This interview I gave two years ago sharp, when I didn’t have yet my own site. It was published in the 3rd edition of the newspaper “Golos Kryma” on January 14, 2005. In spite of dating this material to my 70th jubilee I recreate it now, because the information contained there, first - is still acute, second – the reported, who edited some of my thoughts in his own way, didn’t published a lot of what I said. I bridged these gaps in the present version. So, the present version is not quite what was published in the newspaper and on the site www.kirimtatar.com . So, here it is.
- How should I address to you?
- In the passport my name is Ernest Abduraimovich, but everybody call me Erik from my very childhood.
- Erik-aga, when did your childhood begin?
- On December 30, 1934 in Kerch.
- Does it mean that you are Kerch Crimean Tatar?
- No, I was born in Kerch by chance. My family originated from Akmesdzhyt (Simferopol). However, I spent my childhood in Ak’yar, in other words in Sevastopol. But to be even more precise, the first four years I lived in the Mosque – the single Mosque in Sevastopol that was built by my grand father under the financial support of Russian Emperor Nikolay II, and in which my grand father Usuf was the first and the last Imam until he was arrested. In 1938 he was subjected to repression and then executed secretly, but we found out about it only after Stalin’s and Beria’s death. However, I remember well my grand father and the Mosque before and after its devastation, because it was the universe of my childhood, but the Mosque was my native home that before my very eyes turned from splendid temple to the dirty shed. I used to call my grandfather – baba, in other words – father, and my grandmother – enne - mother. I knew my real parents at the age of five.
- What happened then?
I and my Mum Shefika Kuddusova. Crimea. 1939.
- Then was Simferopol, then one and a half year later in 1944 again the change of place of residence – Kazan. However, if in Simferopol we lived altogether – father, mother, my elder brother and I, then in Kazan I lived only with my mother. My mother left Crimea for half a year to take part in the decade of Tatar arts planned in 1941 in Moscow, where she supposed to play the leading role in opera of Zhyganov “Altyn Chach”. So, when the grown-ups learned opera on stage I roamed behind the curtains. I didn’t go to the kindergarten.
However, we never went to the All-Union decade of Tatar arts in Moscow because the war was started. We didn’t return to Crimea either. On the contrary, my father together with my brother and grandmother – my mother’s mother, whom I kept on calling enne, evacuated from Crimea where it wasn’t safe staying any longer.
Such was the fate: maybe if we had returned to Crimea our future would have been different, or even there wouldn’t be any future at all, in case we had appeared under the occupation, then subjected to deportation that destroyed half our people. However, my mother remained working as a lead in the opera. Soon my father went to war, my brother Javid at the age of 14 went to work at the military factory instead of school, otherwise we would died because the norm of starvation rations was not enough. Every day I had to go to the opera theatre with my mother absorbing casually the music of the world great composers and at the same time getting to know the backstage life of actors. Maybe because if this I didn’t become a musician, though, the experts claimed that I had an outstanding musical abilities. Anyway, after two years of studying at the musical school I was transferred without my knowledge to the special class designed for young talents by Kazan Conservatoire. However, by that time I already started showing my character. I had no desire to become an artist or a musician. The other side of the life of art workers – you see, I saw them not only at the theatre, but in the dorm as well, where everybody lived like in an ant hill – aroused an aversion in my child’s perception. I instinctively dreamed of escape from this hell. That is why I turn one's back not only on art workers, but art itself. The child’s nature is integral and can’t separate the grains from weeds. This is evidently the reason that prevented me from being a musician. Before going into art its better not to know its reverse side.
- Maybe it’s always like this?
- Maybe, you are right. The human nature reveals everywhere equally. However, the people’s attitude to the art workers is not the same as to the common people. Making divine things you have to be like God. Even in the everyday life. I saw them in everyday life both jealous, and insidious, and mean, and ready to the intrigues and treachery, and many more things inherent in human nature. But, I had never seen the nobleness in their midst that is also inherent in a man.
Maybe I was too immature in my maximalism at that time and couldn’t combine in my consciousness the divinity of music that I felt very keenly with the poverty of its performer whose life laid spread before my eyes. I don’t know. However, the fact remains the fact: I didn’t become a musician regardless all the necessary prerequisites for this.
