A rally held in Nalchik to mark the 78th anniversary of the deportation of the Balkar people. Photo by Lyudmila Maratova for the "Caucasian Knot"

08 March 2022, 22:01

On anniversary of deportation, Balkar people share their memories of returning from exile

A rally was held in Nalchik to mark the 78th anniversary of the deportation of the Balkar people. Participants of those events say that when returning after a long exile, many Balkars found themselves homeless in their homeland.

The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that the day of March 8 marks the anniversary of the deportation of the Balkar people in Kabardino-Balkaria. In 2020, participants of a memorial action noted that victims of the deportation of the Balkar people were receiving only minor benefits, and the support from the authorities was incommensurable with the hardships experienced during the years of repression.

The operation to evict the Balkar people took place on March 8, 1944, and more than 37,000 people were deported. It was not until 1957 when the Balkars were allowed to return to their homeland.

Aruzhan Batchaeva, a pensioner from Nalchik, was born in exile in 1950. According to her, she and her parents were among the first to return, but their house was occupied by another family. “Later, the house was returned to us, but we had to pay for it,” Aruzhan Batchaeva said.

Marziyat Khulaeva, another resident of Nalchik, was also born in exile. In those years, her mother was earning money by sewing and working in the field. When the family returned to their homeland, they began to build a house from scratch and settle down. By that time, there were already seven children in the family.

Let us remind you that during the Stalin era, mass arrests, deportations, and executions were carried out on a national basis, when entire nations were declared “hostile.”

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 8, 2022 at 04:16 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Lyudmila Maratova Source: CK correspondent

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