Friday, February 17, 2012

Garif Sultan

Garif Sultan born on 28 September 1923 in Sterlitamak-Zirgan, in the Bashkir Republic of the Soviet Union. An oldest son of a career entrepreneur, during the purges of the Stalinist era his father was expropriated as a Kulak. From then on the family lived under wretched conditions.  His mother died when he was twelve. After finishing high school Garip Sultan studied at the Teacher's College. There, among other subjects, he studied German. 
In 1941, he had to join the Red Army and went to officer training school in Frolow near Stalingrad. Commissioned as a second lieutenant, he served in the 272nd Infantry Division. In June 1942 he became a prisoner of war.

Joined with the Nazi’s Tatar Legion, Sultan later served as a propagandist in the Tatar liaison office. The office ran a radio station, a dance troupe, and a theater, as well as newspapers crucial to the effort. Sultan himself work for  Idel'-Ural (or Volga-Ural) newspaper, were aimed specifically at the Turkic soldiers. He later ran the German-Tatar Newspaper and in early 1945, when the Tatars set up a provisional government, Sultan was appointed as a head of the military department.

After the fall of the Third Reich, Sultan escape from Stalin retribution by taken identity as a Turkish citizen named Garip Sultan. Studying law at the universities of Hamburg and Munich with the help of a British scholarship, he receiving a doctorate of law from the latter institution in 1953. He later joined the staff of Radio Liberty in 1953, eventually becoming chief editor of the Tatar-Bashkir Service.  He prepared and broadcast anti-Communist propaganda for Tatar peoples in Soviet Union during Cold War period.

He passed away on 14 November, 2011, at the age of 88, at his home in Munich, Germany.