- Does it mean that you think differently now?
- Of course, because I’m developing, progressing, improving. Life teaches a man a lot, especially if he wants to study. As for me I read and traveled a lot. It was noticed long ago that changing of the usual surrounding stimulates the development of the intellectual abilities of a man and enriches his imagination most of all. I started traveling from my very childhood, accompanying my mother in all her tours. She obligatory took me with her whatever place and term she went. The studying at school wasn’t taken into consideration, because I always studied well and with pleasure. These long term absences didn’t reflect on my grades. Though, I traveled with my mother all over the Soviet Union. It was the most precious gift that the parents could present to their child in order to grow up an outstanding person. You see, everything is comprehended in comparison. When you see a lot you can’t be bored.
- But your mother died when she was very young!
- Yes, she died right at that time when I decided to become a professional traveler. After I finished school in Kazan I went to enter the Geographic department of Moscow State University (MGU). My mother died in Moscow when I was a third year student.
Studying at the university from the very first year I went to the scientific expeditions giving up my summer holidays and tried to wander into the most remote and impassable corners of the huge Communist Empire, called Soviet Union at that time.
- You called USSR “Communist Empire”… In the period when you studied at the university the Soviet Union was called so only in the western and emigrant press…
Students of Geographic Department, 1957
- You are right. We didn’t call it so, because of the fear. The whole country at that time lived in some invented world and it was dangerous for one’s life to call things with their real names. For example we had to call our authoritarian – totalitarian regime the higher democracy, and western democracy – imperialism and so on and so forth. However, we, the students of MGU were intelligent people and the communist propaganda couldn’t make a full of us. In particular in 1956 when I was at the third year.
This year was a summit of Khruschev’s “thaw”. It also was remarkable of so called “Hungarian events”, when Hungarians rebelled against the communist – soviet dictatorship. Thus, I became the witness of the first – conditionally speaking – dissident revolution impending in the country from 1953, that is, after Stalin’s death and Beria’s execution. The students and the young lecturers of Moscow University held mass-meetings continuously by the whole departments. The faculty party committees failed influencing on the students because of their reduced authority. The so called Komsomol meetings of departments that numbered the thousands of persons had to visit the members of Politbureau of Central Committee of the Communist Party of Soviet Union and the Government. The students spoke at their presence such things that they even didn’t dare to think about before.
It is clear that KGB was on the alert as well. All dissident activists of MGU were included into “black lists”. I was included there as well. I was secretly told about it by the communist and the head of the department, Professor Oleg Konstantinovich Leont’ev who was informed by the competent organs about the “harmful element” studying at his chair. It was decided to send down from University the students from the list, but not for the political sins and expressions, but for the everyday faults and poor progress.
It was impossible to flunk me because I was one of the best and promising students of my department. I also behaved myself well in everyday life. That is why I made without any adventures before the spring examinations of 1957. Until that time some activists from the list were quietly and gently flunked from the University, either for drinking, or for fighting. But even the fool could understand what these fellows suffered for. Nobody touched me, because I didn’t give any reasons for pick on me.
Nevertheless, I was caught finally. The point was as follows.
Marshal Zhukov who was the Minister of Defense at that time after his travel around the communist China where he was touched at the sight of the marching Chinese who turned the country into the military camp. He decided to make of Soviet people the same obedient tin soldiers. To begin with he passed the order according to which every conscious man of the country must stand in the line to make the morning exercises. Then they must pass the test in GTO (Ready to work and defense) in the same organized way. The ravings of a paranoiac. However, at that time the people used to the Stalin orders took all this for granted.
