Chechen Doctors During The Great Patriotic War
The article describes the role of Chechen medical workers in the Great Patriotic War. In addition to previously published documentary sources, the work used memories and field materials, which gives it additional value and significance. The authors deal with issues which are of interest for the history of Chechnya. How was the medical service system reconstructed on the territory of the republic, what are the reasons for the incredible concentration of physical and mental forces of the peoples who inhabited the Soviet state during the war?
Keywords: HealthWorld War IImedicinedoctors
The Great Patriotic War was a test for the Soviet people. Industrial, cultural, scientific and educational, medical facilities and institutions were rebuilt.
Thousands of volunteers wanted the military commissariats to send them to the front. Those who remained in the rear worked for 20 hours.
The greatest patriotism of the Soviet people, love of the motherland, contributed to the fact that in the shortest time, the industry rebuilt in a military fashion began to produce shells, ammunition, weapons, uniforms. A wide network of hospitals was organized in medical institutions, which were provided with equipment, transport, food.
“The wounded were treated by the best medical institutions. The hospitals were staffed with highly qualified specialists, primarily surgeons” (Inderbiev, 1972, p. 62).
Among these heroic doctors were Chechens. They also made their contribution to the Great Victory. Their names are no less important and significant than the names of the glorified fellow countrymen.
The Soviet Union, implementing the plan of the cultural revolution, gave the oppressed peoples opportunities to study, get an education, and become specialists. Higher educational institutions were created everywhere. Thanks to such positive changes, young highlanders were able to master various professions. The mountain republics, including Chechnya, needed doctors, teachers, lawyers, engineers, and economists. Mountain youth was a new generation that grew up under the influence of the ideas of the Bolsheviks, patriotism, love for the motherland, selflessness, willingness to sacrifice oneself for the interests of other people.
When the war began, thousands of young people helped fight the Nazi invaders. Among them were people of the most humane profession – doctors and medical workers.
The topic of participation of the Chechens in the Great Patriotic War is relevant. Discussions about whether the Chechens were accomplices of the fascists do not subside in the media. However, there are many documentary sources testifying to the exploits of the Chechens during the Great Patriotic War.
The issue is also relevant due two recent military campaigns in Chechnya, in which Chechen doctors fulfilled their medical duty, voluntarily remaining in burning Grozny to help the wounded.
The article is based on the works by Akhmadov (2010), Inderbiev (1972), Badaeva, Aiskhanov, and Baysultanov (2016), Khasbulatova and Madaeva (2012), Kindarov (2007) and others dealing the history of medicine and healthcare in the Chechen Republic. The article gives a brief analysis of these works, their general and distinctive features. The authors gave a brief overview of the participation of Chechens in the Great Patriotic War.
Purpose of the Study
The aim of the article is an attempt to summarize the experience of scientists, to show the feat of Chechen doctors during the World War II, to reveal the heroic spirit of the Chechen people, their moral potential, desire to protect their homeland regardless of political modes.
The methodological basis was the principles of objectivity and historicism, involving the study of facts and phenomena in all their diversity, in specific historical conditions.
A comparative historical method was used. This method involves an analysis of phenomena and events within historical reality, changing under the influence of time and in specific historical conditions.
Until 1917, there was no official health care system in Chechnya. People were treated by healers and even mullahs. According to Kindarov (2007), “folk experience has accumulated ways of healing and treatment which official medicine does not know” (p. 32).
However, the situation in Chechnya was bleak – the healthcare system did not work. And only with the establishment of Soviet power did the active construction of hospitals stations begin. They were equipped with equipment, medicines; doctors and medical workers were sent there. Own medical personnel began to be trained in Chechnya. On May 18, 1927, training courses for junior medical staff began. Later, on October 1, 1930, the Chechen Medical School was founded (Akhmadov, 2009).
The Great Patriotic War changed the life of the people. Under these difficult conditions, the republic’s health care system treated both the Red Army soldiers and the civilian population. In the first year of the war, there were 17 hospitals in Chechnya. By the end of the war, there were five specialized hospitals in the republic: 9 city and 24 rural hospitals (Akhmadov, 2009).
There was a catastrophic lack of doctors, especially surgeons. Nurses, orderlies, and medical instructors finished only accelerated medicine courses. Almost half of the hospitals and pharmaceutical stores were on the occupied territory. In the fall and winter of 1941–1942, the frontline situation threatened unprecedented epidemics of typhoid, dysentery, cholera. During the years of World War II, 22 million people passed through the system of military medicine of the USSR, of which 17 million, that is, more than 70 %, were returned to service.
