Friday, May 11, 2007
63 Years Since GKO Order 5859ss
On 11 May 1944, Stalin signed GKO Order 5859ss ordering the ethnic cleansing of the Crimean peninsula of its entire Crimean Tatar population. An English language translation of the order can be found here. On the basis of this decree the Soviet NKVD deported nearly 200,000 Crimean Tatars from their ancestral homeland to remote areas of Uzbekistan and the Urals on 18-20 May 1944. In Uzbekistan and the Urals they languished under the harsh legal restrictions of the special settlement regime until 1956. In the first few years of exile more than one in four Crimean Tatars perished due to the extremely poor material conditions forcibly imposed upon them by the Stalin regime. For more information go to this page of the web site maintained by the International Committee for Crimea.