However, the free-thinking students of MGU already thought with new categories. At the first day nobody with few exceptions went to the general morning exercises. Then the general who was in charge of the university’s military chair made all his officers who taught the military disciplines at the faculties to visit the dormitories and drive out forcibly all the students to the drill square. When the colonel rushed into my personal room (every student at MGU had his personal room at that time) I made scandal. At the demand to get up immediately and run to the morning exercises I cried that I was left alone and that I was independent enough and could manage my time for myself. – “But this is the General’s order!” – “So, what?” I don’t wear epaulets, and that is why he can't lay down the law for me. You are the other case”. – “But this is the order of the Minister of Defense Zhukov!” – “I repeat, I am a civilian man and I’m not intended to carry out the stupid orders of any martinets. The country is not a military camp”. I should note by the way that I did not only honor Marshal Zhukov, but felt quit strong and fair antipathy to him. All his victories were von not due to the talent of a military leader, but at the cost of innumerable human lives. It was already known at the period of Khruschev’s “thaw”. That is why in a temper I called him a martinet. This dialog with the colonel was retold to the general in every detail.
Somersault in any place and at any time
On the next day on the drill square where the general exercises was conducted the sleepy students were read the general’s order on dismissing of student Kudusov from the chair military training (you see, after graduating from the university we were given the military rank of lieutenant of the reserve). For other’s edification, in order that the rest knew how not to follow the general’s orders. It was plain that the student who was dismissed from the military chair was automatically called to the army as an ordinary soldier. After such a repressive act I wouldn’t escaped alive from the army. There I would suffer all kind of mocking…
However, luckily two more students of our department and even our chair of geomorphology refused to follow the general’s order. However, in spite of me these two were enrolled at the university after they fought at World War Two (that is why they were enrolled hors concours). Three together we decided to give the general the fight: we wrote the statement that we regarded the general’s actions as exceeding his powers and that is why we would apply to the Office of Public Prosecutor and Civil Court, because we were still civilians.
Our bold statement sobered the general. We even didn’t have time to implement the promised threat, because the governing body of the department and the university didn’t want the new political scandal. The case was settled quietly in the lobbies of the University authority. We were left alone. The general’s order was canceled.
Thus, I avoided repressions (for the second time in my life) and graduated from MGU safely even obtaining the military card of lieutenant in reserve of air force.
- Though, you didn’t escape the prison eventually…
- Yes, you are right, I didn’t… Butting with communist authorities was equal to insanity. However, I didn’t take it in at all. All this lie and hypocrisy drummed into the common people’s heads was in such flagrant contradiction to the reality that only the complete idiot or zombie enable to think independently couldn’t notice it. The rest sane people suffered this nightmare silently submitting to the power of fools. Unfortunately, in the USSR these sane people represented the minority, the overwhelming minority. I made plans of escaping from USSR, though I couldn’t implement them. Then, I just left to taiga and lived recluse there for few years hunting alone at the taiga animals thus ensuring oneself the means of existence. I had written the book telling about my taiga adventures that aroused the great reader’ interest. I was noted by the hunters from “Glavohota” and was invited to work for the Scientific Research Institute of Hunting and Hunting Economy.
My patron Professor Oleg Konstantinovich Leont’ev and me in the expedition around sultry Turkmenistan
All this, however, didn’t change things fundamentally. I kept on hating this regime and its bearers – communists, having just the possibility to leave for few months to taiga from time to time and forget there about the odious reality.
Getting back to Moscow I kept on the dissident activity. From “enemy voices” I found out about the existence of the Crimean Tatar national movement. Via the contacts I finally established relations with the activists of the Crimean Tatars national movement. First I met Vildan Shem’i – zade who moved to Moscow from Central Asia. Then with Sabriye Seutova and Reshat Ablayev who arrived at Moscow on secret affairs stayed at me (I lived in the room of the communal flat). Among the Crimean Tatar guests also was Professor Muzafarov who was terrorized by the authorities for his free-thinking. In 1982 I went to Uzbakistan in order to meet Mustafa Dzhemilev. I spent few days at him in Yangiyul. When I returned back to Moscow I managed to get round the KGB officials who surrounded and managed to pass via the orderlies the letters from Mustafa Dzhemilev to Academician Sakharov who was exiled to Gorky.
One should mention that the last months before my arrest I was “shepherd” literally for 24 hours following on my heels. Finally on July 1983 my house was searched. I was accused of: “Spreading of deliberately false falsehood on state regime of USSR” (pay attention at the wording of the article, every word of which cries about the demagogy and lie). Later on I found out that the last drop exasperating KGB was Mustafa Dzhemilev’s letter addressed to me and found at the writer-dissident Alexandrov who on his way to me was arrested in the train.
