Citizen of Karachayevsk, who remembers the deportation day. Photo by the "Caucasian Knot"

04 November 2009, 08:00

Anniversary of Karachai deportation: memoirs of repression victims

On November 2 and 3, Karachai-Circassia held actions dated to the 66th anniversary of deportation of the Karachai nationals. The residents of the republic, who were victims of political repressions in November 1943, have shared their recollections about the mass resettlement of Karachais to Central Asia with the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Fatima Lepshokova, born in 1936, a resident of the city of Karachaevsk, has remembered the day of deportation for the rest of her life. "We gathered quickly," - she recollects. "We wrapped warm clothes and bread into a big shawl - we were not allowed to take anything else. All the cattle remained in the shed, and poultry and lambs - in the yard. No explanations were given, even - where they took us and for what."

According to Ms Lepshokova, there were eleven children in her family, and only five returned from exile in 1959. "I remember that two youngest very soon died from typhus; these disease then killed quite a lot. Our mum wrapped them into a blanket and buried. Then, one more died from famine," she said. "We felt very bad; people showed fingers at us saying that cannibals had arrived. We suffered lots of humiliations, but still came back as humans."

Mumiat Bostanov also told his story to the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent. The elderly man recollects that in hungry years in Central Asia his mother managed to stretch a glass of corn flour for a whole week, cooking a sort of gruel or soup for seven persons.

"We were like cattle transported in freight railway cars. All were carried together - old men, children and women," Mumiat Bostanov said. "We wrapped those who died into blankets and gave to people at stations, but not so many died in the road as there, in the steppe, from hunger. At that time famine was the first enemy; people got swelled up from hunger, but worked. Hundreds died from diseases - we had no medicines and no doctors to treat us."

In November 1943, when over 15,000 Karachai men fought at the battlefields of the Great Patriotic War, 70,000 old men, children and women were deported for accommodation to Kazakhstan and Kirghizia. They were accused of complicity to Hitlerite troops. Most of the repressed persons, namely, over 43,000, including 22,000 children, died on the way and in places of resettlement from famine, cold and diseases. The exile continued for 14 years and was abolished only in 1957.

Author: Bella Ksalova; Source: CK correspondent

All news

September 24, 2018 22:47

  • A resident of Kabardino-Balkaria disappears after clashes, his relatives report

    Since the morning on September 19, relatives of Rashid Pugoev from Prokhladny cannot contact him, reports a local group in Instagram. Users of the social network have expressed the opinion that the disappearance of the young man may be related to the conflict between Kabardian and Balkar people in the village of Kendelen.

September 24, 2018 22:32

  • Parents of Gasanguseinov brothers demand a meeting with Vladimir Vasiliev

    Today, in Makhachkala, a father and a mother of the brothers-shepherds killed in the Dagestani village of Goor-Khindakh, have held a picket in the hope to meet the leader of the republic. The parents demanded to punish the persons who killed their sons, but no officials came out of the building to meet the Gasanguseinov spouses.

September 24, 2018 18:44

  • Interpol accepts Aslan Yandiev's complaint about his search

    The Commission for the Control of Interpol's Files (the CCF) has accepted for consideration the complaint filed by Aslan Yandiev, a native of North Ossetia, extradited from Slovakia to Russia. The complainant believes the search for him after the UN demand to suspend his extradition was ungrounded, the association "VayFond" reports today.

September 24, 2018 18:35

  • Residents of Grozny criticize results of million-rouble expenses for city improvement

    In the centre of Grozny, builders have completed the reconstruction of yard areas and are to finish the improvement of streets till the 200th birthday of the city, the authorities reported. The construction works, which took 1.3 billion roubles only from extrabudgetary sources, are being conducted in a hurry, and that fact affects their quality, the local people complain.

September 24, 2018 14:19

News archive