In the Soviet Union, before the war, social classes were subjected to deportation, the "class alien population" was evicted, and during the war, the enemy peoples were already deported, accused by Stalin of total betrayal.
In total, 12 peoples were deported, who lost their native land, and many of their national-territorial autonomies. Within a few days, hundreds of thousands of people, escorted by the NKVD troops, were sent in echelons to remote regions of the country, as a rule, to Siberia or Central Asia.
Stalin was no exception. In 1940, with the outbreak of World War II, Great Britain interned 74 Germans, and 120 Japanese were taken to the United States to internment camps.
General Serov, who was then the deputy head of the NKVD and who frankly described these processes in his diary (not so long ago discovered), was also involved in most of the Soviet deportations. Interesting is the view of a person who directly organized the resettlement of peoples at the command of state bodies.
The deportation of the "class alien population" in 1939-1941 was carried out after the annexation of Western Ukraine, Western Belarus, Bessarabia and the Baltic countries.
This was not an initiative of local leaders, everything was formalized by resolutions of the Politburo and Decrees of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, the executors were the NKVD organs. Deportation operations were seriously prepared, covertly compiled lists of evicted persons indicating their locations, trains were prepared and unexpectedly for one or several days they were detained, loaded into wagons and sent to places of exile.
Deportation from Western Ukraine, Western Belarus and Bessarabia
Soviet troops entered Western Ukraine and Western Belarus only on September 17, when the Polish government had already emigrated. The Polish army did not offer resistance, but there were skirmishes in the cities, since not everyone agreed with the introduction of the Red Army and were angry, moreover, in that turmoil, the soldiers of the Red Army often began skirmishes. During this campaign, the losses from the Soviet side were 1475 people, from the Polish - 3500 dead.
By order of the NKVD, it was ordered to organize operational groups on the ground and take measures to detain officers, heads of local authorities, police chiefs, border guards, voivods, members of the White Guard, emigre and monarchist parties, as well as persons exposed in organizing political excesses.
In total, as a result of the operation, 240-250 thousand Polish soldiers, border guards, police officers, gendarmes, and prison guards were arrested. Most of the soldiers and non-commissioned officers were soon released, some 21 officers were sent to Katyn, the rest to camps on the territory of the USSR.
Repressions also affected their relatives, Beria signed on March 7, 1940, an order to evict all family members previously arrested for 10 years to the regions of the Kazakh SSR. The operation was carried out simultaneously in all cities, the evicted were allowed to take up to 100 kg of things per person, the deportees were escorted to the railway station for loading into wagons. In total, in Western Ukraine and Belarus, there were about 25 thousand families, almost 100 thousand people. All their real estate, property and assets were confiscated as state revenue. During the pre-war period, the forces of the NKVD carried out four massive waves of deportation of "socially alien" Poles. For example, in February 1940, in two days, an operation was carried out to evict 95 "siege" - Polish military participants in the Soviet-Polish war of 314, who received land allotments there.
Also, in order to combat the intensified Bandera underground in May 1940, they were arrested and sent into exile for a settlement in remote regions of the USSR for a period of 20 years with the confiscation of property of 11 members of the Bandera families.
When Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina were annexed in June 1940, captured by Romania in 1918, by an agreement between the USSR and Germany, the German population from the south of Bessarabia (about 100 thousand people) and from Northern Bukovina (about 14 thousand) was resettled to Germany, and to the liberated territories were brought in by the population from Ukraine. Before the war on June 13, 1941, in one night, at the same time, an operation was carried out in many places to deport about 29 "socially alien" Moldovans.
Deportation in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia
After the incorporation of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia into the Soviet Union in the summer of 1940, the armies of these states were transformed into rifle corps as part of the Red Army. However, under the leadership of their officers, they resisted taking the oath, in this regard, it was decided to disarm and deport all Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian officers.
Disarming the officers turned out to be not such an easy task; special operations had to be developed. Estonian officers were invited to a meeting, announced the decision of the Estonian government to disband the Estonian army and offered to surrender weapon... At the exit, their pistols were confiscated and sent by cars to the station to be sent deep into the territory of the USSR. The Lithuanian officers were taken to the forest, as it were, for exercises, and there they were disarmed and deported, and the Latvians were gathered, explained about the need for disarmament, and they obeyed.