- How long did you spend in prison?
- Four years. Do you know for what? Because of the cartridges. You know, I was a professional hunter who made his living by shooting the wild animals. They didn’t find the weapon. That was quit natural, because the rifled weapon was given at taiga Gospromhoz on the territory of which I was hunting. The cartridges were given to the hunter as many as he considered it necessary. I used to shoot to the point that is why the cartridges remained. For these very cartridges I was imprisoned for 4 years. Such was the communist court the fairest court in the world. Of course I wasn’t arrested for the cartridges. It was plain. The Andropov KGB officials had to imprison me. However, they couldn’t invent anything, but to force the judge making what wasn’t within the frameworks of the common sense and even the currently in force law. At my closed court session all the time the KGB official whose name was Aliev was present arriving with this purpose from Uzbekistan. If I happen to meet him alone I would shoot him into his forehead without any hesitation for his ardor to make nasty things to the people.
You see, they didn’t like my way of thinking. They needed an obedient slave, but I showed the love of freedom. For this I was subjected to repressions trying “to break”, make me meek even in the prison. However, I fought with them even there spending one third of the term in the camp prison. As a result of this combat my authority among the prisoners increased to such extent that the camp’s administration was dismissed and I was urgently transferred from Siberian hungry camp to another camp in Kirov town where I wasn’t conduced any “educational work” aimed at making an obedient slave of me. On the contrary, I was treated exaggeratedly officially and obeying the law. There was no violence and arbitrariness towards me. In case some of the prisoners nagged with me by thoughtlessness, so then he stayed far away at me.
- Do you hate communists?..
Lecturer of Far-Eastern University on one of the obligatory communist demonstrations
- I don’t even cover it. You see, the communist is not just the member of the Party. The communist is a diagnosis. The diagnosis is a dull and stupid man. He got exasperated for the whole world because the nature deprived him of talents. In 1917 Russian slaves (these dull and stupid men) ruined the power of their masters who governed them for more than a thousand of years, and called themselves the communists decided to built a new world. However, what a common slave who saw neither freedom, nor prosperity could build? That is why they built the slaveholding state again calling it the communist. To begin with these illiterate, resentful for the whole world dull men started murdering all those people who were better, wiser and more gifted than them. Then, after they understand that in order to govern the state one needs the knowledge and an innate gift, they started forcing the hateful intellectuals in other words the men of mental labor to serve them – ignoramus staying by the proletarian power, at this reducing the value of their labor to the level of an unskilled worker. The prominent people were just imprisoned (they could easily find the reason for this), making them working intellectually under the threat of the death and for the bread and water. The people like Tupolev, Korolev and the hundreds and thousands like them created their masterpieces at concentration camps.
So, the free man can’t love and honor the communists. The reason is that he has completely different mentality. The freedom-loving people trying to change the slaveholding system somehow were executed at once proclaiming them “national enemies”.
That is why I hate the communists.
- Let’s get back to your literary work. How many books have you published?
- Five – for today. The first was published in 1977, the rest already after imprisonment at the end of the past millennium and in the beginning of this one. At the same time I was a journalist and published my articles in the weekly newspaper “Golos Kryma”. By the way namely due to the publications in the newspapers I became famous in Crimea. Though, my books are not read here.
- Isn’t it too radical statement? As a matter of fact you book “Moscow and Crimea” is quite popular in Crimea.
- Only among those why is interested in history.
- However, there are lots of them!
- Unfortunately, less then I wanted to see. Crimean Tatars, as a slandered people and on this ground subjected to genocide, must know their history like the ABC. The real history, not the one invented by the communists’ lackeys. That is why I write not for myself, but in order to educate my people.
However, Crimean Tatars, unfortunately didn’t require the image of a reading nation.
Though, our malevolents keenly keep track of the literature published by Crimean Tatars and react on it very purposefully. Let’s me cite only one example.
