Of 3,963,000 ethnic Kazakhs counted in the 1926 census, somewhere between 1.0 and 1.75 million would die, and hundreds of thousands more would flee to neighboring Union republics and to China. Aggravating the usual Stalinist brutality toward so-called "kulaks" was an incomprehension of the nomadic Kazakh lifestyle, not only by the Politburo in Moscow, but also by local Communist leaders in the Kazakh Republic. Imposed by force against so-called "Basmatchi" guerrillas, Communist rule had yet to find a significant following among the nomadic majority of ethnic Kazakhs.
"In 1926, just under a quarter of the Kazakh population were engaged solely in agriculture. 38.5% depended on livestock alone; 32.2% on livestock and agriculture. Less than 10% were wholly nomadic, but two-thirds of the population were 'semi-nomadic,' migrating with their herds in summer." [Conquest, p. 191]
Pastoral nomads were ordered to settle in one place and take up agriculture. Not only was the forced change in lifestyle extremely traumatic (as were the arrests of clan leaders), but much of the land was too dry for agriculture.
The Kazakh famine came earlier (1931) than the Ukrainian one and apparently took Stalin's government by surprise. They actually shipped some grain in 1932 to aid Kazakhstan (though too little and too late); this contrasted with their calculated indifference toward the planned Ukrainian famine of 1932-1933. Party authorities in Kazakhstan responsible for the disaster were extensively purged, in this case quite possibly for just cause.
See, for example,
Alec Nove, "Victims of Stalinism: How Many" in
To the extent Dzhambul's ode extols Collectivization, it is truly bizarre, almost like a paean to Heinrich Himmler written by a court bard in Chaim Rumkowski's Lodz ghetto.
J. Arch Getty and Roberta T. Manning editors, Stalinist Terror: New Perspectives, Cambridge University Press, 1993; pp. 264-265, 274, and
Robert Conquest, The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine, Oxford University Press, 1986, pp. 189-198.
More on death tolls from Collectivization (1929-1933).
|[Stixi yavilis' v gazete "Pravde," 3/XII-37, str. 1]||(Original in Kazakh; translated into Russian by K. Altajskij and published in "Pravda" 3 December 1937; English translation from the Russian by workers of the Institute for Domestic and Foreign Languages, Aztlan Lenin State University, Angel'sk Autonomous Okrug Branch. Expert commentary for revision was generously given by the linguistic experts at Kiber-NKVD.)|
|Ob"yasnenie russkoj azbuki vospolzuemoj zdes'|
Explanation of Russian transcription used here
Another ode to "Yezhov the Warrior"
N.I. Yezhov's home page.
V sverkanij molnij ty stal nam znakom,
In flashing lightning you became for us a sign,
Ezhov, zorkoglazyj i umnyj narkom.
Yezhov, sharp-eyed and intelligent People's Commissar.
Velikogo Lenina mudroe slovo
The wise word of the great Lenin
Rastilo dlya bitvy geroya Ezhov.
Prepared the hero Yezhov for the battle.
Velikogo Stalina plamennyj zov
He heard the burning call of the great Stalin
Uslyshal vsem serdcem, vsej krov'yu Ezhov.
In all his heart and blood.
Kogda zasiyali oktyabr'skie zori,
When the October dawns began to shine
Dvorec shturmoval on s otvagoj vo vzore.
With courage in his eyes he stormed the Palace.
Kogda zhe vojnoj zapylal gorizont,
When war appeared on the horizon,
On sel na konya i poexal na front.
He mounted his horse and rode to the front.
Shel klass protiv klassa. Zemlya polyxala.
Class fought class. The earth blazed.
I rodina krov'yu v te dni istekala.
In those days, the Motherland ran with blood.
Szhimali vragi nas zloveshchim kol'com --
The enemy pressed us in a sinister ring --
Zhelezom i stal'yu, ognem i svincom.
With iron and steel, fire and lead.
Ya prolshloe pomnyu. V zakatax bagrovyx
I remember this. In the purple sunsets
Ya vizhy skvoz' dym komissara Ezhova.
I saw Comrade Yezhov through the smoke.
Sverkaya bulatom, on smelo vedet
With his sword held high, dressed in the greatcoat
V ataki odetyj v shineli narod.
Of the people, he led the attack.
On b'etsya, uchas' u velikix batyrov,
He fought, learning from the great heroes
Takix, kak Sergo, Voroshilov i Kirov. Like Sergo, Voroshilov, and Kirov.
S bojcami on laskov, s vragami surov, With his fighters he was kind, with his enemies severe,
V boyax zakalennyj, otvazhnyj Ezhov
Hardened in battle was brave Yezhov.
Kogda nad stepyami podnyalsya vosxod
When on the steppes the uprising occurred
I plechi raspravil kazaxskij narod,
And the Kazakhs straightened their shoulders,
Kogda chabany protiv baev vostali,
When they rose up, shepherd against kulak,
Prislali Ezhova nam Lenin i Stalin. Lenin and Stalin sent Yezhov.
Priexal Ezhov i, razveyav tuman,
Yezhov came and, the fog clearing away,
Na bitvu za s-chast'e podnyal Kazaxstan,
Kazakhstan rose up in the battle for happiness.
Auly splotil pod znamena Sovetov,
He united the villages under the banner of the Soviets,
Dal silu i mudrost' kremlevskix dekretov.
He gave us the strength and wisdom of the Kremlin's decrees.
Vedya za soboyu kazaxskij narod
The Kazakh people following behind him,
Na baev i bekov, vozglavil poxod.
