(185 years of anniversary of ShokanValikhanov)

The role of Ermukhan Bekmakhanov is specialin the formation of Kazakh history. Bekmakhanov was one of the first and unique Soviet historians, who received a doctorate degree in the Soviet history and he has a different fate. The strongest academicians B.D.Grekov, A.M.Pankratova, N.M.Druzhinin, who told about him, can be considered as the creators of Soviet historical science. Halima, the historian’s wife, recalls: “In summer of 1943, «the History of the Kazakh SSR» was published in Almaty, covering the period from ancient times to the present. This book was the first to write an independent history of the Soviet republics, and due to the efforts of eminent scholars, this book immediately stood out and was nominated for the Stalin Prize. It passes the first test without stumbling. But the joy of the authors turns into a controversy that lasted for several years, and for Bekmakhanov — a tragedy. At a recent meeting of the Stalin Prize Committee, Yakovlev, a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, frightened experts by saying that «History of the Kazakh SSR» was a harmful anti-Russian book. According to him, the history of the country should correspond to the history of the USSR, i.e. the principle of internationalism. It was a strict, dogmatic, great-power chauvinist approach that conformed to the Stalinist concept. At that time, on June 28, 1943, Ermukhan defended his doctoral dissertation in Moscow entitled «The liberation struggle of the Kazakhs led by Kenesary Kasymuly». After that, he was openly slandered — she wrote. Bekmakhanov’s life, which was controversial in the process of inventorying his history, changed dramatically after that. Persecuted and convicted. A historian was sentenced to 25 years in prison and sent to the Gulag. However, times changed, and he was later acquitted. Before his death, the historian said to the hero Baurzhan Momyshuly: «I will not be able to complete the work. I’m sorry. We did not know the value when he was alive, would say Kazakhs when I die». I wrote this word for Kanysh and Mukhtar. You were my brother — I say goodbye to you. Make your bed in a cage. You will always be remembered, brother! The mourner B. Momyshuly wrote. It is true that we did not live up to our dignity. How many valuable worlds would have been written and how many valuable histories would have survived if the historian had not been killed. The fate was forced to do so by the Soviet society.

In another interview, Halima said: «He was a great reader and a book lover/bookworm. During our stay in Leningrad, we spent three or four hours in bookstores looking for historical books. I remember one of those days when I found a book by Shokan Valikhanov, published in 1904, and was very happy. He was in love with art». When we read such memoirs of hiswife, we recognize that he was a wonderful man, who was found to be a real scientist and a man.

Let me dwell on the manuscript of E. Bekmakhanov about Shokan Valikhanov. This year marks the 185th anniversary of Shokan’s birth. 2-3 manuscripts of the scientist about Shokan are kept in the museum of Gylym Ordasy. He reviewed the work «Shokan Valikhanov — an outstanding enlightener — a democrat». In his work, the scientist made a scientific analysis of his works, starting with the biography of Shokan. One of Shokan’s special hobbies as a child was painting, he mentioned about his place in science, military service and research. In the Kusmurun fortress, the Valikhanovs say that topographers and surveyors who lived with his family had a great influence on Shokan’s mastery of painting. Another aspect of Shokan is his closeness to poetry. From an early age, he was interested in Arabic poetry. Talented Shokan, who mastered many languages, also studied art and culture, emphasized that he left behind such a rich legacy. Shokan’s legacy has been studied a lot. However, he noted that some of his writings were still being studied.

The historian Shokan, who fully disseminated this information in his works «Islam in the Steppe», «On the Nomadic Kyrgyz», «Notes on Judicial Reform», was highly appreciated. He also mentioned that he was one of the most proud people. We know that Bekmakhanov published extensive articles not only on the works of Shokan, but also on the works of our great educators, such as Abai and Ibyrai. The scientist was well-known not only to scholars in the field of history, but also to scholars and writers, and even to the collector of oral literature. Evidence of this were the manuscripts collected by Bekmakhanov in the Rare Fund of the Central Scientific Library. Scientist Ermukhan Bekmakhanov donated more than five manuscripts to the library. They are «Proverbs», «Poems, songs, stories about Kenesary-Nauryzbai», «About Ablai» and other manuscripts. We found out in the course of this article that Ermukhan Bekmakhanov also wrote a number of works on the issue of «identity». For example, in addition to the above-mentioned educators, T. Bokin, A. Divayev and others, we can also mention the extensive articles written by researchers who have a special place in the field of science.

Reading the memoirs of many scientists about Ermakhan, we can conclude that the personality and intelligence of the scientist is reflected in his legacy. It is known that the idea of ​​his legacy, which will go down in history, will find the real talents and direct them to the search for the benefit of the nation. The history, culture and spirituality of the nation, the task of any scientist is to preserve its purity and allow it to be judged fairly by future generations. I would say that the scientific heritage of E. Bekmakhanov taught us today for young scientists will teach us for that.


I. Igilikova,

Central Scientific Library «Gylym Ordasy»

Head of the scientific and bibliographic department,

 PhD student

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