Friday, March 07, 2014

70 Years Since the Deportation of the Balkars

Tomorrow is the 70th anniversary of the deportation of the Balkars from their mountainous homeland in the Caucasus to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The Soviet government falsely accused the entire Balkar nation of treason during World War II. In fact the decision to deport the Balkars had been reached before this trumped up rationalization had been articulated. The deportation of 37,713 Balkars took a mere two days. The material conditions in the deportation trains and areas of exile in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan proved to be extremely substandard and nearly 8,000 or over 20% died prematurely as a direct result during the next four years. The Soviet government placed the Balkars under special settlement restrictions and later in 1948 declared that their internal exile in the USSR and banishment from their ancestral homeland was "forever."  Fortunately, for the Balkars the Soviet government negated the effects of this last decree in 1957 and allowed them to return back to a restored Karbardino-Balkar ASSR.

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