He led the advance against the kulaks and the beys.
Narod za Ezhovym poshel v nastuplen'e. The people behind Yezhov began the attack
Sbylis' nayavu zolotye viden'ya.
The golden vision became a reality.
Ezhov miroedov prognal za xrebty,
Yezhov banished the blood-suckers to the hills,
Otbil tabuny, ix stada i gurty.
He liberated their herds and flocks.
Rasstalis' naveki my s bajckim obmanom.
We put an end forever to the kulaks' perfidy.
Vesna rascvela po stepyam Kazaxstana
Spring blossomed all over the steppes of Kazakhstan
Pyshnee i krashe bylyx nashix snov,
More splendid and beautiful than even in our dreams,
Zdes' vse tebya lyubyat, tovarishch Ezhov!
Here they all love you, Comrade Yezhov!
Aryki, prudy, golubye ozera
Irrigation canals, ponds, blue lakes,
K tebe obrashchayut s-chastlivye vzory.
They all look to you with a happy glance.
Zdes' kazhdaya travka, trostnik i cvetok,
Here every grass-stalk, reed, and flower,
Snega na vershinax i gornyj potok,
Snow on the peaks and mountain streams,
Prostornye stepi ot kraya do kraya
The wide steppes from end to end
Tebya ne zabyli, tebya vspominayut.
Did not forget you, they remember you.
Kovyl' o tebe svoyu pesnyu poet,
The grass around you sings your song
V dvizhenii vetra -- dyxan'e tvoe.
In the movement of the wind -- your breath.
Zvuchnej vodopadov, arykov chudesnej
Of the sonorous waterfalls, of the miraculous irrigation canals
Stepnye akyni poyut tebe pesni.
The bards of the steppes sing songs to you.
I vtorit narod, sobirayas' vokrug:
And the people echo, gathering around:
-- Privet tebe, Stalina predannyj drug!
-- Greetings to you, devoted friend of Stalin!
A vrag nastorozhen, ozloblen i lyut.
But the enemy is dangerous, bitter and cruel.
Prislushajsya: noch'yu zlodei polzut,
Listen: the scoundrels creep in the night,
Polzut po ovragam, nesut, izuvery,
Creep along the ravine, they carry with them their fanatic beliefs,
Nagany i bomby, bacilly xolery ...
Their revolvers and bombs, their cholera bacilli...
No ty ix vstrechaesh', silen i surov,
But you found them, strong and stern Yezhov,
Ispytannyj v plameni bitvy Ezhov.
Well-tempered in fiery battle.
Vragi nashej zhizni, vragi millionov, --
The enemies of our life, the enemies of the millions, --
Polzli k nam trockistskie bandy shpionov,
They crawled toward us, the Trotskyite band of spies,
Buxarincy, xitrye zmei bolot,
Bukharinists, cunning snakes of the swamp,
Nacionalistov ozloblennyj sbrod.
Embittered nationalist riffraff.
Oni likovali, nesya nam okovy,
They rejoiced, bringing to us fetters,
No zveri popalis' v kapkany Ezhova.
But the beasts fell into Yezhov's snare.
Velikogo Stalina predannyj drug,
Devoted friend of the great Stalin,
Ezhov razorval ix predatel'skij krug.
Yezhov broke their traitorous circle.
Raskryta zmeinaya vrazh'ya poroda
He exposed the serpent enemy's breed
Glazami Ezhova -- glazami naroda. With the eyes of Yezhov -- the eyes of the people.
Vsex zmej yadovityx Ezhov podstereg
Yezhov is on the watch for all poisonous snakes
I vykuril gadov iz nor i berlog.
And he smoked out vermin from den and lair.
Razgromlena vsya skorpion'ya poroda
He annihilated all types of scorpions
Rukami Ezhova -- rukami naroda.
With hands of Yezhov -- the hands of the people.
I Lenina orden, goryashchij ognem,
And the Order of Lenin, burning flame,
Byl dan tebe, stalinckij vernyj narkom
Was given to you, faithful Stalinist People's Commissar,
Ty -- mech, obnazhennyj spokojno i grozno,
You -- a sword, unsheathed, calm and stern,
Ogon', opalivshij zmeinye gnezda,
Fire singeing the serpents' nest,
Ty -- pulya dlya vsex skorpionov i zmej,
You -- a bullet for all scorpions and snakes,
Ty -- oko strany, chto almaza yasnej.
You -- eyes of the country, clearer than a diamond.
Sedoj letopisec, svidetel' e^poxi,
Gray chronicler, witness of an era,
Vbirayushchij vse likovan'ya i vzdoxi,
Absorbing all rejoicings and sighs,
Sto let dozhivayushchij, drevnij Dzhambul
Reaching the age of one hundred, old Dzhambul
Uslyshal v stepi narastayushchij gul.
Heard the swelling sound on the steppes.
Mil'onnogolosoe zvonkoe slovo The million-voiced resounding word
Letit ot narodov k batyru Ezhovu:
Will fly from the people to the fighter Yezhov:
Spasibo, Ezhov, chto, trevogu budya,
Thank you, Yezhov, that, raising the alarm,
Stoish' ty na strazhe strany i vozhdya!
You stood on guard for the country and the leader!
S kazaxskogo perevel K. ALTAJSKIJ. translated from Kazakh by K. ALTAISKY
Dzhambul's home page
Another ode to "Yezhov the Warrior"
N.I. Yezhov's home page.