Barbara has many deep and lasting friendships. Since the Russian invasion, she has been on the phone daily, sometime for hours, trying to listen, console, and reassure them that they are not forgotten.
Thugs roam the cities and villages. They mark doors with racial slurs identifying Tatar homes like the Soviets did 60 years ago in the forced deportation. They intimidate families by demanding passports. They talk about "killing those people."
The dark-side of the pro Russia rallies we see on TV is this violence that is brewing against Tatars. They are a vulnerable 13% of the population.
The nightly news - even PBS - simplifies and fails to give us texture and complexity of what is going on. I hope this will change.
Recently, Barb was interviewed by WBEZ Radio in Chicago. She was able to give historical context and present examples of the situation.
Click here http://feeds.feedburner.com/cprworldviewpodcast and scroll down to the podcast "Tatars in Crimea."
I'm indebted to Barb for educating me. In turn, I share what I have learned so that you might come to know the warm and generous people who are Crimean Tatars.
Maybe someone with more social media savvy than I will post and help educate others too.
Adapted from Presentation of Barbara Wieser
Over the next century, Russian oppression grew. In waves of emigration the Tatar population decreased. Some fled to the Balkans and Turkey while others were deported to Siberia by the tsarists deliberate policy of annihilating the Crimean Tatar existence.
Maybe in the reading of this blog in some small way, we'll know and remember.
They say that when something goes viral on the Internet millions of people make an individual decision to pass it on. Isn't it important that more people begin to know about the Crimea Tatars and the terror they are facing?
The current crisis is more than Geo-political posturing, more than invasion and western response. It's about a people with a history and a present danger who just want to live their lives and care for their families. Lest we forget...