Kazakhstan's Refugee Crisis: Violence, Hunger and the Transformation of Broader Central Asia, 1930-1933

Tuesday, November 30, 2010
1219 International Affairs Building

Please join the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia and the Harriman Institute for a lecture by Sarah Cameron (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Yale University).

From 1930-1933, millions of Kazakhs fled the new Soviet republic of Kazakhstan. This flight was sparked by crisis: the Kazakh famine of the 1930s, a disaster which led to the death of the nearly a quarter of the republic's population, perhaps as many as 1.5 million people. But the arrival of millions of starving Kazakhs in neighboring lands, including Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, the Russian SFSR and the Chinese province of Xinjiang, incited waves of violence, as well as outbreaks of disease. Kazakhs' flight provoked fundamental questions about the structure of the Soviet Union as a whole, particularly the rights and responsibilities of individual republics, as well as the regime’s commitment to its nationalities policy. More broadly, this crisis, as well as the regime's response, helped reshape the ethnic balance of contemporary Central Asia.