Sunday, August 25, 2013
Decree No. 2056-93ss
deportation of the Volga Germans takes place every year on August 28th. That is the day in 1941 that the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet issued Ukaz no. 21-160. This decree which was published on 30 August 1941 falsely and unconstitutionally accused the ethnic Germans of the Volga German ASSR, Saratov Oblast, and Stalingrad Oblast of mass treason. This decree, however, was crafted to provide a justification for the decision made two days earlier by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Council of People's Commissars. This earlier decree (No. 2056-93ss) which is the actual decision states no reasons for the mass deportation of the Volga Germans. Instead it merely orders that they all be resettled to Siberia and Kazakhstan. The first page of the decree is reproduced in the original Russian language in the image in the right hand corner. An English translation is available here. This decree formed the administrative basis for the massive ethnic cleansing of the Volga Germans from 3 to 20 September 1941. Ukaz no. 21-160 issued two days later by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet was a post-facto attempt by the Soviet government to legalize a blatantly unconstitutional decision. But, the 28 August 1941 decree was published at the time whereas the 26 August 1941 one remained secret for many decades. So the official day of commemoration for this crime against humanity is on the 28th rather than the 26th. Personally I think both days should be observed as well as the 27th which is the day Beria issued NKVD Prikaz 001158 instructing the NKVD on the proper measures to undertake this mass uprooting of humanity. Over the next couple of days I will have more posts relating to the 72nd anniversary of the deportation of the Volga and groups of Russian-Germans.