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“Victory was forged here.” What places in Kazakhstan are associated with the Great Patriotic War

05 May 2021

It so happened that every year by May 9, most citizens from the post-Soviet space gather in the squares and alleys of their cities. This is how they celebrate Victory Day and pay tribute to their ancestors who conquered their native lands and a peaceful future for their descendants. Almost every city in Kazakhstan has memorial alleys on which the names of veterans and home front workers are carved. Today in this article we will talk about other, no less significant places directly related to the Great Patriotic War. Perhaps you will learn about some of them for the first time.

Before we begin, we offer to refresh the memory of the invaluable contribution of Kazakhstanis during the war. In total, about 25 percent of the population of Kazakhstan aged 18 to 50 years was mobilized to the front, while many of them fell into the very heat of the war: in the battle of Moscow, Stalingrad and Kursk Bulge, participated in the liberation of Europe and the capture of Berlin. And it is connected not only with the geographical proximity to military operations, but also with the railway communications developed in those years. Numerous railway stations have become a starting point for thousands of soldiers and a place to be sent to the front.

Boarding soldiers of the 316th Infantry Division in wagons before being sent to the front. Alma-Ata, 1941. Photo: Central State Archive of Film and Photo Documents and Sound Recordings of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

According to statistics, more than 1.2 million soldiers, 12 infantry, four cavalry divisions, seven rifle brigades, about 50 separate regiments and battalions were mobilized from the Kazakh SSR to the front. By the way, according to the census in 1939 The population of Kazakhstan was 6.2 million people.

Volunteers at the military enlistment office. Alma-Ata. 1941. Photo: Central State Archive of Film and Photo Documents and Sound Recordings of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The title of Hero of the Soviet Union will be awarded to 497 Kazakhstanis.

At the same time, Kazakhstan played a huge role in securing the front. So, almost all enterprises switched to the production of military products. In the period from 1941 to 1945, 460 factories, mines, mines were built in the republic. 35 percent of all-Union copper, 83 percent of lead, 60 percent of molybdenum, 65 percent of metallic bismuth were smelted here, oil production increased by 39 percent. Of course, such powerful strategic feats could not go unnoticed by the enemy.

Western Kazakhstan is a place of bombing by fascists

September 13, 1941. On this day, a bomb will be dropped on the Kazakh land for the first time. Shungai Station will be attacked. It, like the Saykhin and Zhanibek stations, will most often be subjected to fascist bombing and sabotage. Until now, along this railway track, search engines find helmets pierced by bullets, grenades, weapons. And the remains of Soviet soldiers.

An aerial bomb found near the Shungai station. 2010

Of course, the airstrikes were carried out for a reason. The Volga Railway runs on the territory of Western Kazakhstan (in those years it was called the Ryazan-Ural Railway). It was through it that medicines, food and even military equipment were delivered to Stalingrad. Therefore, German fighters will continue to terrorize this area until the winter of the 43rd. In total, 24 raids will be carried out on the Shungai station. And by the beginning of 1943, the anti-aircraft armored train No. 132 will shoot down over the Shungai station six enemy planes.

Interesting fact

One of the bombs hit the water tower. It gave way, but the workers tightened it with iron hoops. And this tower still stands there.

“Stalingrad was 180 kilometers away from us. My grandfather, who worked at the Saikhin station, said that the glow from the defense of Stalingrad was visible from our village. Later I managed to get proof that this is true. The fire of this legendary battle was visible at such a distance,” says historian and local historian Aibolat Kurumbayev.

It is worth noting that the railway stations are located near the border of Kazakhstan with Russia, and the small villages around the station are extremely small.

“One of the most pleasant places in the world thanks to the very cultured and sincere inhabitants. In the XIX century, these places were among the most “advanced” in Kazakhstan. The city of Urda (now the village of Khan Ordasy) developed 50 kilometers from Saykhin, where the country’s first secular school, pharmacy, green belt, treasury were already there. Now Saykhin and the Horde are undeservedly practically isolated from the country,” the traveler Yakov Fedorov shares his opinion.

As the traveler notes, passenger trains still pass through Saikhin station, but they don’t stop. The nearest major city is Uralsk, 600 kilometers away on a difficult road. And there is practically no communication and Internet. But, despite the difficulties that seem to modern man, the locals continue to cherish the memory of those events that literally rumbled here more than half a century ago.

Eternal flame

There are monuments of the “burning star” in almost every city of Kazakhstan. They symbolize the memory of the people about the bloody war. Eternal flame burns in the souls of soldiers who left their lives defending their homeland. And it is to the eternal flame that flowers are laid in memory of those who died in the Great Patriotic War.

By the way, the Memorial of Glory in Almaty was built in 1975 for the 30th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. It is located in the park of 28 Panfilov Guards. The central part of the triptych – “Feat” – captured the images of Panfilov heroes who defended Moscow with their breasts.

The capital’s monument “Otan Korgaushylary” is one of the most beautiful in the country. Its official opening took place on May 9, 2001.

©Turar Kazangapov

The 24-meter memorial contained 63 tons of pure Karaganda bronze. It was created by a creative group of sculptors from Karaganda.

Eternal Flame in Kostanay was lit on May 9, 1968. The memorial is a Wall of Memory with the names of Kostanay residents who died during the Great Patriotic War.

In 2004-2005, Victory Park was reconstructed. Obelisks to the Heroes of the Soviet Union and full holders of the Orders of Glory were installed on the Alley of Heroes.

In Aktobe, the Eternal Flame Memorial complex was originally located on Oktyabrsky Boulevard in front of the regional Akimat building.

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