Saturday, November 02, 2013
70 Years since the Deportation of the Karachais
On 2 November 1943, the Stalin regime deported almost the entire Karachai population from their Caucasian homeland to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Subsequently the Soviet government also relocated to Central Asia Karachais outside their natal territory such as those fighting in the Red Army against the Nazis. The Karachais like other deported peoples in the USSR came under the restrictions of the special settlement regime. On 26 November 1948, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet decreed these restrictions to be permanent. In southern Kazakhstan the NKVD employed many of the deported Karachais in the cultivation of cotton at Pakhta Aral. About 40,000 initially ended up in Kazakhstan and 23,000 in Kyrgyzstan. A large number of Karachais died prematurely due to the poor material conditions they endured during their initial years of exile in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The Soviet government finally released the Karachais from the special settlement restrictions in July 1956, but they were only allowed to start returning to their mountainous home in the Caucasus after 1957.