Azerbaijan International

Spring 2006 (14.1)
Page 13

Reader's Forum
Stalin's Purges - No One Left Untouched

It's true that not a single family in Azerbaijan was left untouched by Stalin's repression. In the village where my parents come from 90 percent of the men were repressed. My great grandfather Jabbarov, along with his four brothers, were all shot to death in 1937. Imagine! There wasn't even a trial. No one ever knew what these relatives were accused of. Perhaps, it was because the village - Gullubulag in the Amasya region - bordered Turkey.

Maybe Stalin was afraid that those men would unite with the Turks. Still it is amazing that they were shot to death, instead of being exiled or sent to slave labor camps. But that was 1937 and 1938. Later on, they began to use people as free labor in remote places like Kazakhstan and Siberia to develop the natural resources like timber and gold. Anyway, it's all so sad and, deep inside us, we never forget.

Aisha Jabbarova, 22, Baku

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