Monday, August 24, 2009

The Last Train West

The Stalin regime forcibly deported almost all of the Russian-Koreans living in the Soviet Far East to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in the fall of 1937. The total number of deportees is usually given as 171,781 people. This figure comes from a report by Yezhov to Stalin and Molotov noting that the deportations had been completed on 25 October 1937 and involved the resettlement of 95,256 Russian-Koreans to Kazakhstan and 76,525 to Uzbekistan. It further noted that an additional 700 Russian-Koreans that had been deported within the region as kulaks years earlier still remained in special settlements in Okhotsk and Kamchatka. These last remaining Russian-Koreans were scheduled for deportation on 1 November 1937 (Li and Kim, doc. 52, pp. 114-115). Most secondary sources do not further note what happened to these last 700 Russian-Koreans living in the Soviet Far East. In actuality the number of remaining Russian-Koreans later deported from the Soviet Far East numbered 816 and they departed the region for Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan on 3 November 1937 (Document reproduced in V.D. Kim, pp. 76-77). This final wave of deportees brought the total number of Russian-Koreans deported by train from the Soviet Far East to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to 172,597 people.

V.D. Kim, ed., Pravda-polveka spustia (Tashkent: "Ozbekiston", 1999).

Li U He and Kim En Un, eds., Belaia kniga: O deportatsii koreiskogo naseleniia Rossii v 30-40x godakh (Moscow: "Interprask", 1992).

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