Sunday, December 18, 2005


Right now I am revising the part of my book chapter dealing with demographics. It is not going as well as I would like because I am missing a document and all my notes on it. They are in California. Before I left Virginia I asked for the revisions so I could do them while I still could go to the Library of Congress. They said they couldn't give them to me until months later. So I had no idea what they were going to ask for and bringing all my notes would have been impossibe. I am just going to have to substitute another document that is relatively close in date. The new number should be within 5% of the one I originally used.

At anyrate the excess mortality caused by the deportations reached extremely high levels. In total it resulted in at least 450,000 deaths beyond the expected mortality rates of the eight nationalities confined to special settlement restrictions in their entirety during the 1940s. This number constitutes almost 20% of the population under examination. Russian-Germans accounted for over half of these deaths and the vast majority of the remainder came from Muslim nationalities native to the Caucasus and Crimea. Out of all the deported nationalities the Chechens lost the greatest percentage of their population from the disease, malnutrtition and exposure that resulted from the poor material conditions the Stalin regime imposed upon them in exile. Excess deaths among the Chechens exceeded 30% of their total population. Only one other people in the world, the Jews, lost a comparable portion of their population during the 1940s.

This grim number crunching has inspired me to do a series of posts on when I finish revising the book chapter. I have been frequently asked in conversation about the total number of Stalin's victims. Giving an exact total is of course impossible because the records are incomplete to say the least. But, enough data exists to give a fairly good estimate now I think.

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