Stalin held a special grudge against the Buriads and the Kazakhs who had left the USSR for Mongolia. The Buriads who had survived the Lhumbe case were rounded up and, by 1939, in Selenge aimag only ten to twenty males were left among the Buriads community there. In 1940, in the Dashbalbar sum of Dornod aimag, seventy families out of a total of one hundred became registered as families of counter-revolutionaries. Choibalsan warned, “Among the Buriads are many who came here as White Guards to escape the October revolution. This is why we must be watchful against them being Japanese spies”. In 1938, a directive was sent to the Internal Affairs Department of Hovd aimag, “to arrest immediately the Kazakh feudals and the Kazakhs who fled from the USSR”, which led to the extermination of 2000 males from a total of 21,000 Kazakhs from 4,300 families located in seventy-four settlements of two sub-provinces. The Inner Mongols had established a People’s Party in Inner Mongolia and then fled into Outer Mongolia were not left in peace either. Out of 140 Tsahars living near the Tushigtsagaan Lake, only four or five males survived.
The Special Commission Dissolved
In the middle of the purge, Choibalsan was called to Moscow. Soviet trainers Glazkov and Militsin arrived. These two men came to stop the purge and eliminate those who were directly involved in it. On April 4, a cable was sent to the local offices that a national conference of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was to be held on April 20; the surprising cable also said, “stop serving death sentences issued by the Special Commission until further instructions are received”. Glazkov, a new trainer, developed the program and set up the arrangement for discussions at the National Conference. The new trainers assessed that although it had been necessary to disclose the Genden-Demid case and unleash the struggle against the monastics and the feudal nobles, it was overdone and innocent people had been persecuted.
Counter-revolutionary rumors and malicious talk had spread that the Mongolian people had been victimized by the Red Russians, the responsibility for which was to fall upon Nasantogtog, former Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs. His point was that Minister Choibalsan had been present when the real criminals were exposed and tried, whereas when the zealots went after the innocent, he had been in Moscow with no knowledge of the persecutions.
Then Choibalsan took the floor. He reiterated the trainer’s words. upon his return from the USSR, he had learned that many violations of the law had occurred outside the authority of the Procurator’s Office. In conclusion, he did not forget to humbly accept his responsibility for having failed to foresee and prevent the deviations from taking place, having placed his complete confidence in his Deputy and his entire staff. After him, came Luvsansharav the executioner, also shed a few crocodile tears. Instantly, the Conference decided to fire Nasantogtoh from his position, to dissolve the Special Commission, and to hand some of the most notorious zealots over to the court. The widespread persecution of the Mongolian people was thus concluded.
Mongolia’s Liberation from Religion
According to Stalin, Mongolia had become classes and an atheistic society after the genocide. In other words, the experiment had been successful and the groundwork had been laid for entry into a communist society. Mongolia had been fully liberated from religion.
A campaign to destroy temples and monasteries had been mounted throughout the country in 1937 and 1938. Out of the almost eight hundred temples and monasteries, almost none were left. In 1934, there were 771 (according to Choibalsasaan, the number was 797) temples and monasteries, but 760 of them had ceased to exist by 1938. Within these monasteries, compounds were included 1229 separate buildings and 2887 prayer halls. Some figures indicated that the 767 temples and monasteries included 5953 buildings and other structures. For the nomads, who cared little for buildings and who did not and could not construct them, the six thousand structures were the only mud villages that existed in the entire territory of Mongolia. Young people were the first to be mobilized in the mass destruction movement; simulated revolutionary activities were organized and the winners were rewarded. The monasteries of Erdene Zuu and Amarbayasgalant, masterpieces of medieval Asian architecture, were not spread destruction.
The purge continued, directed now against the witnesses of the horrendous crimes. By August 1939, Nasantogtoh, Baysagalan, Dashtseveg, and Luvsandoij, the killers at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Luvsansharav, Chairman of tthe Presidium of the State Baga Hural and one of the first seven revolutionaries, and Losol, Chairman of the Central Auditing Commission of the MPRP, also one of the first seven, were all arrested and brought to Moscow. On 13 June 1939, Choibalsan wrote in his notebook that, “Tovarich [short for Russan comrade] Adviser called”, and them the names with numbers, Luvsansharav, Galindev Dogsom, Prevdoij, and Dashiintsoodol. Soon they were all taken into custody”.
After the purge, when Choibalsan was visiting Moscow, Voroshilov was said to have reproached him for having killed thirty thousand people, too many for Mongolia, a country with such a small population. What accounted for Vorshilov’s crocodile tears? He himself had engineered and implemented the murders! It was his need to absolve himself in the eyes of the public. According to Russian researchers, 12000 Mongolians were killed as a result of the Great Purge in the Soviet Union.
The Last Feudal
Choibalsan saw Stalin twice and received instructions regarding the next phase of the purge. Stalin issued an injection to replace Prime Minister Amar; Choibalsan was to assume the position. In early 1939, on the eve of Choibalsan’s departure, Marshall Voroshilov, the Mongolian “expert” in Moscow, advised Choibalsan on how to implement the recommendations of Stalin. Voroshilov was frank: Amar had to be removed by Luvsansharav, Secretary of the Central Committee, by way of a government resolution saying that Amar had conducted poisonous activities against the state. It was high time for Stalin to settle the score with Anandiin Amar, who was so we-respected that the Soviets did not dare touch him.
Amar’s trial started on March 6, 1939. A two-day campaign was launched to convince the public of his wrongdoings. An expended meeting of the Central Committee and the State Baga Hural was convened. Special passes were issued to the staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs reading, “The purpose of this one-day pass is to place Prime Minister Amar under arrest. Date: March 7, 1939. Signed: Choibalsan, Minister of Inter Affairs, State Mighty Commander”. So, the Mighty Commander himself signed the order to arrest Amar. As was planned, Luvsansharav began the offensive against Amar. When at the end of his speech he proposed that a resolution be adopted to strip Amar of his membership in the Central Committee, Choibalsan seconded, “I fully support this proposal. A hypocrite who has shown a clean coating with a black soul underneath it, corrupted by filth and slime, cannot be tolerated in the party, neither can he be in the Presidium. I move that he be removed immediately from the post of Prime Minister”.
Amar was arrested in the conference hall and transported to the USSR. The Soviets doubted whether the Mongols could conduct the interrogations successfully, and secure the admission of guilt by Amar, who still possessed moral power as an extraordinary political personality. For Stalin, Amar was a “big game”, one of the last and most dangerous Mongolian leaders. In Moscow, Amar was handed over to two butchers, Varshiliev and Morozov, who displayed their finest skills in tormenting Amar alternately and finally getting an admission of all possible errors.
On July 10, 1941, he was tried by a Soviet troika and sentenced to death. It was the 20th anniversary to the Day of the Revolution in the puppet republic over which he used to preside.
In his last words, Anandiin Amar said, “It is typical that when a big power colonized a small country, its leaders are arrested and persecuted. My personal experience demonstrates this attitude of the USSR toward Mongolia”. It is still not known where he was killed, nor where his body might be. Some oral evidence suggests that his body was thrown from an airplane.