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Alexandr Tarancheev, about exile

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Terbish, Baasanjav 


Alexandr talks about exile and his first years in Siberia: I was born in Malye Derbety. My father is Dordzhi Tarancheev. I was 5 when the Kalmyks were deported. On that day we were woken up early in the morning by the Russian soldiers. Two families lived in our house. The other family joined us from Volgograd after it had been occupied by the Germans. In our family no one understood Russian. We were transported by lorries to the Abganer station where we were pushed into cold carriages. The carriages had double-decker bunks inside. We traveled for about two weeks, before arriving at Barnaul at night. There we were taken to a public bathhouse to get ourselves cleaned up and rid of lice. From the bathhouse we were sent on horse carts to the nearby collective farms. Four Kalmyk families, including ours, settled in a cold house. In the middle of March, all Kalmyks who ended up in that area were summoned to the state farm No 77 where we were put into barracks where they had previously kept pigs. Many Kalmyks died of hunger, cold and diseases. One of the Kalmyk elders who worked as a watchman in a grain depository used to bring home grain in his pockets for us to cook.



Exile, Siberia

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Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge

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Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin