Iosif Stalin, On the Crimean Tatars. May 11, 1944
State Defense Committee
State Defense Committee Decree No. 5859ss
May 11, 1944 Moscow, the Kremlin
On the Crimean Tatars
During the Great Patriotic War, many Crimean Tatars betrayed the Motherland, deserting Red Army units that defended the Crimea and siding with the enemy, joining volunteer army units formed by the Germans to fight against the Red Army; as members of German punitive detachments, during the occupation of the Crimea by German fascist troops, the Crimean Tatars particularly were noted for their savage reprisals against Soviet partisans, and also helped the German invaders to organize the violent roundup of Soviet citizens for German enslavement and the mass extermination of the Soviet people.
The Crimean Tatars actively collaborated with the German occupation authorities, participating in the so-called “Tatar national committees,” organized by the German intelligence organs, and were often used by the Germans to infiltrate the rear of the Red Army with spies and saboteurs. With the support of the Crimean Tatars, the “Tatar national committees,” in which the leading role was played by White Guard-Tatar emigrants, directed their activity at the persecution and oppression of the non-Tatar population of the Crimea and were engaged in preparatory efforts to separate the Crimea from the Soviet Union by force, with the help of the German armed forces.
Taking into account the facts cited above, the State Defense Committee decrees that:
1. All Tatars are to be banished from the territory of the Crimea and resettled permanently as special settlers in the regions of the Uzbek SSR. The resettlement will be assigned to the Soviet NKVD. The Soviet NKVD (comrade Beria) is to complete the resettlement by 1 June 1944.
2. The following procedure and conditions of resettlement are to be established:
a) The special settlers will be allowed to take with them personal items, clothing, household objects, dishes and utensils, and up to 500 kilograms of food per family.
Property, buildings, outbuildings, furniture, and farmstead lands left behind will be taken over by the local authorities; all beef and dairy cattle, as well as poultry, will be taken over by the People’s Commissariat of the Meat and Dairy Industries, all agricultural production by the USSR People’s Commissariat of Procurement, horses and other draft animals by the USSR People’s Commissariat of Agriculture, and breeding cattle by the USSR People’s Commissariat of State Grain and Animal Husbandry Farms.
Exchange receipts will be issued in every populated place and every farm for the receipt of livestock, grain, vegetables, and for other types of agricultural production.
By 1 July this year, the USSR NKVD, People’s Commissariat of Agriculture, People’s Commissariat of the Meat and Dairy Industries, People’s Commissariat of State Grain and Animal Husbandry Farms, and People’s Commissariat of Procurement are to submit to the USSR Council of People’s Commissars a proposal on the procedure for repaying the special settlers, on the basis of exchange receipts, for livestock, poultry, and agricultural production received from them.
To facilitate the receipt of livestock, grain, and agricultural production from the special settlers, the USSR People’s Commissariat of Agriculture (comrade Benediktov), USSR People’s Commissariat of Procurement (comrade Subbotin), USSR People’s Commissariat of the Meat and Dairy Industries (comrade Smirnov), and USSR People’s Commissariat of State Grain and Animal Husbandry Farms (comrade Lobanov) are to dispatch the required number of workers to the Crimea, in coordination with comrade Gritsenko.
c) The People’s Commissariat of Railroads (comrade Kaganovich) is to organize the transport of the special settlers from Crimea to the Uzbek SSR, using specially formed trains, according to a schedule devised jointly with the USSR NKVD. The number of trains, loading stations, and destination points are to be determined by the USSR NKVD.
Payment for the transport will be based on the rate at which the prisoners are transported;
d) To each train of special settlers, the USSR People’s Commissariat of Public Health (comrade Miterev) is to assign, within a time frame to be coordinated with the USSR NKVD, one physician and two nurses, as well as an appropriate supply of medicines, and to provide medical and first-aid care to special settlers in transit;
e) The USSR People’s Commissariat of Trade (comrade Liubimov) will provide all trains carrying special settlers with hot food and boiling water on a daily basis.
To provide food for the special settlers in transit, the People’s Commissariat of Trade is to allocate the quantity of food supplies indicated in Appendix No. 1.
