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Stalin's Order to Deport Crimean Tatars Was Based on False Reports
On the 66th anniversary of the deportation of Crimean Tatars (18 May 1944), the International Committee for Crimea is pleased to publish an important paper by J. Otto Pohl, "The False Charges of Treason against the Crimean Tatars." An Associate Professor of International and Comparative Politics at the American University of Central Asia, Bishkek, Otto Pohl shows that the charges of mass treason brought against the Tatars were based on erroneous reports by Beria and his associates. The Soviet authorities had already decided to deport the indigenous population of Crimea and used the standard justification of collective treason, similar to those accusations leveled against other ethnic groups who were deported during World War II.
Based on the published Soviet documents, Professor Pohl's article includes a number of revealing points:
For additional details as well as a discussion on the role of the Soviet partisan movement, as related to the charges brought against the Crimean Tatars, please see Otto Pohl's article. It is available here in PDF format: The False Charges of Treason against the Crimean Tatars. (460 KB). The Soviet document, dated 11 May 1944, ordering the deportation of Crimean Tatars, is also accessible here: State Defense Committee Decree No. 5859ss.
We extend our appreciation to Otto Pohl for exploring the reasons for the deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944, an event that resulted in the loss of thousands of human lives and endless suffering, with heart-breaking repercussions still felt today. Clearly, the Soviet decision to deport the indigenous people of Crimea was a crime against humanity.
Inci A. Bowman
Posted: 17 May 2010