The 1944 Chechen Deportation Commemoration
By: Adel Bashqawi
21, February, 2016
The 23rd of February marks the anniversary of the mass deportation of the Chechen nation beside other nations of the North Caucasus, to Kazakhstan and Central Asia. “In a matter of a few days almost half a million people, mostly women, children and the elderly, were loaded on to special trains and sent into the unknown.”
The Chechens were mass-deported during the Stalin era in 1944, where in the year 2004, the European Parliament recognized the 1944 deportation of the Chechens as an act of genocide.
The deported Chechens who remained alive in exile had managed to make their way of return to their homeland in the year 1957, when the Kremlin leadership headed by Nikita Khrushchev made it possible for them to return home.
“In 2004 the European Parliament recognized the 1944 deportation of the Chechens as an act of genocide. The Kremlin leadership has so far taken no real steps aimed at the rehabilitation of these repressed peoples, despite the fact that in November 1989 a law to that effect was passed in the USSR. In “compensation” for their forced exile, Chechens (as victims of deportation, and their children born before 1957 – the first year in which Chechens were allowed to return to their historic motherland) are being offered payments of 10,000 roubles (about $400) per family. In Chechnya this is viewed as just more mockery of the Chechen people’s memory, and the vast majority of Chechens do not plan to take these miserable sums from the government.”