If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly

Plight of nomads

Plight of nomads - e-history.kz
The inhuman conditions of nomads in the former tannery of Trapeznikov in Semipalatinsk are reflected in archival documents on the years of the Great Famine

On May 16, 1932, a survey was carried out of the nomads stationed at the former tannery of Trapeznikov. At the entrance to the territory of the plant, it immediately caught sight of the fact that they were placed in many places in a meadow completely under the open sky, without any possibility to hide from the wind and rain, and, moreover, this place is completely damp. The almost complete absence of bed linens and underwear puts them in an impossible plight, not only adults, but also children, especially since there are a lot of small children. When circumventing the premises and tents, in which the families of nomads are housed, congestion has appeared, especially in a building where there is no specially designated room that would serve patients for the first time. The room is very dirty, there is not enough cleaning.

During the survey, about 20 people were diagnosed, of whom two were hopeless, the rest were placed in special medical institutions, among those sent there were two typhus. In general, there is no permanent medical supervision at the Trapeznikov Plant, which explains the accumulation of patients. Thus nomads are presented only to occasional or extremely rare visits to health workers, which can be fraught with consequences. In addition, sanitation is not systematically maintained, this caused the spread of the infection. The total number of nomads at the time of the survey - 630 people. The food is delivered very badly, there are frequent interruptions in getting hot food. Local cuisine does not have the ability to provide food for people, and ways to resolve this issue are not provided. Bread is also delivered inaccurately, there are interruptions over a day or more. All this became the cause of exhaustion and illness of people.

To achieve real help, first of all, it is necessary:

1. To have more tents, placing them on a healthier soil, thus there will be an opportunity to place those under the open sky;

2. Set up cooking on the spot, creating at least a temporary kitchen, and supplying bread without interruption;

3. Constantly have a medical officer on site, with the necessary sanitation of those living there and arriving again;

4. It is necessary to send one or two of the well-developed Kazakhs to conduct explanatory work among the nomads and their families on the procedure for registering new arrivals, etc., by grouping them into districts, and selecting the senior for each district group from the nomads themselves;

5. Weakly depleted immediately transfer to a special isolator, which can be kept in place, with the additional installation of tents;

6. When sending to work, it is absolutely necessary to perform a physical examination and send only the able-bodied, and the weak ones to withstand until they are strengthened, otherwise it is completely pointless to send them and unnecessary waste of resources and time;

7. Create a camp on Trapeznikov, taking into account the isolation of the area and its cleanliness, in addition, it will be possible to strictly set both the accounting and sanitation of nomads, as well as their proper dispatch to their own areas;

8. It is necessary to provide many with linen and some clothes, since there are literally undressed.

When visiting on May 17 premises occupied by nomads, specifically designed for the weak, of which there are 76 people. The yard does not have a fence and a restroom. The room is filthy and cold. Most are located on the floor in the room and corridor. Bedding is completely absent, except for very few, which have some litter. Their condition is so bad that it is almost hopeless to count on their recovery, as shown by the number of deaths - 3-4 people daily. The service staff is far from sufficient, and they cannot serve themselves, thus they are deprived of sufficient care, and this further exacerbates their already grave condition.

Problems with food, which I mentioned above, shortage, late delivery, etc. There is no firewood, so they are unable to receive even boiled water in a timely manner. The doctor did not visit them for 5 days, the nurses do not have or do not have enough. School number 7. In it and near it on the square there are 1762 people. The condition of people, both in the room itself and located on the street in the open air, is disastrous and difficult. The weather that stands now - cold and rain - puts people in a hopeless situation. Especially children who are almost bare and hungry. Since, due account has not been taken of the people here, there is no exact number of children, and information about them. And we must assume a whole series of crimes from the side of the masked ones in the guise of nomads, i.e. Kazakhs living in Semipalatinsk, and as more experienced and stronger physically, they in every possible way manage to get bread.

Thus, the death rate increases from 3-4 to 9-10 people a day. Sanitation was not carried out within 10 days due to the lack of firewood at the request of the commandant. In addition, the constructed delousing station is not completely serviceable. Of course, such a delousing station will not give any result and it is natural that typhus will cover a large group of people. The children's isolation ward, located in front of the regional militia - the building is not equipped, children are placed on the floor, where the dirt and cold, they are mostly naked. Bedding is missing, food is also not delivered on time. The staff is not enough, medical standards are not observed, and in the future such a state cannot and should not continue.

With regard to the police, we must definitely raise the question of treating their duties in good faith and accurately. Such a fact took place in the action of the attendant from Semipalatinsk militia on May 17 at 11 o'clock in the afternoon, whom I asked to take measures - to remove from the street the depleted Kazakh into the corresponding dwelling, since he was still alive. But what did the police do? He picked him up, placed him in an old stone barn with a corpse lying on the dirty floor, stained with human feces, without windows and doors standing in the fence where the children of nomads are housed. This attitude of the police is considered criminal, since within a few hours I found this Kazakh in a state of agony.

To eliminate all the above disgraces, it is first of all necessary to demand from the persons on the commission for servicing nomads a strict answer for everything that is happening on the one hand, and on the other - to give them a certain attitude - responsibility for possible abnormalities. It is necessary to create a commission to monitor the work carried out with nomads. It is also necessary to develop instructions for responsible persons, specifying specific responsibilities. It is necessary to provide quarterly reports. Establish strict accounting of incoming nomads and arrange their supply, as I have already mentioned above, to send experienced Kazakhs for service, etc., it is first necessary to wash them in a bath, then feed them, and provide medical assistance. I demand to initiate criminal proceedings against the police. It is necessary to expand the staff in isolators for adults and children. We must be vigilant in the fall and winter, not to allow the spread of infectious diseases among adults and children.

From the report of the doctor-sanitary inspector of the East Kazakhstan region Seitov. May 16, 1932, Semipalatinsk

The archival document belongs to the National Archives of the Republic of Kazakhstan.


Translated by Raushan MAKHMETZHANOVA