Beyond Memory: The Crimean Tatars' Deportation and Return by G. Uehling

By G. Uehling

Within the ultimate days of global battle II, Stalin ordered the deportation of the whole Crimean Tatar inhabitants, approximately 200,000 humans. past reminiscence bargains the 1st ethnographic exploration of this occasion, in addition to the 50 12 months circulate for repatriation. a number of the Crimean Tatars have again in a technique that consists of squatting on vacant land and self-immolation. Uehling asks how they turned prepared to die for his or her nationwide collectivity. She offers a fine-grained research of ways "memories," sentiments, and goals of a place of birth by no means obvious got here to be shared. Uehling indicates the second-generation has a shockingly instrumental function to play. the way in which kids right and intrude in parental narratives, dissidents problem interrogators, and audio system borrow and alternate traces index this social point of reminiscence.

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Extra resources for Beyond Memory: The Crimean Tatars' Deportation and Return (Anthropology, History and the Critical Imagination)

Sample text

On one hand, Russian colonization brought benefits like the railroad, modern medicine, and a telegraph system. Some historians go further to argue Crimea was not subjected to colonialism at all because the land was Russian from ancient times (Nadinskii 1951: 168). From this perspective, the socalled reunification of the Crimean lands (at the time of Russian annexation in 1783) simply returns what the invading Mongols had seized. This view requires its proponents to repudiate the indigenous origins of the Crimean Tatars, group them with the “uncivilized” nomadic peoples, and date their “arrival” with that of the Mongols in 1223.

This land is far from limitless, however, and many of these nomadic tribes were forced to seek refuge in the Crimean mountains by the stronger nomadic groups that arrived after them. There was both assimilation and adaptation as the groups pushed southward and westward in successive waves. The coastal region, separated from the plains by the Crimean mountains experienced a similar dynamic with a different ethnic composition. Primarily European peoples arrived from the Black Sea via the Bosporus, including the Greeks, Genoese, Venetians, Armenians, and Turks.

Elebi Cihan was executed and the Tatar leaders who followed him were less willing to seek rapprochement. When Bolshevik rule was established in Crimea, it abolished both the Tatar National Directory and the Crimean Provisional Assembly. Bringing Crimea under Soviet rule was a protracted process that included state-sponsored brutality. During the third attempt to solidify Bolshevik rule in Crimea, the Soviet regime sent Bela Kun, chief of the Chekha (Bolshevik secret police) to eliminate the bourgeoisie and the anarchists.

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