Fate played a cruel joke on writer Rustem Muedin. During the war, he served in the NKVD, and part of it was directly involved in the deportation of the Crimean Tatars, including his closest relatives. Here is how the writer himself spoke about this to the local historian Girey Bairov.
In May 1944, the part of the NKVD, in which Rustem Muedin served, was located in Simferopol. Every evening, his colleagues went out to patrol the streets of Simferopol. In addition to Rustem, seven more Crimean Tatars served in this unit.
“On May 17 in the evening they didn’t tell us anything; all the fellow soldiers left the unit. We decided that they were on patrol and went to bed, and it turns out that they went to evict the Crimean Tatars, ”the writer recalled.
At about 5 in the morning, when it was already dawn, one soldier woke Rustem and a dialogue took place between them:
Comrade commander, excuse me.
“Why should you apologize, what happened?”
“I evicted your sister,” the soldier answered.
How did you evict? Where did you get that this is my sister? – surprised Rustem.
We went to her house, she had two children. She said her younger brother was serving in the NKVD. I asked his name. She replied: “Rustem Muedinov.” So this is my commander! I helped her load the suitcase and the children into the car …
Rustem put on his military uniform and with one of his comrades rushed to the house of his parents, but he no longer found anyone there. From there, he ran to his sister’s house, where he saw only three unfamiliar women – they kept records of the property remaining in the houses of the Crimean Tatars. Rustem was not allowed into the house, but he nevertheless got there and, picking up an album with photographs from the floor, went back to the unit.
Two weeks later, Rustem himself was also evicted from the Crimea. He, along with other colleagues – the Crimean Tatars, was sent to Uzbekistan. And then everything was like all the other Crimean Tatars – life in a special settlement, the funeral of loved ones, deprivation and humiliation …
Illustration: Rustem Muedin (leftmost) with parents, brothers and sisters. Simferopol, pre-war years (from the archive of Seville Sevdiyar)