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31 May 2007
President Nursultan Nazarbayev Attends the Solemn Opening Ceremony of ALZHIR, the Memorial Museum Complex Devoted to the Memory of the Victims of Political Repressions and Totalitarianism.

“In Kazakhstan, the 31st of May is the Memorial Day of the victims of political repressions. This date has a special meaning to our country. It was in our history that 70 years ago our republic was the place of exile and deportation for many millions of Soviet people,” the President said while addressing the audience at the opening ceremony of the memorial museum complex elected in the village Akmol of the Akmola region.

The President reminded that 953 camps and colonies of the punishment system functioned throughout the country in the years of Stalin repressions. One of them, the sadly known Akmolinskiy camp for wives of traitors betrayed the Fatherland was based in the village of Malinovka. That was the sole camp in the USSR, where about 20 thousands of women – mothers, wives, daughters of the repressed were imprisoned. In addition to hundreds of thousands of political prisoners, some repressed nations were deported to Kazakhstan including 800 thousand Germans, 102 thousand Poles, 19 thousands of Korean families, 507 thousands of representatives of Caucasian nations.

”Despite all difficulties of the sever times the Kazakh nation warmly welcomed all those unfortunate people. Because of that many people managed to survive and oppose the bloody totalitarian machine,” Nursultan Nazarbayev emphasized.

Ludmila Olkhova, the daughter of a prisoner of the camp, on behalf of her parents and all guiltlessly convicted people thanked Nursultan Nazarbayev for the state policy aimed at maintaining the memory of the repressed.

The ceremony’s participants honored the memory of the victims of political repressions with a moment of silence.

Then the President viewed the memorial museum complex created by a creative group headed by Saken Narynov. The complex, whose territory comprises 3 hectares, starts with an arch symbolizing the transfer between the two worlds, the meeting place of the past, the present and the future. At the same time, according to its creators’ plot, the arch symbolizes a woman-mother mourning for her husband and children perished in the years of repressions.

Two compositions, “Straggle and Hope” and “Despair and Weakness” embody the tragic destiny of the repressed. There is an exhibition in the museum that contains archive documents, photo- and video-materials on repressions, interrogation protocols, sentences to death by shooting, personal files of prisoners, literary and art masterpieces and many other things united with this theme. The exit from the museum leads to the “Memorial Wall of the victims of the political repressions and totalitarianism of the thirties-forties and early fifties of the XX century.” The names of 7620 persons perished in this camp have been memorized there.

After visiting the complex, the President of Kazakhstan laid flowers to the Memorial Wall.

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