3. By 1 June of this year, the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Uzbekistan, comrade Iusupov, the Chairman of the Uzbek SSR Council of People’s Commissars, comrade Abdurakhmanov, and the Uzbek SSR People’s Commissar of Internal Affairs, comrade Kobulov, are to carry out the following steps in regard to the acceptance and settlement of the special settlers:
a) To accept and settle within the Uzbek SSR 140 to 160 thousand special settlers — Tatars, sent by the USSR NKVD from the Crimean ASSR.
The settlement of the special settlers will occur in state farm communities, existing collective farms, farms affiliated with enterprises, and in factory communities, for employment in agriculture and industry;
b) To establish commissions in oblasts where the special settlers are resettled, consisting of the chairman of the oblast executive committee, secretary of the oblast committee, and chief of the NKVD administration, charging them with the implementation of all measures in connection with the acceptance and distribution of the newly arrived special settlers;
c) To organize raion troikas, consisting of the chairman of the raion executive committee, secretary of the raion committee, and chief of the raion branch of the NKVD, charging them with preparation for the distribution and organization of the acceptance of the newly arrived special settlers;
d) To arrange the automotive transport of the special settlers, mobilizing the vehicles of any enterprises or institutions for this purpose;
e) To grant plots of farm land to the newly arrived special settlers and to help them build homes by providing construction materials;
f) To organize special NKVD commandant’s headquarters, to be maintained by the USSR NKVD, in the raions of settlement;
g) By 20 May of this year, the Uzbek SSR Central Committee and Council of People’s Commissars are to submit to the USSR NKVD (comrade Beria) a plan for the settlement of the special settlers in the oblasts and raions, indicating the destination points of the trains.
4. Seven-year loans of up to 5,000 rubles per family, for the construction and setting up of homes, are to be extended by the Agricultural Bank (comrade Kravtsov) to special settlers sent to the Uzbek SSR, in their places of settlement.
5. Every month during the June-August 1944 period, equal quantities of flour, groats, and vegetables will be allocated by the USSR People’s Commissariat of Procurement (comrade Subbotin) to the Uzbek SSR Council of People’s Commissars for distribution to the special settlers, in accordance with Appendix No. 2.
Flour, groats, and vegetables are to be distributed free of charge to the special settlers during the June-August period, as repayment for the agricultural production and livestock received from them in the areas from which they were evicted.
6. To augment the automotive transport capacity of the NKVD troops, garrisoned in the raions of settlement in the Uzbek, Kazakh, and Kirghiz SSRs, the People’s Commissariat of Defense (comrade Khrulev) is to provide 100 recently repaired “Willys”3 motor vehicles and 250 trucks during the May-June 1944 period.
7. By 20 May 1944, the Main Administration for the Transport and Supply of Petroleum and Petroleum Products (comrade Shirokov) is to allocate and supply 400 tons of gasoline to locations specified by the USSR NKVD, and 200 tons of gasoline are to be placed at the disposal of the Uzbek SSR Council of People’s Commissars.
The supply of gasoline is to be carried out in conjunction with a corresponding reduction of supplies to all other consumers.
8. By 15 May of this year, the Main Supply Administration of the USSR Ministry of Forestry, USSR Council of People’s Commissars (comrade Lopukhov), is to deliver 75,000 2.75-meter railroad car boards to the People’s Commissariat of Railroads, using any means at its disposal.
9. In May of this year, the People’s Commissariat of Finance (comrade Zverev) is to transfer 30 million rubles from the reserve fund of the USSR Council of People’s Commissars to the USSR NKVD, for the implementation of special measures.
I. Stalin Chairman, State Defense Committee
cc : Comrades Molotov, Beria, Malenkov, Mikoian, Voznesenskii, Andreev, Kosygin, Gritsenko, Iusupov, Abdurakhmanov, Kobulov (Uzbek SSR NKVD), Chadaev — entire document; Shatalin, Gorkin, [illegible] Smirnov, Subbotin, Benediktov, Lobanov, Zverev, Kaganovich, Miterev, Liubimov, Kravtsov, Khrulev, Zhukov, Shirokov, Lopukhov — appropriate sections.
Source: Revelations from the Russian Archives, 1996.