Poisoned Arrows: The Stalin-Choibalsan Mongolian Massacres, 1921-1941

Poisoned Arrows: The Stalin-Choibalsan Mongolian Massacres, 1921-1941

Poisoned Arrows: The Stalin-Choibalsan Mongolian Massacres, 1921-1941

Poisoned Arrows: The Stalin-Choibalsan Mongolian Massacres, 1921-1941


Poisoned Arrows: The Stalin-Choibalsan Mongolian Massacres, 1921-1941 reveals to an English speaking readership for the first time the truth about the massacres conducted between 1921-1941 by the Stalinist KGB and its puppet Mongolian counterpart in converting the historic home of Genghis Khan into the world's second communist state and keeping it isolated from the world under Soviet domination for seventy years. Following "orders from Moscow," the Mongolian leader Choibalsan and the Soviet-Mongolian KGB ruthlessly executed all of Mongolia's top governmental and party leaders, the nation's most prominent religious and intellectual figures and tens of thousands of innocent citizens. Among those killed were Dogsomiin Bodoo, first prime minister of the Mongolian People's Republic; Soliin Danzan and Ts. Dambadorj, chairmen of the Central Committee of the Mongolian People's Party; Prime Ministers Peljidiin Genden and Aandiin Amur, and Marshal G. Demid. The Mongolian security agency, under the guidance of the Soviet KGB, was also guilty of attacking and destroying Mongolia's unique culture. The Lamaistic religion was banned, lamas slaughtered, temples and monasteries destroyed and invaluable religious artifacts were stolen and transported to the USSR. The massacre of leading citizens in every community led to the decline of towns and regional centers and caused irreparable damage to productivity in the forcibly isolated country. This book is based on secret archival documents and other rare materials to which the public was granted access following Mongolia's 1989-1990 democratic revolution. The author's father was a victim of the massacres, adding a personal element to the story. Drawing on his experience as a member of a prisoner's family and interviews with other survivors and their families, Sandag describes the reign of terror conducted by the "Green Hats" of Mongolia's Internal Security Ministry and how the Mongols survived a time of fear and mistrust.


This gripping account of the communist terror in Mongolia is at once heartfelt and eye-opening. Written by one of Mongolia's most eminent historians, whose own father died at the hands of the Mongolian KGB "green hats," Sandag"s book is both memoir and indictment. Based upon just-opened secret archives, personal interviews, court records, and the author's own memories, it uncovers the full extent of the terror unleashed upon the fledgling republic's democratic intellectuals by Joseph Stalin and his Mongolian henchman, Choibalsan.

In a certain sense, this is a work of profound personal remembrance. The author's father, like so many other Mongolian intellectuals, was dragged off by the Mongolian secret police and falsely accused of being a Japanese spy. His whereabouts in the Mongolian gulag were completely unknown to the family left behind, and Professor Sandag -- a member of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences -- was compelled to wait, year after year, for the release that never came. Mourning his missing parent, the young boy, and then the man, did not learn of his father's death in the concentration camps until after the communist dictatorship was overthrown and the full extent of Choibalsan's reign of terror was finally exposed.

This story, with endlessly horrifying variations, is repeated time and again in Sandag's study. Most of all, however, the tragic history unveiled here takes place in and around the founders of Mongolia's independent republic which soon became a thinly disguised colony of the Soviet Union. The founding fathers of the country, proud heirs to the Mongols' age of Eurasian dominion under Genghis Khan and his successors, pay a dreadful price in their day for the Muscovite conquests of the Golden Horde nearly a thousand years earlier. One by one they are arrested, tortured to death, shot, or summoned for the fateful railway ride to Moscow, as likely as not to succumb to poisoned tea and vodka served along the way by the Soviet KGB on the Trans-Siberian Express.

Sandag's book is thus the culmination of a personal mission, both to disinter the memory of his own father and to exhume the historical remains of an entire generation of Mongolian leaders killed at the behest of Stalin's KGB officers in Ulaan Baatar. As he shows, the Mongols them-

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