Saturday, May 10, 2014

70 Years Since GKO Order No. 5859ss "On Crimean Tatars."

Shortly after the Soviet military expelled the Nazi occupation forces from the Crimean peninsula, the Soviet government issued a decree falsely accusing the Crimean Tatars of mass treason and ordering their deportation to Uzbekistan. The State Defense Committee (GKO) issued Decree 5859ss on 11 May 1944 instructing the NKVD to resettle all Crimean Tatars in Uzbekistan before 1 June 1944. An English language translation of the entire decree can be read here. The actual deportation of the Crimean Tatars began exactly a week later on 18 May 1944. By the end of 20 May 1944, nearly the entire Crimean Tatar population of over 180,000 people had been forcibly removed from their ancestral homeland and put on trains bound for Uzbekistan, the Urals, and other distant regions. I will have another more detailed post up on 18 May 2014 to commemorate the day of the actual deportation.

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