On the anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars: “Forgive us, if you can”

posted 8 Jun 2016, 07:09 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 8 Jun 2016, 09:03 ]
20 May 2016

Source: HRO.org (info)
On the anniversary of Stalin's deportation of Crimean Tatars [19 May 1944] the grandson of a commander of the 'operation', Vasily Gatov, a well-known journalist and media-manager, apologised to the Crimean Tatars, calling the crime genocide and demanding an international court case on the matter.

He wrote on his Facebook page:

“Today is the anniversary of one of the most shameful events in the history of the Soviet Union – the deportation of the Crimean Tatars. It isn’t very easy for me to write these words – my grandfather was the commander of the ‘operation’.

"May 1944, days when the Soviet Army had already freed Europe from the Nazi genocide machinery, when soldiers and officers already fully understood the meaning of a ‘death camp’. On these same days Stalin decided that another nation – all its members, from children to the heroes – was “the enemy”.

"The 'eviction,' as it is shamefacedly called in the relevant documents, of the Chechens, Balkars, the Volga Germans, Crimean Tatars, Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians is nothing but a form of genocide. Never acknowledged, never mourned, and never paid for.

"The Crimean Tatars and Chechens with Ingushetians are nations who suffered at the hands of the Soviet Union and at the hands of Russia.

"It isn’t just a disgrace. It isn’t just a sin.

"It is a crime, repeated twice. With particular cynicism, as an organised group, with objectives, which fully fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

"And until this trial – in one form or another – takes place, each May any reasonable and sober person must needs repeat the same words: 'Forgive us, if you can'."

Translated by Jo Anston