In 2004 my book titled “Geography of Crimea in Scientific – Popular Exposition” was published. As is customary, I gifted few books to my colegues on MGU geographyc department. As the saying goes “the rumors feed the earth” and the Professor working at the Sevastopol branch of MGU found out about this work. Being the geomorphologist himself he read only those chapters where it was written about the geology, geomorphology, paleontology, climate, etc. However, he didn’t read the book to the end, where it was written about the ethnogenesis of the people of Crimea – Crimean Tatars and Russians. He found my telephone number and gave me a call telling that the book was perfect, and that the students of Crimean branch of MGU require it very much, and that he was ready to by several copies of the book at once. After listening Professor’s appreciation I recomended him reading the book to the end first and only then call me back regarding the purchasing of the consignement of books.
The thing was that in the last chapter of my book I stated forth the original conception about the existance of wto Russian people in Russia having the same ethnonim, but differed greatly from each other. I also wrote about this in newspaper “Golos Kryma” in the middle of 2003. From the scientific point of wiev one can’t pick on the conception. However, for Russian shouvinists this article became a kind of a red rag for the bul. For me this work turned into the litmus paper that let me sharply define who among my reader are: real scientist or trained shouvinist. Well, it appeared that among the Crimean intellectuals there were only few real scientists. The rest were communists – souvinists unable to objective and unbiased thinking. To compare, in Moscow this ratio appeared to be diametrically opposite. This is, by the way, the typical index of difference between the provincial and capital thinking. The number of independent and free-thinking scientists is far lesser among the provincials. ... Though, it’s a common knowledge.
By the way, the Professor from Sevastopol never called me back.
- Now it is clear why your book received an ambiguous assessment in Crimea.
- “To burn the people’s hearts with a word” – this is the duty of every writer, and the citizen in particular. My enemies can’t say anything bad about “The Geography of Crimea”: there nothing to nag at. They don’t want to say anything good either. That is why it was surrounded by the deathly silence. The enemies of our people are indignant at the mirror, at historic mirror. They took offence at me because I accidentally shoved them this mirror that showed them their real mug…
As against many Crimean malevolents I’m an all-sufficient man. And I know that no body of these mudslingers didn’t do as much as I achieved. For twenty years of my career I made several scientific discoveries both in sea shore geomorphology and biology. Y the way, it was written in my autobiographic story titled “On the Edge of the Disappearing Land” published in the book “The Geographic Adventures”. That is why I quietly observe the petty intrigues of the certain scientist’s areas around my personality. I’m not a Doctor of Science, and not even a candidate of science, but I’m a Scientist, but they are just the Doctors of Science.
- I’d like to return to the moment of your life when I started the social – political activity. It happened…
- … In 1980th soon after I came out of the imprisonment. At this period Moscow lived with revolutionary moods. At the end of 1990 the Congress of the repressed people gathered in Moscow proclaimed the foundation of the Confederation of the repressed peoples (KRN). At the same time there was established the working presidium of the Confederation made up of two representatives of each repressed peoples. Crimean Tatars were represented by Refat Chubarov and me. From this moment I started my quit rapid public career. First, in the capacity of the executive secretary – coordinator of KRN, then as the official of the Ministry on the Issues of Nationalities. After the abolition of KRN and the Ministry – the member of the Foundation of the Repressed Peoples and Citizens. At the same period I was the head of the official Friendly Association of Crimean Tatars of Moscow, at the same time I wrote. Since 1994 I represent annually Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people at the Congress of Peoples of Europe of the Union of National Minorities of Europe (UNME).
- Considering your active public activity do you feel any higher attention of so called special agencies?
- It’s quit difficult question. You can’t answer to it in short. I only can say definitely that I’m under the “supervision” of Federal Security Service. You see, after I was released in 1987 I didn’t lose in the crowd, but became an activist of Crimean Tatar national movement which grew during my imprisonment into an unconquerable power. Only one this fact that I became the third person in KRN, the organization created following the criminal activity of KGB couldn’t attract the closest attention of these “special agencies”. You know, I was imprisoned because of the at KGB urgent request. Thus, it’s a long time that they “take care of me”. This is their job. Another issue how they carried out and keep on carrying out their job, but this is another question.
