanse farm of evacuees, primarily from the Jews, that will bring the farm new order."In this "endeavor" he warmly supported the chairman of the village of Pavlov, a group of farmers — Korea, fearing Alim (village council deputies) Dzhemigul (party member), Amero and others. They are attracted to this vile case of ordinary farmers, telling them that they were dark and nothing for them it will not. Eviction was scheduled for pre-October days to overshadow people [festival]. "And then the text of the letter: "November 3, during the work was announced: all go home, carts there waiting. All quit their jobs and quickly ran home. When evacuees become closer to their apartments, there is already became visible outrageous picture, screaming women and children…" [From the houses] Red Army wives Treger and Mogilevsk under command of Koreev was removed windows.

Under his command and deputy village council Opasbaeva were thrown things. It was announced: ship, no doubt, permission from Pavlova. Well, if the authority permits, then it can be done. Opasbaev then announced to all: here’s a list. It was read. 10 Jews families evicted, Russian remain. When Opasbaev received a reply that is not going anywhere, the command was given: load Vaysmanovyh. The crowd broke into the house began to throw things began to take off into the air with feathers pillows. But Zagotzerno workers who worked on beet prevented this. Representative of the Pavlov’s authorities came. Everyone rushed to her shouting "What is this?". Pavlova interrupts saying: "Why are you crying, it does not crush. And they scream. Go, I tell you. Today you are given carts tomorrow go on foot. "Turapov, Koreev, Opasbaev, Dzhemgul taking to themselves for assistant the more able person Kazakh Amerov, each with his squad capable and docile, though it was announced: "Act like you know, not be judged, you ignorant people, backward'. And so began painting. Despite pleas Indina, seventy-five old man, that the owner of the Ili, chairman waved.

Koreev jumped from his horse, pulled the door closed, and the angry crowd run to house. Good initiative has made a party member Dzhemgul. She first jumped into the house, and knocked bed were sucked quilts, blankets and other things. And when the seventy-five old man, father of two fighters did not give carry things he immediately received from Karayeva several accurate strikes, after which quickly calmed down. Gendina Opasbaev wrapped his hands back, pinned her to the bed and told "Do not move", and when the old man wanted to liberate the daughter calm him several blows to the chest. Frightened children huddled quietly in the corner and cried. When this work is finished, the hosts were allowed to enter the yard. Here, in the yard, you can see the broken pottery and glassware, the old man caught vest with 180 rubles, Gendina lost her warm scarf. Vaysmenov family sees that it is not necessary to resist, surrendered, they were loaded.

Two Red Army families, which previously were not at home, were also shipped. Teenagers and children, not wanting to persist, seeing that their perseverance will be quickly broken, did not resist, and they were loaded. Came the turn to ship Dubov’s family. Apartment was inspected and declared to the chairman of that one old woman is sick, and the owner is not at home. Turanov said: "If there is no temperature, can be shipped". However, after examination of the cars — they were all busy — Dubov was left until the next time.

Turanov and his gang have calmed down. That’s what got the Red Army and other family on the farm "Kazakhstan Today" on their wages and workdays. That’s how people call party met Stalin to strengthen the rear, to strengthen the friendship of peoples. The shipping just started. 12 carts were shipped. To escort these carts was requested to ardent thief in such cases Amerov. It became dark. Carts with his passengers spent the night in the desert. The wind was cold, rain fell.
All chilled, especially children. Everything is got wet. We barely waited morning. Around 9–10 o’clock in the morning all the carts have been delivered to the village council. By each cart were gathered crowds to see who the criminals are. Woman sitting on carts with drooping heads, children clang teeth from the cold. Everyone is waited for solutions of Pavlova, Amerov went to her to announce, that everything is fulfilled, happy to try. After a few minutes sun shone for the frightened and tormented people. Pavlova came back from the village council and ordered to return carts.

It was obvious that, comrade Semenova proved her superiority, she used to say: "Work quietly, you will not be evicted, there is no law". Carts turned back. Amerov quickly disappeared: it was obvious who was quilt and he knew about it. Such scene was played out in outrageous farm "Kazakhstan Today" at fault and his companions Turapova. This picture can be seen at the Ili market. It was seen by the Soviet people, who looked at her with disgust. There’s not difficult to see for anti-Soviet people, who looked at it with a cool smile, they have long yearned to see it. All these unprecedented crimes should not go unpunished… All the perpetrators of this crime, Turapov and his company should get their just deserts… "16.

