Address by the Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on the occasion of Memorial Day for victims of political repression and hunger

Dear compatriots!

The political repression of the 20-50s of the XX century is a sad page in the history of our people.

With independence, Kazakhstan at the state level has taken measures to perpetuate the memory of the victims of this tragedy.

In 1993, the Law on the Rehabilitation of Victims of Mass Political Repressions was adopted.

In 1997, May 31 was declared Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions by Decree of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Elbasy N. Nazarbayev.

We all remember the enormous damage that the “great terror” caused to the peoples living on the territory of the Soviet state. Over the years of repression, more than five million people have been exiled to Kazakhstan from all over the Soviet Union.

About 100 thousand Kazakhstanis passed through the millstone of repression, more than 20 thousand of whom were shot.

Among the innocent convicts, such prominent statesmen and politicians as A. Bokeikhan, A. Baitursynuli, M. Tynyshpayev, M. Dulatuly, T. Ryskulov, M. Zhumabaev, S. Seifullin, I. Zhansugurov, B. Maylin, S. Asfendiyarov and many others.

The mournful symbol of cruelty and cynicism of those years was the Akmola camp of wives of traitors to the motherland (“ALZHIR”), where close relatives, wives and children of political prisoners were transferred.

Today, we bitterly recall those who died of starvation during the years of collectivization, or were forced to leave their homeland. This misfortune befell about three million people.

The memory of the colossal human sacrifices and cruel drama of those years left a tragic trace in the heart of every Kazakhstani.

For many peoples affected by totalitarianism, the Kazakh land has become a real home. The courage and patience of our ancestors allowed us to pass through the most difficult trials and unite into a single nation.

The monuments “Kazakh halgynna mok algys” established today in the regions of the republic testify to the gratitude to the humanism and wisdom of the Kazakh people.

To complete the restoration of historical justice, I have been instructed to create a State Commission for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repression.

Carefully preserving the memory of the unjustly convicted, we can build a bright future, the foundation of which remains our Independence.

On this sad day, it is the duty of each of us to pay tribute to all those who innocently suffered in one of the most brutal tragedies of the last century.
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