First they tried cracking down on me using threats (they evidently didn’t like some of my statements abroad or articles published in newspaper “Golos Kryma”). One night someone forced the metal bars in the window of our organization where I had my personal office, smashed the door of the office and made there the massacre. Though, the other offices remained safe. However, at my office everything was turn upside down. Strange thing: no valuable things lost, but there were lots of them. Even the foreign currency was thrown around the floor in a pointed manner without a single cent taken. It is plain that it wasn’t the street thieves. That is why I even didn’t apply to the militia, though the district militia officer advised me to do it. By the way, this episode was yet in Yeltsin time.
Knowing that such methods of threatening were senseless and didn’t influence on me they left it. Now they are just watching me. Basically through the intelligencers, but not exceptionally. From time to time I found old or new acquaintances that show their “sincere” sympathy towards me. I know that my phone is taped. There was even time when the “bugs” were installed in my flat in my absence. From time to time their expert checks my computer. I take it all philosophically: on the other hand not a single thief could get into my flat, because it is always under the vigilant surveillance of Federal Security Service.
As far as my relations with the Ministry of Internal Affairs concerns, in other words Militia, they are far simpler. For example I’d like to tell you only one occasion that happened comparatively recently.
It occurred at one of the mass demonstrations of the Union of Right Forces next to the Solovetsky stone. I must confess that I already don’t understand the matter the Right forces protested against, but I know that it were intellectuals who gathered together and separated into small groups discussing the next dull decision of the authorities. Suddenly, nobody knows from where the perorating roarer – a kind of Sharikov-Anpilov appeared and started pouring all the present with the impartial epithets such as: “Dermocrats of SPS breed leaded the great country to the disgrace” and so on and so forth. I suddenly definitely saw how the defenseless intellectuals who tried to make this beast change his mind by using words and logics. However, the impudent fellow knew well where he came with his provoker shouts: this public wouldn’t beat him in respond to his humiliations, it isn’t bread so. He even came up with those people who moved away from him with disgust and kept on pouring them all with mud.
Though, I’m an intellectual, but I was grown up in the street. That is why I rushed towards this scoundrel across the crowd knowing in advance how to deal with such bastards. How I was surprised when I saw that this cheeky fellow stood almost next to Nemtsov and Khakamada and they could not give order to their bodyguards to calm this unrestrained cad. I also saw that his provoker had the bodyguard – a strong and tall young man – a typical bodyguard that stayed with the cheeky smile next to him and with all appearance showed that his ward was under the firm defense. While I was thinking what to do in this situation Nemtsov’s securities finally carefully took the “orator” under his arms and took him out of the front garden without any noise.
However, I already had my adrenalin boiled in my blood and it broke inside. I attacked the puzzled body guard and started knocking him following all the rules of “fight without rules”.
Our round wasn’t long lasted, but it was enough that the quick cameramen had time to organize the TV-circle around the extempore ring. The fight was stopped by the referees in Militia uniform. The Militia officials moved us apart very carefully. Though, they didn’t seat us on different corners, but on different cars. Then they brought us to the nearest police station.
- What the bringing to the Militia resulted in? You were not arrested, were you?
- Of course not. They didn’t dare. I wasn’t a street hooligan who violated the public order. On the contrary, I was the man that made order on the mass demonstration violated by the communist provokers. It was plain from the very beginning to the investigator who carried out the questioning with three of us. Yes, three of us, because we all we brought to the same police station. Though, we were placed in different rooms, because as soon as I saw this Sharikov-Anpilov in the room I rushed to him crying to him: “You also here dirty communist!” However, I couldn’t finish off with him, because we were providently taken to different rooms.
I don’t know what the investigator was talking to my opponents, though when it was my turn he politely told me observing my reaction that my actions at the mass demonstration could by punished with 5-7 years of imprisonment. At this I responded on the spot that I would be happy to turn this spontaneous precedent into the trial against the communism. “On some reason this trial is industriously avoided in Russia, - said I. – So, it would be the reason to turn this criminal case that you began into the political proceedings. I hope you made inquiries who do you deal with?” He smiled and asked me to sign the report. When I was leaving he asked me: “Where did you learn fighting so well?” It appeared that all that time he stood in the crowd observing everything that was happening.
Such were my relations with Moscow Militia.
- In Crimea Crimean Tatars are taken to the prison for such fights.
