Chong-Tash

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Chong-Tash (Kyrgyz: Чоң-Таш, Russian: Чон-Таш; English translation: "Big Rock") is a small village (kishlak) in Chui Province, Kyrgyzstan, located just south of the capital Bishkek. It is a ski resort and tourist area, and also the site of an NKVD execution.

The settlement was established in the 1930s when the local nomadic people were forced to settle.[1]

Natives of Chong-Tash[edit]

Memorial of Soviet repressions[edit]

Sculpture that depicts the executed at Chong-Tash

In 1938, when Kyrgyzstan was part of the Soviet Union, Chong-Tash was the site of execution by the Soviet secret police, NKVD, as part of the Great Purge in the Soviet Union.[2] 137 people - politicians, teachers, scientists and other professional and intellectual people from all over Kyrgyzstan - were secretly taken from the Bishkek (then Frunze) prison, shot to death, and their bodies dumped into a brick oven at a mountain NKVD location near the village. This was part of Joseph Stalin's crackdown of nationalist movements in Central Asia.[1]

One of those killed was Törökul Aitmatov, father of the Kyrgyz author Chinghiz Aitmatov.[3]

The site was discovered in 1991 after Kyrgyzstan gained its independence. The caretaker of the site had been sworn to secrecy by the NKVD (and, later, the KGB), but on his deathbed he told his daughter the location of the grave, who then told the Kyrgyz authorities. The bodies were then dug up and interned at a memorial site just outside the village called "Ata-Beyit" ("Grave of our Fathers"). Former president Askar Akayev, other Kyrgyz dignitaries, and relatives of the dead participated in the reburial.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Alan J. DeYoung, Madeleine Reeves, Galina K. Valyayeva (2006) "Surviving the Transition?: Case Studies of Schools and Schooling", ISBN 1-59311-511-3, p. 66
  2. ^ Regina Khelimskaya (1994), "Tayna Chon-Tasha", Bishkek: Ilim, ISBN 5-8355-0805-0
  3. ^ a b Short description of the village and memorial

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°44′59″N 74°36′06″E / 42.7496°N 74.6017°E / 42.7496; 74.6017