British publicist Alexander Werth wrote in his book "Russia at War": 1941-1945 that evacuation of industry from the European part of the U.S.S.R. in 1941-1942 as well as its “resettlement” to the east was one of the Soviet Union’s greatest organizational and human feats during the war.
Tajikistan is an example of how the Soviet country ensured its victory from the rear – the people’s daily heroism.
The military situation of 1941-1942 demanded that evacuated enterprises be rebased twice: first in the summer and fall of 1941, and second in the summer and fall of 1942. Butteries, weaving and cotton factories, and canneries were built very fast and immediately launched production.
Sometimes the plants were set up in the open air, and walls were built around people working. Some unconventional solutions were found. Say, when ores of non-ferrous and rare-earth metals were urgently needed for the military industry, and there were no vehicles, packs with metals were taken on the backs of donkeys along mountain paths. That was the way ores required to obtain antimony and arsenic were delivered from Fann Mountains. Later, by the end of the war, metals from hardly accessible places were delivered via the Pamir Highway. Even the most complicated fuel and energy problems were resolved quickly. Before the war, coal was brought to Tajikistan from Donbass and the Moscow Region Coal Basin, but the war cut this channel off. Then Tajik geologists discovered rich deposits of oil shale in the Farkhar and Kungurtut districts. There was also enough coal in Tajikistan: in addition to the Shurab deposit in the country’s north, development of the Tashkutan and Ziddin deposits started.
By that time, the construction of hydropower plants in Ura-Tyub, Nau, Kurgan-Tyub, Kirovobad, Komsomolabad and Kulyab was almost completed. The state had allocated large funds to build them despite the hardships of the wartime.
Women worked on a par with men, some of them fulfilling two norms a day. The first months of the war saw an increase in the production of cotton fabrics, footwear, carriages and arabas, expansion of clothes repair services, turf and salt production, an increase in furnace casting and the production of pottery and chemical items.
The rise in voluntary labor that the country experienced then involved children as well: 1,500 senior high school students were mobilized for temporary seasonal work in May 1942. They gathered vegetables and fruit, nuts from which the Leninabad and Isfarin canneries made 168,000 cans of wholesome vitaminized paste that was sent to the frontline.
“Everything for the front, everything for Victory” – was the motto and life itself during the years of the Great Patriotic War. The Soviet nations lived this life together supporting each other.