Baku Congress of the Peoples of the East

Composition of the Congress by Nationalities

From the stenographic report
1. Turks235 19. Sarts10
2. Persians and Farsis192 21. Kabardians9
3. Armenians157 22. Chinese8
4. Russians104 23. Kurds8
5. Georgians100 24. Avars7
6. Chechens82 25. Poles5
7. Tadzhiks61 26. Hungarians3
8. Kirghizes47 27. Germans3
9. Jews41 28. Kalmucks3
10. Turkmens35 29. Koreans3
11. Kumyks33 30. Arabs3
12. Lesghians25 31. Tekintsi2
13. Ossetians17 32. Abkhazians2
14. Uzbeks15 33. Bashkirs1
15. Indians14 34. Ukrainians1
16. Ingushes13 35. Croats1
17. Jamshidis12 36. Czechs1
18. Hazaras11 37. Letts1
Total number attending the Congress1891
of whom, Communists1273
  No nationality stated266
  Did not complete above questionnaire100
  Total number of women delegates55

Editor’s Note

It will be noticed that the figures in the above register do not add up: the French report says that more than 100 delegates failed to complete the questionnaire.

In a book on the Congress published in. Russian in 1961, G.N. Sorkin says it was originally planned to have 3,280 delegates, and that the list of delegates he found in the archives gives 2,050 names. They may not all have attended the first session.

The same archive source, according to Sorkin, gives a breakdown of 1,926 of the delegates in terms of party membership. The figures given are: Communists, 1,071; Communist Party sympathisers, 334; Young Communists, 31; non-party, 467; Socialist-Revolutionaries, 1; Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, 1; Anarchists, 1; Communist Bundists, 11; ‘Persian revolutionaries’, 9.

A social breakdown of all 2,050 delegates gives: workers, 576; peasants, 495; intellectuals, 437; no occupation stated, 542.

A breakdown of the delegates by country of origin gives: Azerbaidzhan, 469; Caucasian Highlands, 461; Turkestan, 322; Persia, 202; Georgia, 137; Armenia, 131; Turkey, 105; Kirghizia, 85; Afghanistan, 40; Tataria, 20; India, 14; Bukhara, 14; Khiva, 14; Bashkiria, 13; Crimea, 8; Kalmuck Republic, 8; China, 7.

As regards national composition of the delegates, Sorkin’s source gives: Azerbaidzhanis, 336; Turks, 273; Lesghians (probably including all the Daghestan nationalities, i.e., th Kumyks and Avars at least), 218; Persians, 204; Armenians, 160; Georgians, 110; Russians, 109; Uzbeks, 90; Chechens, 85; Kirghizes, 77; Tatars, 70; Indians, 14; Chinese, 7; Arabs, 6. There were 291 other delegates of different nationalities, and the figure given for women delegates is 53.

Azerbaidzhanis. They do not appear in the register given here from the report of the Congress, for reasons which are unclear. (The term Azerbaidzhanis refers to the Azeri people, speaking a form of Turkic and Moslem by religion, sometimes loosely called ‘Tatars’ by the Russians at this time. This nationality, though a majority in Azerbaidzhan itself, was a minority in the city of Baku.)

Persians and Farsis. This category in the Congress report is unclear. It is possibly meant to include both Persians and other Farsi (Persian language) speakers.

Chechens and Ingushes. Two Caucasian Highland peoples of Moslem faith. Their joint republic was liquidated by Stalin in the 1940s, but has since been restored. The Ossetians, a mainly Christian people, have a republic, Northern Ossetia, on the northem slopes of the Caucasus, and an autonomous region, Southern Ossetia, within Georgia, on the southern slopes. The Kumyks, Lesghians and Avars are three of the nationalities of Daghestan ('Land of Mountains'), the only one of the Russian autonomous republics not to bear the name of a particular nationality. The Kabardians live to the west of the Northern Ossetians, sharing a republic with the Balkars.

Southern Caucasus (Transcaucasia). Nationalities represented at the Congress included the Adzhars, from the Batum area of Georgia, Kurds, mainly from Armenia and Nakhichevan, and Abkhazians from the north-west corner of Georgia.

Other Soviet nationalities present were the Kalmucks and Bashkirs from the European part of Soviet territory, and from the Asian part, the Kirghizes, Tadzhiks, Uzbeks, Sarts (the term then used for Turkic-speaking town-dwellers of Central Asia) and Tekintsi (one of the largest Turkmenian tribes).

Non-Soviet Eastern peoples included the Jamshidis and Hazaras, two of the peoples of Afghanistan.

It is not clear who the Yews referred to were, though there may have been delegates from the Caucasian community of the Mountain Jews, and also from the Jewish community in Bukhara.