January 9, 1943 the Office of the Ili district committee of the CP (b) of Kazakhstan discussed the «anti-party behavior of collective farm managers "Kazakhstan Pravda", expressed in the eviction of families evacuated (Jews) from the farm and the guilty in this matter brought to the party liable. The deputy of village council Uskenbaev Olzhabay for mockery and beating evacuees their illegal eviction of farm expelled from the party and put on trial». The chairman of the County Council Pavlova was reprimanded and removed from the work [17].
In severe situations also were workers and employees with families evacuated together with enterprises.

So, in a club of a brick factory from January 15, 1942 lived workers of Voronezh plant: "13 families with 59 people, 15of whom were children". The room was of little use to move people, "single windows, faulty door, cold and water freezes. In such circumstances, foreman of workshop № 2 and Party secretary of the department I. Kugatov with temperature laid 4 days. Technician Tikhon Sidorov lied in the bed position.The child of Comrade Kugatova also ill with a flu…". Since January, 1941 in the club lived "33 families, 97 people in the quantity, of which 26 children. The room was not as well adapted to living. Single window, cement floor of the auditorium, the days are not fired. There was no fuel for fitted tiles. Women openly declare that haloxylon was stolen, drag and ask near baths, located on Biokombinat. Among the workers had cases of typhus… In one room, three children died. Wife of a soldier Puzakova Nadia, herself medical worker, gave birth to twins, after discharge from the hospital did not have any of the minimum conditions for the care of babies, they both died…

The street № 158 Jambul, barrack № 4, apartment № 8 in the red corner of communal housing system were 7 families, 27 people, including 4 children. In this room was sick 5–6 person (child Kozlov and Smirnova, according to the doctor, suffering from tuberculosis). Among the children were measles. Worker v. Semenov from January 2 laid in the bed condition with pneumonia.

Together with Reutov spinning factory on December 24, 1941 arrived 196 workers, employees’ engineers with family members who located in 6 locations in different parts of red, barracks. In the Red corner garment factory number 2 lived of 160 people, the building has not fired a few weeks, the dampness of the building has come to this, that it is impossible to pass the cement floor without galoshes, solid mold on the walls, the mushrooms grow. Cook hot food to people absolutely nowhere. Use primus stove or iron did not allow since Red Corner is located inside the main production building» [18].

In general, although the evacuation was accompanied by severe trials and many, often unavoidable losses, millions of Soviet citizens, rescued from the threat of destruction or fascist slavery survived, survived, bore the brunt of war.

Notes

[1] The population of Russia in the twentieth century. T. 2. M. 2001. S. 65.

[2] Archive of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan (hereinafter - AP RK). F. 725. Op. 4. D. 117. L. 17.

[3] AP RK. F. 725. Op. 4. D. 227. L. 2.

[4] AP RK. F. 725. Op. 4. D. 202. L. 44.

[5] Kazakhstan during the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union: A collection of documents and materials. T. 1. Alma- Ata, 1964. S. 433.

[6] GA RF. F. 327. Op. 2. D. 165. L. 309- 325ob., 310-325, 194 .

[7] Labour feat Kazakhstan: Facts and Figures (www.zakon.kz).

[8] Kazakhstan during the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union. T. 1. Pp. 87, 378.

[9] Ibid. S. 433.

[10] Tulegenova B.Papa said I’ll famous actress / / Pages tragic fate of people: Memoirs of victims of political repression in the USSR in the 1920s and 1950s . Almaty, 2002. S. 282.

[11] AP RK. F. 725. Op. 4. D. 359. L. 4-5.

[12] Ibid. L. 14.

[13] Ibid. L. 8.

[14] Ibid. L. 9-9 vol.

[15] Kostyrchenko G.V.V prisoner of the Red Pharaoh. M., 1994. S. 15-16.

[16] AP RK. F. 725. Op. 4. D. 359. L. 1-2 vol .

[17] Ibid. L. 13-13 vol.

[18] AP RK. F. 725. Op. 4. D. 341. L. 106-108.

B. Zhanguttin Evacuation of the Soviet population in Kazakhstan (1941-1942) / / "New History Bulletin" 2005. № 14.  S. 73-84.0020


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