- They will play until they would be taken to the prison for such sentences themselves. I know what you are talking about. However, there are too much communist chauvinists in Crimea ruling their ball with impunity. Because of their genetic feeble mind they do not understand that their age comes to an end and the wise would change its ethnic policy. Though, the Slav communist are dull and they can’t see farther then his short nose. They got caught in an endless loop on Crimean Tatars hating them for that they do not let turning Crimea into the second Pridnestroviye. Though, three years ago I wrote that Crimean Slavs would be pressed and drove into a corner not by Crimean Tatars, but their brothers whom the arrogant Velikorosses humiliatingly called Malorosses. Though, I mistaken in my prediction just in terms. I thought it would happen later. However, this already happened. As the saying goes, only the grave could improve the fool. The communist is the corpse on his nature.
- …So, we’ll see what would be the results of the “Orange Revolution”, but now the last question: why didn’t you still move to the native land, in Crimea?
Chairman of Board of Friendly Association of Crimean Tatars at the presentation of Edem Orazly’s book
- There is one wise saying made by the ancient Greeks: “The native land of a person is the place where he feels good.” I doesn’t mean of coarse that Crimea isn’t the native land for me. Not at all. However, the fact is that Moscow became the second native land for me. In other words, Crimea is my historic native land, and Moscow is my present one. Such is my life. If I could escape abroad from the Soviet Union maybe I would have another today’s native land. However, the escape failed and I escaped to Moscow, a single city that differs, though not greatly from the rest Soviet country. Even now Moscow is not Russia. This is a special state in the state inhabited not by Russians, but Moscowians.
All this considering, I realize that Moscow is far form being an ideal place where I could feel very comfortable. A lot of things here irritate me. However, there are less dull communist chauvinists than in Crimea anyway. I can’t stand them!
It’s not the time for me yet to move to Crimea. I will return to Crimea only to die here, in order that my ashes would mix with the ashes of my noble and famous ancestors. However, now I don’t have to be in the thick of things, but a little bit aside if I still want benefit to my people. Having the possibility to make often the short-term visits to Crimea, I’m like the legendary Antey gain the burst of new forces from touching the Crimean land. They stimulate me to publicistic, scientific and literary work that today related only to my people, and its interests which I live for. If I return to Crimea I would mix with the people and stop create being engrossed in minute troubles and problems. If I will leave Crimea too far I would loose the ties with my people and stop existing for it. Moscow and Crimea are on such distance from each other that allows absorbing into the nutrient medium of the native and vivifying surrounding without spending much time and force. By the way this is the reason why I didn’t immigrate to America. Though, everything leaded to this…
When Yeltsin left his throne and passed his power to the KGB workers I understood that the history of the country would go back again. Inspired by the instinct of self-preservation I went to the Embassy of USA and asked the political asylum there, you see all my miseries were caused from the KGB workers. I was understood in the Embassy and I and my wife were provided the asylum. During the pre-leaving period I was told the town where we would suppose to live, the amount of the pension and other material benefits and even the number of the flight on which we would immigrate to America, and there would be the doctor specially appointed to look after me. You see, I became the 2nd group invalid due to KGB’s efforts. In general, everything was ready to immigration to America I dreamed all my life about…
However, I didn’t flight there. I changed my mind. How beautiful and desired America was for me, but leaving there means tearing myself into two pieces: leave one’s soul in Crimea, but sent my body to another hemisphere. Living in Moscow I easily restore the harmony of soul and body. Being in America I would remain torn to peaces. And I would die of wrench very soon. That is why I didn’t immigrate. I was warned that now I won’t even given the guest visa to USA. They didn’t forgive such things. Though, I had no alternative. Either the native land and life full of fighting, or decent and unknown death abroad. I chose the first. Because only the realization of one’s necessity to beloved surrounding holds many people alive.
KUDUSOV ERNST ABDURAIMOVICH
Was born on December 30, 1934 in Kerch, Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Ukraine. Attended school in Kazan, where he moved with his parents not long before World War Two. After finishing school in 1953 he was enrolled in Moscow State University on Geographic department that he graduated in 1958.
