Remembrance Day

Kazakhstan Memorial Day for Victims of Political Repression


00:00 - 23:59

On May 31st, the Memorial Day for Victims of Political Repression is commemorated in Kazakhstan. 

This day of observance is held in order to honor the millions of individuals who suffered under the tyranny of the Soviet administration in Kazakhstan. 

Kazakhstan experienced a particularly difficult period of Soviet occupation. The repressions that started after the Russian Civil War in 1919-1920 and lasted for next two decades took many lives. During the Soviet years, according to historians millions were repressed. In Kazakhstan, from 1921 to 1954, more than 100,000 people were convicted in politically-motivated cases, more than 25,000 of whom were sentenced to death.

From 1930 to 1933, a devastating state-induced famine led to death of 1.5 million Kazakhs or one-third of the country’s population who starved to death as a result of collectivization policies.  Like other Soviet collectivisation famines, the mortality figures for Kazakhstan are contested.

In addition, it became “home” to a number of infamous Gulag forced-labor camps, such as Alzhir, Akmol, and Karlag, where millions of political prisoners were sent from all over the Soviet Union.  Scholars assert that of the 5 million people deported to Gulags in Kazakhstan. 

The Kazakh government honors these victims by visiting memorials and attending commemorative events.

Monument to the Victims of Famine in Almaty. Source: astanatimes.com.