Most of the Crimean Tatar special settlers ended up in Uzbekistan. On 21 May 1944, however, Beria ordered over 30,000 Crimean Tatar deportees on their way to Uzbekistan diverted to the Urals. Crimean Tatar exiles in the Urals and Siberia worked felling trees in "wet forests." The poor material conditions in these forestry camps even alarmed some NKVD officials. The following quotation comes from a 10 October 1944, NKVD report on the "extremely unsatisfactory conditions" of the almost 2,000 Crimean Tatars living in the Kologriv Raion of Kostroma Oblast. The report is reproduced in N.F. Bugai, ed., Iosif Stalin - Lavrentiiu Berii."Ikh nado deportirovat'," Dokumenty, fakty, kommentarii (Moscow: Druzhba narodov, 1992), doc. 26, pp. 147-148. The translation from Russian to English is my own.
In Kologriv Raion preparations for winter barracks move slowly. Due to an absence of glass, window frames cannot be repaired. Clothes and shoes for resettlers have not been supplied. Special settlers work in the forest barefoot.
The supplies of bread to special settlers are interrupted for periods of two to three days at a time. From 16 to 20 August we gave no bread to the Fonfonova section of the Pongov lumber enterprise. Families of special settlers receive food irregularly, the quality of this food is unsatisfactory, the bread given is rationed at 150 grams per person. Wages have not been paid since July this year. Medical service is unsatisfactory. Among the special settlers in the lumber sections of Fofonova, Markov Lug and Shirokie Luga have spread diseases such as dysentery, mange and eczema.
Monday, October 03, 2005
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