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September 9, 2016 / Congau

Tatar Reparation of History?

Was the injustice of history neutralized when the Crimean Tatars returned to Crimea? No, history cannot be repaired, and you cannot step twice into the same river.

It sounds like an elementary example of legitimate compensation. The Crimean Tatars were deported in 1944 and after 1989 they were allowed to come back. But one seems to forget that 45 years had passed and most of those who arrived had either never been there before or were children at the time when they were forced away. Therefore the people who settled on the peninsula were strangers, and we know that a population often react negatively when a large amount of strangers arrive in their midst. 12 percent of the inhabitants are now Tatars, foreigners that is, and that would be a large number for any society.

Please don’t misunderstand. Xenophobia is an ugly thing and as a principle anyone should be welcomed anywhere, but if we admit that this negative part of human nature exists, we also have to accept that it is found among the Russians of Crimea. Stalin’s deportations were terrible, but history cannot be reversed and the present will have to encounter the problems of today.

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