Astana commemorates victims of mass repressions (PHOTOS)

ASTANA. KAZINFORM A mourning rally in memory of victims of the political repressions was held today, on a rainy and gloomy day, in Akmol settlement of Akmola region. R-17 Corrective Labour Camp or ALZHIR (Akmola Camp for the Wives of Traitors to the Motherland) was functioning in the settlement from 1937 through 1953.

Wives of prominent figures of the Kazakh nation - Turar Ryskulov, Nygmet Nurmakov, Sanzhar Asfendiyarov and sister of Marshall Mikhail Tukhachevsky, wife and daughter of Avel Yenukidze and many others – were detained in ALZHIR.

Secretary of State Gulshara Abdykalikova participated in a ceremony of laying flowers to the monument.

With tears in their eyes the attendees paid tributes to the memory of innocent victims of repressions.

“As we all know, 11 special camps were established across Kazakhstan in the period of the Great Purge: Steplag, Karlag, ALZHIR etc. Nearly two million people were detained there. Every fifth of them was a deportee. The territory of Kazakhstan looked like a giant GULAG (Chief Administration of Corrective Labour Camps) of the USSR. Whole nations were deported to our country: 800,000 Germans, 550,000 Caucasians and 18,500 Koreans from the Far East. 5,600,000 people arrived in Kazakhstan since the beginning of the 20st century, while the number of Kazakhs at that time was only 6 million,” the Secretary of State said addressing the attendees.

3,700,000 people were sentenced during the period from 1921 through 1954. Over 640,000 were shot. More than 103,000 people became the victims of political persecutions, 25,000 were sentenced to capital punishment. Among them were almost all senior officials of the republic, i.e. 650 people. Almost all the representatives of the Kazakh intelligentsia were killed, including Saken Seifullin, Ilyas Zhansugurov, Beimbet Mailin, heads of the Council of People’s Commissars, secretaries of the regional committees of the Communist Party, chairpersons of the regional executive committees etc.

“Our duty is to commemorate the victims of political repressions, to pay respects to those who did not bow to the terror and the evil. Kazakh people, who once faced a threat of total extinction, made an incredible step to save the lives of other nations. Today, thanks to harmony, unity and creativity – the integral components of nationwide unity – our country develops and moves ahead,” added Abdykalikova.

After then, Imam of Nur Astana Mosque Adilkhan Serikbay and Head of the Orthodox Church, Metropolitan of Astana and Kazakhstan Alexander recited prayers.

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