Obtaining the specialization of expert in Geomorphology of Sea Shores he worked few years at Caspian Sea in the system of Academy of sciences of USSR. Here he made his first geographic discovery – discovered the offset type of sea shores. The domestic experts in sea shores had no idea of the existence of them when they made up the cadastre of sea shores of Soviet Union just knowing that such kind of shores exist in the theory. He wrote two scientific works about it in co-authorship with Mr. Leontyev, Khalilov and Mekhtiev (Reports of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan SSR, v. 21, # 2, 1965 “On Some Peculiarities of the Modern Dynamics of Sea Shores of Sulak Bay” and Izvastiya of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan SSR, Series of Geographic Sciences, 1965, # 6).
The desire to study science independently and publish scientific works without co-authorship made Mr. Kudusov go to the Far East. Working first in the System of the Academy of Sciences of USSR as a scientific worker, then in the capacity of the University lecturer in Vladivostok, and finally as a candidate at Kazan University, he devoted few years to studying of the shores of Kamchatka on the Pacific Ocean, and also made here few geographic discoveries. One of them was made on the on the brink of two sciences: Geomorphology and Tectonics (“The Experience of Determination of Vertical Tectonic Movement Using the Geomorphologic Methods”, The Questions of Kamchatka Geography, issue 5. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 1967), that proved that one shore of Listvenitsa fiord does up and the other goes down. His second geographic discovery he made on the brink of geomorphology and zoology, explaining the mystery of disappearing of salmon fish from some of Kamchatka rivers (“Tsunami and Reproduction of Salmon Fish Supply”, Fish Farming Journal, #11, 1972. The Body of the Ministry of Fish Farming of USSR). The third discovery was made within Geomorphology of sea and ocean shores science: we discovered so called ocean type of shore development as against the sea type. The detailed description of this geographic discovery, as well as other discoveries could be found in his book titled “Geographic Adventures” in documentary scientific – artistic narration “Over the country of Disappearing Land”. (Moscow, Institute of DI-DIK, 1999).
In the seventies Mr. Kudusov gave up geomorphology of the shores and turned his attention to the problems of hunting working for the scientific laboratory by the Ministry of Hunting and Reserve of USSR. Here he also published a whole series of scientific works on ecology of taiga and tundra commercial animals.
Since the late eighties (after he was released) Mr. Kudusov turned his attention to historic ethnography, publishing articles both in journals and newspapers, as well as publishing books.
Thus, his last scientific priority was history and ethnology of Crimean Tatars (“The History of Formation of Crimean Tatar Nation” – the brochure, “Confrontation Goes On” – the book, 1996; “Moscow and Crimea”, book, 2002 and others). In this field of history and ethnology Kudusov also showed innovation seeing what his predecessors haven’t seen. He first stated in public that there have been two Russian ethnic groups existing on the Russian vast for more than two thousand of years. They have the same ethnonim, but they are completely different. The first article on this topic was published in newspaper “Golos Kryma” in 2003, then in the book “Geography of Crimea in Scientific – Popular Exposition” (Moscow, 2004, 7,75 p.)
Unlike the overwhelming majority of scientists of Soviet Union legalizing their scientific activity by defending the Ph.D. thesis and doctoral thesis, Kudusov ignored the scientific degrees of the communist state following from the principle considerations of the dissident scientist. He declared that he works for science for his own pleasure, but not to glorify the hateful communist homeland. His protest against the hateful regime he showed not only this way, but also publishing “seditious” articles and statements for what he was imprisoned under the barbed wire for 4 years (1983 - 1987). After he released he became an active fighter against the communist system joining Crimean Tatar national movement. Within the frameworks of this fight he became one of the founders of the Confederation of Repressed Peoples (1900). In 1992 he started working for the Department on the Issues of Repressed Peoples by the State Committee of Nationalities (turned into Department by the Ministry of Nationalities of Russian Federation) in the capacity of the head specialist until its closure.
Today, being the representative of Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People at FUNME (Federative Union of National Minorities of Europe) and the Head of Board of friendly association of Crimean Tatars in Russian Federation, Mr. Kudusov continues his scientific-publicistic activity, publishing in different periodicals of Russia and Ukraine (newspaper “Golos Kryma”, “Avdet”, “Dialog”). Since 2005 he is the head editor of the web site “Moscow-Crimea” (www.moskva-krym.com).