«We need to look into the past in order to understand the present and foresee the future»
N.A.Nazarbayev

Pages of life of Azimbai Lekerov

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Pages of life of Azimbai Lekerov
Political repression of the 1930s of the twentieth century destroyed the elite of the national intelligentsia of Kazakhstan. One of the victims was Azimbai Lekerov

The independence of our state is a bright symbol of our identity. The high and sacred concept of independence is the basis of the unity and national idea of ​​Kazakhstan, designed to unite our people, and will become an invaluable property of the descendants, who will have to create the future for their country.

Patriotism is not born from scratch. Its origins lie in the deep knowledge of the history of the country, in understanding and respecting the activities of those generations whose efforts ensured the struggle for independence. Such figures were the Kazakh intelligentsia in the early twentieth century.

20-30-ies - one of the most terrible pages in the history of the USSR. The conduct of political repression will be so massive that for many long years, historians will restore all the details of the terrible picture of that era. These years cost the country millions of victims, and victims, as a rule, were talented people, leaders, scientists, writers, intellectuals.

Today, the study of the consequences of Stalin's policies and his terrible repressive system continues to be relevant. And this is humanly understandable. A vivid flash of interest in this topic flared up in the 80s of the XX century, but this interest gradually faded and since the beginning of the XXI century flared with renewed vigor.

The political regime that raged in the 20-30s of the last century in the USSR deliberately and systematically destroyed the elite of the Soviet people, or, speaking in their language, "sent them to the expense." What is the expense?! So in large letters was written on the cover of the book records of acts of civil status, people who have become "enemies of the people."

Totalitarian power destroyed almost the entire layer of the Kazakh national intelligentsia, the elite of Kazakhstan. The reason for the repression was ridiculous accusations: in connection with the Japanese intelligence, an attempt to secede Kazakhstan, in the uprisings of the 1920s-1930s, the crisis of the agricultural economy, etc. For example, Magzhan Zhumabaev cited the example of the pedagogical education of the children of Japan, when the study of all subjects was conducted in Japanese and only after the age of ten the schoolchildren began to study other languages. He proposed to adopt these pedagogical methods from Japan. And this was the reason for the absurd accusation of Japanese espionage. It is clear that the Kazakh intelligentsia, belonging to the "Alash-Orda", will be plunged into political grinds of repression, and an excuse?! There is always a reason.

The names of many who were shot in the 1930s in the meat grinder of repression were returned to the people: they were written about in textbooks, their names were called the central streets of Kazakhstan's cities, schools, etc.

Among the political repressed, there are individuals who have made a huge contribution to the development of the USSR, and in particular of Kazakhstan, but there are outstanding individuals whose names were also associated with activities of "Alash-Orda", but they were for long forgotten.

One of them is Azimbai Lekerovich Lekerov - professor, state, political, public figure, scientist, and teacher.

Azimbai Lekerov was born in Kyzyl-Shilik, Sharsky (Charsky) district, Semipalatinsk region, where my father was born. The Lekerovs were relatives to us, and my father told me about his family, and how he, when he was a boy, lived with his brother Lekerov when he was in first grade. He, accordingly, was told both by his father and relatives, in particular, by Lieutenant-General Shaymardan Kaliakparov, who for many years collected materials about Lekerov's life.

A huge role in the return of the forgotten name of Lekerov was played by his daughter, Isadora Lekerova, who collected the documents, information about her father, by miraculously preserved documents, and, of course, the invaluable credit for the memory of Azimbai Lekerov, was kept by his wife Khalida Elkibayeva-Lekerova, who dedicated all her life to the return of the good name of her husband.

The document of 1943 - a certificate of death of Lekerov, which the family received only in 1957 - is preserved. Just like Gulbakhram, the wife of Saken Seifullin, who until recently believed that her husband was alive and in the camps, the Lekerov family fully believed that their father and husband were alive. In fact, just like many "Alashordians", Azimbai was shot on February 26, 1938 and his ashes lay at the mass grave site near Zhanalyk, along with the same guiltlessly executed state and public figures of the Stalinist totalitarian regime.

During the repressions, the usual NKVD affair was the destruction of all documents and photographs of those arrested. But their relatives, at the risk of their lives, tried with all their might to retain at least some information about them, hid photos and documents. As, for example, the last photo of Magzhan Zhumabaev, miraculously preserved, was hidden by his wife under the portrait of Lenin. Then, during the search, nobody dared to touch the portrait of the communist idol. In the same way, several photographs of Lekerov were preserved when Grandmother sewed them into the lining of clothes on the back. This saved them.

It is impossible to overestimate the contribution of Lekerov to the development of Kazakhstan in many areas of activity. Azimbai Lekerov, who worked with S. Seifullin, S. Asfendiyarov, Zh. Aimauytov, M. Auezov, A. Yermekov, N. Nurmakov, was an outstanding personality.

