I.A. Bunin "I am writing those lines in the days of great sufferings�"
mon | rus

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The whole nation - the Kalmyks - has perished. Last year, under Denikin a committee was established to investigate villainies of the Bolsheviks1. It consisted of prominent public and judicial figures and accumulated richest and most reliable material, which partially was recently brought to Paris.

I�ve met a friend who came with this material; he is an intimate member of this committee and a well-known Zemskii leader and a writer. He between everything said:

We were given documents mainly, of course, on the Southern part of Russia. Even that was enough to be merely stumped by the picture that revealed to us during our work. Let�s take small piece of this huge and horrendous picture � the part of our documents that referred to religious blasphemy, religious persecution, and torture of believers and clergymen. I am convinced that a few fully realize what the Bolsheviks, at least in this particular region, have done. It is hard to believe, though it is a fact, that 20th century, Christian Russia is far behind Rome with its persecution of first Christians especially with the number of victims. Not to mention the character of those persecutions that goes beyond description in vileness and brutality. As far as Kalmyks, whom I have mentioned recently, almost complete execution of this poor tribe happened, figuratively speaking, in front of my eyes. As known, Kalmyks are Buddhists; they lived nomadic live and bred cattle. When our "great and bloodless revolution" came and all Russia drowned in pervasive plundering, only Kalmyks stayed out of it. Propagandists would come to them with insistent call "to pillage pillaged" � Kalmyks would only shake their heads: "God doesn�t allow this". They were called counter-revolutionists, snatched, imprisoned � still they did not give up. Most ruthless decrees were issued, "for circulation among Kalmyk people slogans which are counteractive to the realization of revolutionary struggle, families of those who are guilty would be executed without exception starting from seven-year olds!" � Kalmyks did not give up even then. "Revolutionary peasantry seizes the land allotted once by the Tsarist government for the Kalmyks to roam, for their pastures" -- then, Kalmyks were made to move and wander in order to save their cattle from hungry death, they move further and further South. But on their way, they always get in the way of military actions, into Bolsheviks� "sphere of influence" � and again loose both their own lives, and cattle, -- their cattle and herds are captured and devoured by Red Army men, horses are taken away for the need of the Red Army. Kalmyks are driven out elsewhere � to the Volga, to the Great Russia, and of course, they die, croak on the way from hunger and homelessness. Thus, exhausted from all kinds of deprivations and pillage, convolving from various diseases, Kalmyks reach Black seashores. There they stop with their humongous camps, stand and anticipate, that some ship would reach for them � and they die, die from hunger, among the remnants of falling cattle�They say that not less than 50,000 of Kalmyks died only on the Black seashores! And we should remember, there were only 250,000 of them. Thousands, whole trains delivered to us in Rostov their Gods, desecrated Buddhas, often broken into pieces, with obscene handwritings. Perhaps, nothing now has been left from altars and joss houses�

Common Cause (Paris). 1920. 135. November 27

1Special committee was formed in December, 1918 with the instructions from the Entente states. It published a set of collected material. Introduction to the French edition of these documents was prepared by P.B. Struve (1919).

Significant number of Kalmyks were in exile. There were a few organizations of Kalmyk emigrants. Most popular of them are � "Cultural commission" in Czechoslovakia (from 1927 it published periodically bulletin "Ulan Zalata" in Kalmyk and Russian languages), "Kalmyk Committee on the affairs of refugees" in Bulgaria, and "Kalmyk émigré union" in France.

original on http://www.agama.ru/r_club/journals/DRUSHBA.NAR/n2/bunin.htm

translated by Danara Dourdoussova

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