Before the war, in 1941, it was decided to arrest former police officers, landowners, manufacturers, Russian emigrants and send them to camps for a period of 58 years with confiscation of their property, their family members exiled to a settlement in remote regions of the Soviet Union for a period of 20 years. As a result of this deportation, 9156 people were deported from Estonia, about 17500 from Lithuania and 15 from Latvia.
Deportation of the Volga Germans
The reason for the deportation of the Volga Germans, where they had historically settled since the time of Catherine II, was the possibility of a strike of the Volga Germans in the rear of the Red Army, and the reason for Stalin was a coded message from the command of the Southern Front on August 3, 1941, which reported: “Military operations on The Dniester was shown that the German population was firing from windows and vegetable gardens at our retreating troops ... The incoming Nazi troops in the German countryside on August 1, 1941 met with bread and salt. "
In August, the GKO decree and the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council were adopted on the mass eviction of the Volga Germans to Siberia and Kazakhstan, and at the same time the autonomous Volga Germans were abolished. The decree on the eviction stated, without evidence, that among the German population living in the Volga region, there were saboteurs and spies who, upon a signal from Germany, were to carry out explosions and other acts of sabotage.
As a result of a well-prepared operation in the period from September 3 to 20, 438,7 thousand Volga Germans were taken out to Siberia and Kazakhstan, the bulk of them were deported within one day. The eviction of the Germans took place without excesses, they meekly fulfilled the order, left their homes and went into exile.
When Serov drove through the villages abandoned by the Germans, he was amazed at the order and grooming that existed in them: there were good houses, herds of well-fed and well-fed cows, sheep, horses walked, hay was harvested in barns and heaps, wheat was harvested in the fields. It all looked somehow unnatural, people had to leave it all and leave their homes.
In parallel with the deportation of the Volga Germans, deportations of the German population from other regions began: from Moscow, Rostov, Crimea, the Caucasus, Zaporozhye, Voronezh, for example, from the Crimea, about 60 thousand Crimean Germans were deported under the guise of evacuation into the interior of the country. By October 1941, 856 Germans had been deported.
Deportation of Karachais, Balkars and Kalmyks
The reason for the deportation of the Karachais was their complicity with the Germans during the occupation, the creation of the Karachay National Committee and the presence of gangs supported by the population after the liberation from the Germans. Since February 1943, the activities of the Karachai anti-Soviet underground intensified in this liberated territory, and Serov led the KGB operations to eliminate them. In the first half of 1943 alone, 65 gangs were eliminated here.
In accordance with the decree of the State Defense Committee and the Decree of the PVS, the Karachai autonomy was liquidated. The eviction of the Karachais was carried out on November 2, 1943, and it was Serov who was instructed to carry out the deportation. The operation was carried out in one day, as a result 68 Karachais were deported.
In February 1944, preparations began for the deportation of the Balkars, which was officially substantiated by the facts of their participation in collaborationist formations, aiding the Germans in the seizure of the Caucasus passes, the creation of an anti-Soviet underground and the presence of a large number of bandit formations on the territory of the Kabardino-Balkarian autonomy. As of May 1943, 44 anti-Soviet gangs were active in the republic, actively cooperating with the Germans and receiving weapons and food from them. In accordance with the decree of the State Defense Committee and the Decree of the PVS, a special operation was carried out on the territory of the republic on March 8-9, as a result of which 37 Balkars were deported.
The reason for the deportation of the Kalmyks was also the too active mass cooperation of the population with the Germans during the occupation, active opposition to bandit formations to Soviet troops after the liberation of Kalmykia in 1943, as well as the desertion of the Kalmyk cavalry division and the transition to the Germans in 1941.
In 1943, Stalin was reported from the front that Kalmyk squadrons from the division that had gone over to the Germans were strongly hampering successful actions in the Rostov direction, and asked to eliminate these bandit formations. Indeed, the former hero of the Civil War, the cavalryman Gorodovikov, a Kalmyk by nationality, in a patriotic impulse in 1941 proposed to Stalin to form a Kalmyk cavalry division, and when he returned to Moscow, it soon became known that the division, almost in full force, went over to the side of the Germans.
On the territory of Kalmykia, after the retreat of the Germans, up to 50 armed bands from among the former legionaries of the Kalmyk cavalry corps formed by the Germans actively operated and were supported by the population. During 1943, they carried out armed raids and plundered military carts going to the front, killed soldiers and officers, raided collective farms and Soviet institutions, and terrorized the population. During the operations of the NKVD troops under the leadership of Serov, armed resistance was suppressed, the gangs were destroyed. In December 1944, the Kalmyk autonomy was abolished by the decree of the State Defense Committee and the Decree of the PVS. On December 28-29, 1944, Serov carried out Operation Ulus to deport Kalmyks, as a result of which 93 people were deported to Siberia.
