Kazakhstan on Wednesday remembered those who lost their lives as a result of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s policy of starvation, exile, and political repression.
The Day of Remembrance of Victims of Political Repression and Famine, as it is officially known, has been observed in the country every May 31 since 1997, commemorating the 5 million Kazakhs who died of starvation.
Bolshevik Filipp Goloshchyokin was appointed as the head of the Communist Party in Kazakhstan by Stalin’s order in the first half of the 20th century.
Upon taking office, Goloshchyokin began implementing his “Little October Revolution” policy, which was later replaced by the “collectivization” of agriculture.
According to statistics, the number of cattle in Kazakhstan before “collectivization” was 45 million, but this figure dropped to 4 million within a few years.
This situation resulted in the “Great Famine” of 1930-1933, which killed approximately 2.5 million Kazakhs out of a total population of 6 million. More than 5 million Kazakhs lost their lives during the famines of 1918, 1921, and the 1930s.
In 1937, Kazakh intellectuals were also subjected to another Stalin policy known as the “Great Purge.”
More than 25,000 Kazakh intellectuals accused of being “nationalists” and “Pan-Turkists” were killed, while their wives and children were exiled to various camps.
Pan-Turkism is used to describe the political, cultural and ethnic unity of all Turkic people.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev commemorated the day, saying that the events left “a deep mark on the self-consciousness of our people.”
“It is important to continue the study of these dark pages of history, restoring justice to all the innocent victims. It is the duty of each of us to learn the terrible lessons of the past and do everything possible so that such events do not happen again in the future.
“We must justify the hopes of our ancestors, who withstood the times of the most difficult trials, preserving the unity of the nation and faith in humanistic ideals,” Tokayev stated on Twitter.
Source: AA News