Azimbai’s family was big, Azimbai had five brothers, but his father, Leker, saw Azimbai’s zeal for knowledge, study, and most encouraged the aspirations of his son. Thanks to his father, Azimbai taught reading, writing, diploma of Russian, Arabic and Latin languages, he received primary education in the school in Semipalatinsk. After completing his studies, Azimbai entered the eight-year gymnasium for boys, but did not finish it, as he was sent by the Soviet government to work like many other young people in the Military Committee. He began his career as an active worker in the foreign sub-department of the Military Revolutionary Committee, which carried out civil-military management of the Kyrgyz (Kazakh) region. At that time, Zhusupbek Aimauytov, Mukhtar Auezov, Alimkhan Yermekov, Nigmet Nurmakov and others worked there.

After the completion of the courses of the instructors, 19-year-old Azimbai was sent to the Zaisan district to restore the work of local bodies after the civil war. He executed the commission and was awarded a registered Mauser, which was seized not long before his arrest in July 1937.

In 1923, Lekerov was appointed to the post of Chairman of the Executive Committee in Bukeevskaya province, where he was elected a candidate member of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR.

This was one of the most difficult times for Kazakhstan, especially the western borders with Russia, experiencing all the hardships of life: the loss of livestock, the death of the harvest, the famine with the outbreak of epidemics. Of course, Azimbai Lekerov understood the whole tragedy of the people, tried to change the position of the Kazakh people, and his contribution was more than significant.

When the Council of Nationalities was created, Lekerov became a candidate for membership in its Central Committee. After several months of work in the Commissariat of Education, he was appointed chairman of the Central Council of National Economy of the Kazakh SSR. In fact, this post was equated with the People's Commissar. Lekerov supervised the development of the first five-year plan for the development of industry in Kazakhstan in 1927-1932, tackled issues of national personnel, raised the issue of long-term lending to industry and the opening of the bank for the first time.

In 1926-1927 he devoted himself to the issues of industrial development of the republic. One of the ideas proposed (but he didn’t realize it) was the construction of the South Siberian railway, which would connect the west of Kazakhstan through its central part and would go north and east into industrial regions.

In 1927, after the approval of the five-year plan, Azimbai was able to go on a one-year course at the Communist University of the East Workers named after Stalin. In 1932 he graduated from the Institute of Red Professors and received a diploma of a financier and economist-planner. Missing his homeland, he did not want to stay in Moscow, but went home to Kazakhstan, with a dream to change the life of his people for the better.

In Isadora Lekerova's book there are memories of her mother Khalida Elkibaeva about the "Letter of Five" signed by G. Musrepov, M. Gabdulin, M. Davletgaliev, E. Altynbekov, and K. Kuanyshev:

"Azimbai was the initiator of the text of the letter to Stalin about the famine and mass death of Kazakhs as a result of forced collectivization and their transfer to a settled way of life. All this was preserved in my memory, as it was held at our dacha of the State Planning Committee. Twelve people were gathering. The husband did not subscribe to the letter. Probably, there were given figures and facts that were known only to him, as the first deputy chairman of the State Planning Committee. Someone reported to the first secretary of the Kazkrai Committee of the CPSU (b) Philip Goloshchekin. A judge was set up over my husband, they wanted to expel him from the party, but then they limited themselves to issuing a party reprimand with a warning. Azimbai returned home depressed. He sat down in a chair and sobbed like a child. He kept saying: "How can it be for the truth, for the desire to prevent the famine and the death of the Kazakhs to punish a person?" Even greater impact was the behavior of yesterday's like-minded people who signed the "Letter of Five": they refused their signature and accused Lekerov that he exerted pressure on them".

Goloshchekin, one of the participants in the execution of the Romanov family, who came to power in Kazakhstan in 1925, first of all, began his dictatorship with the elimination of the opposition, which included figures of Kazakh and Soviet intellectuals. In 1925-1933 Goloshchekin held a full-scale campaign in Kazakhstan for forced Sovietization, collectivization, the forced settling of nomadic auls, ignited a famine in the steppe, which resulted in uprisings, which were brutally suppressed by the authorities.

In 1933 Goloshchekin left, his place was taken by Levon Mirzoyan. He removed from Lekerov a reprimand and asked him to continue working as a director at the Kazakh Scientific Research Institute of Marxism-Leninism. However, later, in a note to Stalin, Mirzoyan indicated Lekerov among the participants in the "ramified national fascist organization associated with the Rights and Trotskyites." Among the named: Diveev, Kenzhin, Koshenbaev, Dzhamanmurunov, Sultanov, Togzhanov, Gataulin and many others. All of them occupied high positions in the republic. On charges of national fascism, more than 400 people were arrested - workers of industry, transport, and various institutions. Leckerov was not forgiven a tough stance during the famine, his confrontation in personnel matters.

In the definition of the Military Collegiate organ of the Supreme Court of the USSR as of 1957, it is stated: "Lekerov was convicted unreasonably." But this family will only be known in 1993, when part of the documents of the secret archive will be opened from his personal file.

These are some of the facts of political repression in Kazakhstan in the late 1930s, under the conditions of the totalitarian regime of those years, which confirm the conclusion that the repression in Kazakhstan was large and tragic. The new government did not stand on ceremony with representatives of the Kazakh intelligentsia, whose views did not suit them. And, this was manifested in the wave of mass repressions that swept the country in the late 1920s and 1930s, virtually destroying a huge layer of Kazakh intellectuals, the hope and light of the Kazakh people.

By A. Zh. GABDULINA

Translated by Raushan MAKHMETZHANOVA

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