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Demographic losses of the Kyrgyz population in the years of hunger in the early thirties the 20th V. (sources and methods of their study)

UDK: 93/99(093) & #43;930.1/2 (2KI)


Sh.D. Batyrbayeva Kyrgyz national university. Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic

On the basis of cross-disciplinary methods of a research of materials of a population census of 1926 — 1939, questions of demographic losses of the population of Kyrgyzstan at the time of hunger of 1932 — 1933 which scales in certain regions of the republic had the same catastrophic character are considered, as in Ukraine and in Kazakhstan in the early thirties 20th century

In the USSR the mezhperepisny interval from 1926 to 1939 became the period of radical social and economic, political restructurings. These years in Kyrgyzstan was socialist reforms as a result of which in the republic the foundation of agrarian-industrial economy was laid are carried out, social and economic living conditions of the population improved and the revolutionary jump in professional and educational structure of the population is made. For this period the population of Kyrgyzstan grew by 45.6%, from them city — for 220.8%, rural — for 35.1% [1. Page 172; 3. Page 78]. On growth rates of the population during this period the Kyrgyz republic won first place in the USSR.

Absolute growth of population of the Kyrgyz republic, first of all city, in scientific literature was considered as one of the main arguments of positive results of socialist transformations. But with declassification and the publication of the main results of a census of 1937 and 1939 it became known that gain of indigenous people was only 14.9%.

In this regard there is a question — as far as increase in population for 14.9% corresponded to real opportunities of demographic reproduction process of Kyrgyz at the beginning of the 20th century?

To answer the matter, we applied a cross-disciplinary method of studying demographic processes, namely — definition of imitating and alternative option of evolution of number of Kyrgyz from the middle of the 20th years of the XX century without positive and negative consequences of socialist transformations. Further, we compared the received results to real data of a census of 1939 and by that revealed the size of the slowed-down growth of number of the Kyrgyz population during the considered period.

As the main sources of our research materials of censuses 1926, 1937, 1939 [1 — 3] given the current statistical accounting of the population [4, 5], additional office work documentation of public institutions of the republic for the considered period [6, 7] and also auxiliary — epistolary sources, in particular, diary Yu act. Abdrakhmanov, chairman of SNK Kyrgyz ASSR [8].

Proceeding from an objective, we divided these sources into 4 groups:

1) the published materials of censuses 1926, 1937 and 1939;
2) the estimated statistical data on the population;
3) perspective calculations about population, rates of its development according to five-year development plans for the country;
4) preparatory materials for drawing up the five-year plan about growth rate of population on the basis of social and economic, statistical characteristic of edge till 1913 and on materials of censuses 1920, 1923 and 1926. It should be noted that for statistics of the population

the Soviet period additions, accidental and intended distortions are characteristic. Nevertheless, on the basis of studying scientific literature according to the analysis of statistical sources of this period we came to a conclusion that data of censuses 1926, 1937 and 1939 in comparison with materials of modern demographic account do not distort the general trend in dynamics of number of Kyrgyz for these years.

As a result of the carried-out critical analysis of sources, with a support on achievements in the field of a research of history of Kyrgyzstan during socialist transformations and also taking into account ethnosociological conclusions about features of demographic processes of the Kyrgyz population, we established sizes of alternative growth of number of the Kyrgyz population from 1927 to 1929 within 1.4%, from 1930 to 1934 — 1.5% and from 1935 to 1938 — 1.6%.

These results showed that at continuation in 20th and 30th of the XX century of the course taken in the New Economic Policy period, the number of Kyrgyz would grow not by 14.1%, and for 19.9%. Thus, by 1939 their absolute number would reach not 754,323 people, but 790,099 people. Being based on these data, it is possible to assume existence during socialist transformations of the negative phenomena in natural increase of the Kyrgyz population. These phenomena, in fact, in it the period were characteristic of most of the people of the USSR.

Comparison of indicators of growth of number of the Kyrgyz population on regions, reveals their essential distinctions. For example, in the Frunze region of the republic it was observed negative at -

growth of the Kyrgyz population within 1.9%. At the same time in regions of the Southern Kyrgyzstan — in the Jalal-Abad and Osh regions — we observe increase in the population by 19.8%. Tien Shan and Is-syk-kulsky regions characterizes increase in population of 20.2 and 11.1% respectively. The fact that the Frunze region those years was the central region is remarkable, in its territory the main industrial facilities of the republic, the public and educational institutions were placed. Active inflow of representatives of indigenous people of other regions was characteristic of this area. Negative gain of the Kyrgyz population in the Frunze region remained even at increase in number arrived from other regions. For example, population of the capital

— Frunze increased since 1701 up to 6117 people [1. Page 216; 5], by our calculations, from other regions of the republic there arrived over 4 thousand people

To find out the reasons of regional difference in natural increase of the Kyrgyz population, we carried out calculation of imitating evolution of its number for the following regions:

1. The southern Kyrgyzstan where included Jalal -

abadsky and Osh regions;

2. The Frunze region, in 1939 entered it

separately presented on a census of 1926

Talas, Chuya and Frunze cantons;

3. Tien Shan region;
4. Issyk kul region.

Our imitating and evolutionary calculations showed that in the Southern Kyrgyzstan the number of indigenous people in 1926 & #34; составила" 402,300 people, in the Tien Shan region — 117,400, in the Issyk kul region — 98,300, and in the Frunze region — 173,100 people. Comparison of these results with the recorded data of a census of 1939 show a divergence across the Southern Kyrgyzstan in limits plus 1,200 people, on the Tien Shan region — plus of 400 people, on the Issyk kul region — minus of 7,100 people and on the Frunze region — minus of 31,200 people.

Figures on two last regions with negative indicators between the recorded number of Kyrgyz and the calculated option of their alternative gain, show, in our opinion, violation of evolutionary character in change of dynamics of their number. It results of the latest researches on the history of Kyrgyzstan 20 — confirm the 30th, earlier secret archival documents including the diaries and letters published recently to I. Stalin of Yu. Abdrakhmanov. On the basis of these diaries and letters the exclusive role of Yu. Abdrakhmanov in prevention of universal hunger in the republic by suspension in the early thirties of export of bread from deep areas of the republic comes to light; its activities for supply with bread of cotton-growing regions and also for receiving privileges for deliveries

agricultural products to semi-nomadic and nomadic farms.

In our opinion, the main reason of regional differences in dynamics of gain of number of the Kyrgyz population is caused by consequences of implementation of social and economic and political transformations. Delay of growth rate of number of the Kyrgyz population in an Issyk-kuls-kom the region and in the Frunze region, certainly, was influenced by such factors as a dispossession of kulaks of farms, an otkochevka of Kyrgyz to China and internal republican migration. However you should not overestimate values of these factors as they were characteristic of all regions and areas of the republic. In historical literature information on considerable consequences of a mass otkochevka of Kyrgyz in the late twenties — the beginning of the 30th to China, the collectivization caused by excesses during implementation, a dispossession of kulaks and implementation of the plan for delivery of agricultural products often meets. In this regard there is a wish to emphasize that the mass otkochevka of Kyrgyz could not have significant effect on rates of gain of indigenous people. Especially as in the thirties, with the first positive results of collective-farm construction, the main part of the otkochevavshy population returned home. It is spoken well by the fact that between really recorded and imitating estimated data on growth of number of the Kyrgyz population in 1939 in the Naryn, Jalal-Abad and Osh regions, border with China, there are no essential divergences. Especially as the Frunze region which had negative data on increase in population does not border on China.

All these data allow to say that in 1932 and 1933 in certain regions of Kyrgyzstan — in the Frunze region and the Issyk kul region the catastrophic consequences connected with hunger of local community were observed. These lean years claimed the lives of every 6th resident of the Frunze region, every 19th in the Issyk kul region. This results from the fact that residents of grain areas of the Talas and Chuya valleys entering the Frunze region and also inhabitants of the Issyk kul region bore the main loading in implementation of plans for preparation of bread and grain. The proximity of these regions to the main routes of the Central Asian value affected. Inhabitants of the specified regions were deprived also privileges — the special order on supply with bread which were applied to livestock and cotton-growing areas of the republic. Position of these regions was aggravated also with the fact that on their territory the flow of the starving population of Siberia and Kazakhstan rushed.

The conducted researches show that Kyrgyzstan in the years of universal hunger, along with Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan passed through heartrending experiences. At the same time in the Kyrgyz republic the hunger had regional or local character and affected in the basis the population of two large regions

— Frunze and Issyk kul regions.


1. All-Union population census. 1926. Kyrgyz ASSR. - M, 1928. - T. VIII.
2. All-Union population census. 1937. Brief summary. — M, 1991.
3. All-Union population census. 1939. Brief summary. — M, 1992.
4. Territory CGA — F. 105, op. 1, 576, l. 71 about.; 910, l. 1 about., 7; 1403, l. 57; op. 2, 14, l. 3; 552, l. 89; 554, l. 25, 1107,

l. 2, 9, 12; 1110, l. 163; 1740, l. 24-24 about., 25-25 about.; op. 6, 16, l. 9; op. 16, 16, l. 8, 10; op. 36, 40, l. 2.

5. RGAE Russian Federation. — T. 1562, op. 329, 83, l. 19, 53; 109, l. 37.
6. Territory CGA — F. 470, op. 1, 839, 1243; T. 1246, op. 1, 319,
366; HECTARE of Political documentation of the Territory — F. 10, op. 1, 98, 155, 201, 202, etc.
7. Yu. Abdrakhmanov 1916. Diaries. Letters to Stalin. — Frunze: Ilim, 1991.
8. RGAE Russian Federation. - T. 1562, op. 336, 415, l. 5.
Kimberly Roberson
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