Among the medical workers of those war years, there are names of Chechen doctors: Sh.A. Aliev, M.T. Inderbiev, U.D. Tsutiev (Inderbiev, 1972).
Since childhood, they dreamed of becoming doctors. The outbreak of war changed their plans. They wanted to treat soldiers. Each of them has its own story related to the war.
After graduating from the medical school, Sherpudin Aliyev began to work in a military hospital in the village Starye Atagi as a feldsher. Round the clock, he worked. At that time he was only fifteen years old.
Having received a diploma of graduation from the Dagestan Medical Institute, Umar Tsutiev was sent to the Trans-Baikal Military District as a military doctor. In January 1943, Umar Tsutiev was transferred to a military hospital in Grozny. In one of the raids, an aircraft bomb exploded near the hospital. Umar was injured. However, bandaging the wound, he helped pull the victims out from under the ruins. He removed all the wounded and transferred them to a safe place. And only after that he lost consciousness. For this feat, the captain of the medical service, Tsutiev Umar Daudovich, was awarded the medal “For Courage” (Badaeva et al., 2016).
Magomed Inderbiev joined the active Red Army as a medical assistant. He had to go through many front-line miles. Once, for an excellent job, Inderbiev (1972) was offered to study at Leningrad Military Medical Academy, evacuated to Samarkand, but the young man refused, saying that until the war was over, he would not go to any school.
Together with the troops of Voronezh and Central Fronts, in the summer of 1943, M. Inderbiev participated in crossing the Dnieper river. In June 1944, he participated in crossing the Svir River in Karelia. Magomed Timirbievich ended the war in Prague, which he liberated with his comrades of the 1st Ukrainian Front (Pirogov, 1952).
In February 1944, Sherpudin Aliyev and Umar Tsutiev were sent to Kazakhstan as representatives of the deported people. Magomed Inderbiev was deported after the war (Inderbiev, 1972).
In the Kazakh steppes, their fates were similar to each other. The deportation lasted for thirteen years. During this time, Sh. Aliyev and M. Inderbiev managed to direct their energy into a creative channel. They graduated from medical schools, worked as doctors. After the death of Stalin deported peoples were allowed to return to their homeland and they took part in the restoration of the republic.
Magomed Timirbievich Inderbiev was the Minister of Health of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
Sherpudin Amirovich Aliyev became the first doctor of medical sciences among Chechens. He wrote more than 70 scientific papers. The result of his research activities was the monograph “Burn shock in hot climates and highlands” (Akhmadov, 2009).
Umar Daudovich Tsutiev, being the Deputy Minister of Health of the Republic, was involved in the creation of new hospitals, clinics, dispensaries, equipping them with the latest equipment, and solving staff issues. Under his leadership, a system of medical assistance to Chechens and Ingush returning to their historical homeland was created (Akhmadov, 2009).
The life of these people is a vivid example of selfless devotion to the work and love for people.
The Great Patriotic War interrupted the further development of medical institutions in the republic. The reorganization of the health care system was carried out in accordance with the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR of June 22, 1941 “On Military Status”. Military hospitals were created on the basis of already existing hospitals, as well as school buildings to treat wounded soldiers of the Red Army.
Thus, thanks to the heroic work, high professionalism, humanism of Soviet doctors, thousands of soldiers and officers were able to return to service. Of the more than 6 thousand hospitals created during the Great Patriotic War, 117 were captured by the enemy, 17 – were disbanded, 14 – went missing during the fighting, and the fate of 79 was not established.
Thousands of soldiers and officers of the Red Army rescued and returned to service are the result of the coordinated and dedicated work of the doctors and medical workers. Among them, there were Chechen doctors.
- Akhmadov, T. Z. (2009). The first Chechen doctors: from the history of the formation of healthcare in Chechnya. Grozny, Publ. and print. complex “Grozny Worker”.
- Akhmadov, T. Z. (2010). Chechen Healthcare: Essays on History. Grozny, Publ. and print. complex “Grozny Worker”.
- Badaeva, L. A., Aiskhanov, S. K., & Baysultanov, I. K. (2016). “I swear...”. Chechens in past wars. Book 1. Grozny, Publ. and print. complex “Grozny Worker”.
- Inderbiev, M. T. (1972). Essays on the history of healthcare in Chechen-Ingushetia. Grozny: Chechen-Ingush Book Publ. House.
- Khasbulatova, Z. I., & Madaeva, Z. A. (2012). Traditional medicine of the Chechens. Grozny: “Dzhangar”.
- Pirogov, N. I. (1952). Report on a trip to the Caucasus. Moscow: Medgiz.
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