Mudcat Café message #2605289 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #7574   Message #2605289
Posted By: Jack Campin
05-Apr-09 - 07:33 PM
Thread Name: Origins/lyrics: Hey Zhankoye
Subject: RE: Hey Zhankoye
Does anybody know what really happened in the background to this song? Rubin places it in the 1930s.

The placename is Turkish - "soul/life village". Much of the Crimea was Turkish until WW2, during which virtually the whole Turkish population was deported on Stalin's orders to Central Asia with heavy loss of life (very few have ever returned, and those that did are living in slum conditions with no prospect of getting any of the land or housing that the Ukrainians have taken over since).

So it looks likely that this Jewish commune was established by Stalin after booting the original occupants out. But I wasn't aware of the deportations starting that early (though such an enormous event must have had antecedents). And there are so few sources on Crimean history in English that it's hard to make any sense of this period - the easily accessible books are written by hard-core CIA ideologues.