The following statement by Fikret K. Yurter, President of the National Center of Crimean Tatars, appeared in Birlik,
2(3): 15, 2000. We are posting it here with the list of Crimean Tatar Villages destroyed by the Nazis during World War II. — Ed.
JUSTICE FOR ALL
World War II was a tragic chapter in the history of the world and more so for the people of European nations. Millions were killed, thousands of villages and towns were destroyed, many countries lost their sovereignty, innocent civilians were unjustly deported from their native land and the Crimean Tatars were obliterated as a nation.
The German-Nazi occupation of Crimea during WWII, more than 115 Crimean Tatar villages were burned to the ground and thousands of Crimean Tatars were unjustly killed by the Nazis.* More than 15,000 Crimean Tatars were taken to Germany and Austria for forced labor and to concentration camps, where most perished.
To add further to suffering and injustice, on May 18, 1944, the Soviet Government exiled the entire Crimean Tatar population from their homeland. As a result of this barbaric mass deportation and resettlement, more than 46% of the already reduced Crimean Tatar population perished while their meager properties were confiscated and claimed by local Russians, Ukrainians, and by the immigrating Soviet citizens from other parts of the USSR.
WWII ended 56 years ago. Most war-torn countries rebuilt their ruins, the enslaved nations regained their sovereignty, and the majority of nations and individuals that suffered during the war received billions and billions of dollars in reparations and compensations from the country that provoked and escalated the War into a world war. The deported citizens returned to their homelands. Even the USA paid compensation to the Japanese-Americans who suffered forced detainment during WWII in America.
As a result, the wounds of WWII were almost healed for these nations and for the individuals who greatly suffered during the War. But this sadly, and once again unjustly, was not the case for the Crimean Tatars, who continued to be persecuted and denied their basic human rights to return to and reclaim their lawful place in their ancestral lands of Crimea.
We, the Crimean Tatars, have suffered enough! We now demand that Russia, which was the core of the Soviet Union, issue a reparation resolution which allows us to reclaim our rightful and lawful assets and properties so barbarically and summarily confiscated their hatchetmen during and after the forced and unjust deportation of 1944, which was obviously convenient to their designs.
We also strongly feel that the German Republic (Bundes Republik Deutschland) has a moral and financial obligation to the Crimean Tatars. The Crimean Tatar villages* that were burned to the ground by the Nazis should be rebuild and turned over to the Crimean Tatar nation, and the Crimean Tatars who were unjustly killed by the Nazis, as well as the descendants of 15,000 Crimean Tatars who were taken to German and Austria for forced labor, should receive compensation from these countries, made available directly to the rightful sufferers or their families. -But not through governments!.
Finally, we urge the leadership of the European community to encourage and enforce the compensation process, which we applied for, from Russia and Germany.
Why not equal JUSTICE FOR ALL?
Fikret K. Yurter, President
The National Center of Crimean Tatars
Commack, New York
* The following list of Crimean Tatar villages destroyed by the Nazi forces was compiled by Fikret Yurter through interviews with the Crimean Tatars who returned to Crimea from exile in Uzbekistan. The destruction caused by the Nazis is also documented by Alexandr M. Nekrich in a highly informative work on deportation of nationalities, The Punished People.
He quotes Dr. Edige Kirimal: "Toward the end of occupation, in December 1943 and January 1944, the Germans burned down and destroyed 128 mountain villages in the southern and northern Crimea. In January 1944 the inhabitants of Argin, Baksan, and Kazal - the Crimean Tatar villages burned to the ground by the Germans - together with the inhabitants of Efendikoi, Kutur, and Neiman - Russian villages similarly burned - fled into the hills to join the partisans." (pp.23-24)
Crimean Tatar Villages
Destroyed by the Nazis During World War II
A - GH - PS - ZAcibulatHocasalaSahmirzaArginKamisliSavatkaArmutl ukKandorSelenArpatKaralezSirli KöprüAsagi ÇorgunKarasubasiSoyun-AciAsagi TayganKalintayStar-SuliAvci KöyKaymakStilaAyanKaynavutSuriAylanmaKesek-KaratukSuvuksuAytodorKetautSuyu-AciBadrakKermençikTamaBahçeliKilsadikTaskoraBahs anKislavTatar-KöyBakatasKizilkobaTatar-OsmanBakesKobaziTavbadrakBaydarKokközTavdayirBesu yKokluzTav-EliBiyesalaKonratTav-KipçakBoraKoktasTemirciBuruncaKos DegirmenTeskonduBüyük-LakaKöprülü KöyTers-KonduBüyük-OnlarKovusToban-EliBüyük-ÖzenbasKoyüsTotay-KöyBüyük-YanköyKozi-EliUlakliCafer-BerdiKüçük ÖzenbasUlu-ÖzenCansarayKuçkaUlusalaÇardakliKutlakUrkustaÇ avkeKutlukUppaÇerkez-KermenKumüslükUppi-KöyÇirmalikMaltoyVeyrantÇokrakMambet-UlanVeyratÇorgunMangusYanci-KöyÇorgun-YukariMamut-SultanYanibardakÇormalikMolbayYani-KöyDeren AyirNavdayirYeni-SalaEkitasOrtalanYeni-SarayElbuzluPayli-YarYukari TayganEskisarayPiçkiYüzümlükFotsala