«Saving Private Ryan» and the tragedy of a mother Dzhumaziye Periya


In 1989 a film of Steven  Spielberg called «Saving Private Ryan» appeared on the world’s screens. The film had a great effect on people, especially on the young ones. It filled the hearts of Americans with pride for grandfathers’ and fathers’ purity and maid people mourning on victims of fighting against the fascists. This film was considered to be the best in the 20th century among those about the war. 

The picture was based on actual events had happened with Niland brothers during World War II. Captain John Miller got a difficult mission. He and a group of eight had to go behind the enemy line and search for James Rayan whose three brothers died on the fields of the battles. 

The command agreed to discharge Rayan and send him to his inconsolable mother.

But before finding and saving him the group of eight had to go through the seventh circle of hell.

 There are a lot of documents found by activists of Crimean Tatar national movement that confirm the mass participation of Crimean Tatars in that war. Early in 1957 Crimean Tatar participants of World War II appealed with the letter to the senior management of USSR: to Nikita Khrushev, Nikolay Bulganin, Kliment Voroshilov, and Georgiy Zhukov. Among the authors of that letter particularly were the Commander of 198 Gvardeyskiy motorized rifle Guards Major Suleyman Halilov, Captain Basir Gafarov ( who was also known as a scientist and philologist), Assistant Chief of Staff of Artillery in the 5th Gvardeyskiy Corpus of the 39th army Guards Captain Suleyman Asanov and others.

 Paying attention to the injustice demonstrated against the Crimean Tatars from the Soviet government, the authors of the letter called for an end of mistrust and suspicion, insulting the national honor of Crimean Tatars. They provided a number of examples for rejection of different accusations towards Crimean Tatars, by all means, fabricated by the Soviet Government. 

In particular, in that letter, there was a story of the family of Esma Seydametova, which was mentioned in ” Moscovskiy Bolshevik” newspaper in 1947. Esma Seydametova was a Heroine-Mother who brought up eight children and all of them had participated in World War II withing the ranks of Red Army. As it was stated in the document, in general, the representatives of this very family were awarded from the Government, meanwhile, two of them died in battle. 

In the following years, the national movement continued to collect information about Crimean Tatar families’ participation in the Great Patriotic War. Selected examples of popular resistance against fascists were demonstrated in those documents:

  • Osman Bostandzhi’s family, Ulu-Sala village Kuybishevskiy district, 11 brothers participates in the war, 5 of them died;
  • Periya family, Gurzuf town, 8 persons warred, 5 of them died;
  • Bekmambetov family, Buyuk-Barash village Yevpatoriya district, 6 brothers warred and 4 of them died;
  • Feyzullaev family, Azek village Bakhchisaray district, among 7 people 5 died ( after the village was captured on 7th of November 1941, three youngest children from this family -Idris, Aliye, Amet – were executed by nazis;
  • Bekaev family, Kadish village in Akmechitskiy district, 6 members warred, 5 of them died;
  • Abduramanov family, Gurzuf district, 4 people warred, all of them died;
  • Osman Topchi family, Bakhchisaray, 6 sons and a daughter Sebiya (a major of medical service) warred, 5 of them died;
  • Lumanov family, Tatar-Osman village Kuybishev district, 5 members of the family warred and all of them were officers with titles from lieutenant to lieutenant colonel, 4 of them died;
  • Abduraman Ziyadinov, Gurzuf village, 4 people warred and all of them died.

These examples testify to all those victims of Crimean Tatars sacrificed in the name of the fight against fascism. Only a few Crimean Tatar warriors were lucky to see their relatives, parents, wives, and children deported to Middle Asia, Ural and Syberia. Warriors and winners saw horrors of deportation and death of relatives.

Dzhumaziye Periya who had sent 8 of her sons to that war died under the wheels of the train on the way to Kazakhstan. 

One of her sons, Mamut Periya, came back home to his native Gurzuf after the war had ended. He wanted to see his house. Some man got down the stairs of it and said: “Expelling you wasn’t enough, it would be better to kill all of you, like Jews. Don’t come here!”. 

I think that in the future somebody will make the film about it and will establish a monument of Dzhumaziye Periya on her Mother Land.


The opinion of publishing author not always coincides with the opinion of editorial staff

Author: Редакция Avdet