Kazakhstan • 07 November, 2019

British journalist's book about Kazakhs presented to the Museum Fund in Almaty

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The book of the English journalist and writer Godfrey Lias "Kazak Exodus", published in 1956 in London was presented to the Museum of rare books of RSE "Gylym ordasy" in Almaty. 

In 1948, some twenty thousand Kazak families, with their herds of camels, sheep and horses and all their possessions, set but from Sinkiang Province on a tragic but unwavering exodus from their communist-dominated country.

In addition to continual attack and pursuit by communist troops, the nomads suffered intense and dreadful hardships on a journey which took them across waterless deserts where their animals died of thirst, into the icebound Tibetan uplands without food or shelter, over mountain passes eighteen thousand feet above sea level and across vast stretches of trackless, hostile land.

Two years later, less than a quarter of their original number finally straggled, exhausted but undaunted, into East Kashmir. Here they found shelter, but it was only a temporary respite and more of these gallant people were to die before the rest found sanctuary and the chance to build a new life in Turkey.

The author tells, for the first time, the story of this mass migration which has its only parallel in the Exodus of the Israelites. He describes in full the events which led up to it, and the people who took part in it. The book closes with a picture of the Kazaks beginning to rebuild their shattered way of life after one of the most harrowing, yet inspiring, experiences ever recorded.

The book was translated into kazakh and russian by the publisher, political scientist and public figure Bakhytzhan Bukharbay into Kazakh and Russian under the title "Aspantau askan urkin kosh" and "The great exodus of the kazakhs".

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