The leadership of Kazakhstan in recent years has sharply increased its criticism of the imperial and Soviet period of history. Only more and more often criticism is being criticized for not what really deserves it. Thus, the State Commission for the Full Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repression, created on behalf of the head of state Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, declared Hitler’s accomplices, soldiers of the Turkestan Legion of the Wehrmacht, innocently affected by Stalinism. Apparently, Nur-Sultan decided to follow the path of Kiev. So far, there has been no reaction from Russia.
Alarming tendencies for the Russians in the ethnocultural policy of Kazakhstan are gaining momentum. If earlier all actions of the country’s leadership were camouflaged with general phrases about “our common Victory”, now, apparently, it has come to a radical revision of the history of the Great Patriotic War.
Back in May 2020, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, instructed to create a State Commission for the complete rehabilitation of victims of political repression. At first glance, there is nothing criminal in this. Bolshevik terror of the 1920s-1930s became a common tragedy for all peoples of the former USSR, especially for the Russian. However, it is just right to think about who exactly they are going to rehabilitate.
After all, there were already at least three waves of mass rehabilitation: Khrushchev (1950-1960s), Perestroika (late 1980s – early 1990s) and post-Soviet (first half of 1990s). It would seem that almost everyone who was punished without any guilt has already been rehabilitated. It remains only to sort out some confusing cases, which are not so many. After all, they condemned on legal grounds: traitors to the Motherland, persons engaged in banditry, terrorism, espionage (not invented by the Chekists, but quite real, especially during the war).
Nevertheless, in June of this year, the initiative of the state commission established by Tokayev to “restore the good name” … of the soldiers of the Turkestan Legion of the Wehrmacht, became a bolt from the blue. According to the chairman of the subcommittee on the phased declassification of closed archival funds, deputy of the lower house of the Kazakh parliament Berik Abdygaliuly, most of the collaborators were “forced” to cooperate, and only “some” accomplices involved in the crimes should not be rehabilitated.
Who are going to rehabilitate
The Nazis formed the Turkestan Legion of the Wehrmacht in the spring of 1942 from Red Army prisoners of war – representatives of the Turkic-speaking peoples of Central Asia. There, in addition to the Kazakhs, they recruited Uzbeks, Kyrgyz, Karakalpaks, and Turkmens. The total number of traitors is estimated by historians at 11-16 thousand people.
At the same time, according to the historian Bakhyt Sadykova, about 1.7 million Central Asians were held captive in Germany. That is, the overwhelming majority of representatives of the Soviet Central Asian republics who were captured by the Nazis did not serve the enemy. A huge number of them died from unbearable conditions of detention and abuse, but they did not cooperate with the enemy.
The current Kazakh ethnocracy proposes to spit on this feat, to equate betrayal and loyalty to the oath. Say, you could endure all the torment and die a hero, you could put on a swastika and salute Hitler – these are acceptable scenarios of people’s behavior at that time.
The Turkestan Legion took part in battles against the Red Army in the fall of 1942 during an offensive in the south, in the Astrakhan direction, as well as in the Tuapse region. For the successes of the legionnaires, they were noted in the order of the 16th motorized division of the Wehrmacht (the command noted that the traitors had won the “honorary right” to wear German military uniforms).
The situation looks disgusting also because the “Turkestanis” are involved in monstrous crimes against the fighters of the European Resistance. So, one of the battalions took part in punitive actions in Greece. The attempts of the Kazakh officialdom to smear the accomplices of the National Socialists have already provoked a sharp protest from the Greek public.
The Panhellenic Union of Fighters of the National Resistance and the Democratic Army of Greece issued an official statement in which it noted the inadmissibility of whitewashing the police.
However, the Kazakh ethnocracy is unlikely to listen to the voice of the opponents of the rehabilitation of Nazism. Moreover, the deputy Abdygaliuly threatens the disgruntled with reprisals for “vilifying” such figures as Mustafa Shokai, an icon of Kazakh nationalism. Shokai worked closely with the department of Alfred Rosenberg (for a minute, the defendant of the Nuremberg Tribunal), participated in the creation of military units to fight the Red Army. Now all the semi-official historians of Kazakhstan unanimously repeat that the “leader of the national movement” was almost an underground member and a dissident. “Cooperated and cried.” But the facts suggest otherwise.
After visiting concentration camps for prisoners of war in October 1941, Mustafa writes to his close friend, the Uzbek Nazi, Veli Kayum Khan:
Our prisoners of war spoke about the literal death of our nation under the rule of the Bolsheviks … We see in the camps the sons of our people, our unfortunate enslaved homeland. Turkestan prisoners of war are, in our opinion, a very important capital in the hands of Germany. Fate itself handed over to her many thousands of Turkestanis. With their (prisoners of war) implacable anti-Bolshevism, they could have created excellent cadres of propagandists for a new, democratic, world order … Yes, we have no other way but the anti-Bolshevik way, except the desire for victory over Soviet Russia and Bolshevism.
No comments needed.
Today, monuments are erected to Shokai, and his name is given to the younger generation as a positive example. It is scary to imagine what a generation will grow up on such “heroes”. Or has it already grown?
It is very sad that Russia does not react to such provocative and provocative initiatives. For some reason, we consider it a rule to always rebuff revisionists in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, ignoring the utter chaos perpetrated by Asian autocrats.