Repatriates Assembly


31.05.2019 1382

Museum-memorial complex "ALZHIR" in Tselinograd district of Akmola region was visited by representatives of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan and the public of the capital.

Members of APK, Mayor’s office of Nur-Sultan, municipal maslikhat, and also descendants of the repressed and the public of the city took part in the ceremony of laying flowers to the Wall of Memory.


In the course of the event Deputy Chairman – Head of Secretariat of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan of Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Zhanseit Tuimebayev noted that our people experienced a great tragedy in the years of totalitarian regime – the first half of the XX century.


"At first it was a mass famine of the 1930s, which led to terrible consequences, then many representatives of the national elite and intellectuals were convicted on political grounds, and sentenced to death," Deputy Head of APK explained.

More than five million people were exiled to the camps in Kazakhstan, two million of whom were in a specially created network of 11 camps.


"ALZHIR was the largest Soviet women's camp, one of the three islands of the Gulag Archipelago. In 1938, the camp housed about eight thousand women prisoners, among whom were the wives of prominent Kazakh figures S. Seifullin, B. Mailin, S. Kozhanov, T. Zhurgenov, N. Nurmakov, S. Asfendiyarova and others," Zhanseit Tuimebayev said.


In memory of this tragedy, on the initiative of Elbasy on May 31, 2007, Museum-memorial Complex of Memory of Victims of Political Repression and Totalitarianism ALZHIR (Akmola camp of Wives of Motherland Traitors) was opened.

As Deputy Head of APK said, Kazakhstan has become a new home for representatives of different people deported to the desert steppe. All this thanks to the hospitality of the people.

"It is our moral duty to remember the innocent victims of political repression and famine," said Zhanseit Tuimebayev. 

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Deputy Akim of Nur-Sultan Yerlan Kanalimov, Doctor of Engineering, Professor Marat Absemetov also made a welcoming speech.

The ceremony was attended by the great-grandson of the scientist, playwright, writer and journalist Koshmuhambet Kemengerov, poet Kairbek Kemenger. He told the story of his family. His grandmother also found herself in ALZHIR as the wife of a traitor to Motherland.

The granddaughter of Valentina Grunberg, a prisoner of ALZHIR, Vera Grunberg-Ivannikova, arrived from Moscow to take part in the ceremony of laying flowers on Remembrance Day of Victims of Political Repression and Famine.


She told the story of her grandmother, who had been in the camp for eight long years on hard field work, torn off from her beloved husband and children.

Valentina Grunberg found herself in ALZHIR as the wife of Yuly Grunberg (V. Grunberg-Ivannikova’s grandfather, an Estonian by nationality). He worked in Russia at important economic posts, also in Harbin (China), Japan and Moscow.

In 1938, his grandfather was arrested, shot and buried in a mass grave in Moscow in the infamous place of Kommunarka.

"Destiny gave her a gift. Here she met her sister Kapitolina Nikolaevna by chance," Vera Grunberg-Ivannikova said.

She thanked the First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev for the opening of the museum-memorial complex, which reminds of the undeserved losses in those harsh years.

At the same time, she expressed gratitude to the employees of the museum for their huge fruitful work, which gives the opportunity to remember, tell and transfer all these memories.

In conclusion, the visitors of the complex got acquainted with the exhibits of the museum and personally saw some places of the tragic picture of the past.

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