Deportation of Chechens and Ingush
The deportation of the Chechens and Ingush had to be organized most seriously, since the armed anti-Soviet resistance was well organized in the Chechen-Ingush autonomy. The GKO decree in January 1944 and the PVS Decree of March 7, 1944 abolished the Chechen-Ingush autonomy, and the entire population of the republic "for complicity with the fascist invaders" was subject to deportation to Central Asia.
Operation "Lentil" was personally led by Beria, it took place from February 23 to March 9, the general leadership was entrusted to Serov. Back in the fall of 1942, he took part in the defense of Vladikavkaz and had the opportunity to be convinced of the existence of an extremist underground in Chechen-Ingushetia, mainly deserters and criminal elements. When the Germans, it seemed, were about to take the Caucasus, the Chechen rebels took up arms, anti-Soviet uprisings, coordinated by a certain Provisional People's Revolutionary Government of Chechnya, arose in almost all mountainous regions.
As the front line approached, the situation intensified noticeably, gangs in contact with German agents began to operate actively in the mountains. From the middle of 1942, German agents began to drop by parachutes to communicate with the rebels, until August 1943, the NKVD recorded the deployment of at least 8 sabotage teams. Several officers, led by a colonel, were deployed to the mountains, whose task was to organize a sabotage detachment of 200-300 people from the Chechens and Ingush and, at the right time, strike in the rear and occupy Grozny.
The situation in Grozny was alarming, the command did not trust the Chechens, they brazenly walked around the city and threatened to kill the Russians when the Germans arrived. There were cases of attacks and murders of soldiers. At the same time, the overwhelming majority of Chechens and Ingush called up to the front fought heroically, among them were the heroes of the Soviet Union. The activities of the underground did not stop, in 1944 the bandit formations continued to operate and were supported by the population.
Operation "Lentil" was thoroughly prepared, under the guise of exercises "in the highlands" up to 100 thousand troops and up to 19 thousand NKVD operatives were brought together. Troops and operatives were distributed across sectors, well-instructed on how to act quickly and decisively. The operation took place in one day, by the evening everything was over, for some time then in the mountains they searched for and deported those who had managed to escape.
On this day, the evicted were especially hostile, on the streets the Russians smiled and shook their fists at those leaving. During the eviction, there were several cases of clashes and shooting at soldiers and officers of the NKVD troops, while 2016 people were arrested who tried to resist or flee. By evening, all the trains had been sent, they had 475 thousand deported.
Deportation of Crimean Tatars
The reason for the deportation of the Crimean Tatars was also their active cooperation with the German invaders, support for the activities of the "Tatar national committees" created with the assistance of the Germans, assistance to Tatar military formations, punitive and police detachments. The number of Tatar military formations subordinate to the Germans was about 19 thousand people, including 4 thousand armed self-defense units. They took an active part in punitive operations against partisans and civilians.
Civilians told with horror how the Tatars committed atrocities, how they finished off the surrounded defenders of Sevastopol, even the Germans and Romanians seemed to be decent people compared to them. No one doubted the mass betrayal of the Tatars, too many facts testified to this.
Serov with a brigade of operatives arrived in Simferopol at the end of April 1944, when the southern coast of Crimea and Sevastopol were still in the hands of the Germans. Their tasks were to identify the traitors and arrest them, determine the number of the remaining Tatars and their places of residence for subsequent deportation, which was supposed to be carried out as soon as possible. They also had to determine the number of Armenians, Greeks and Bulgarians. In the course of their work, they found out that the Armenians actively cooperated with the Tatars, and the Greeks and Bulgarians practically did not take part in the atrocities. The Tatars were included in the lists for deportation, and on May 11, 1944, by a decree of the State Defense Committee, Tatar autonomy was abolished and the Tatars were deported for treason and brutal reprisals against Soviet partisans. From May 18 to May 20, 193 thousand Tatars were sent by train to the places of exile.
Beria insisted on the expulsion of more Armenians, Greeks and Bulgarians "for an active struggle against partisans", on June 2 an additional GKO decree on their expulsion was issued, and 36 thousand Armenians, Greeks and Bulgarians were also deported.