Uzbekistan: visiting the governor

Erkinyon Turdimov greets his foreign guest cheerfully. “Thank you for the reception”, says Remco Reiding. “No, thank you”, answers Turdimov.

The presentation with some explanation about the Military Cemetery and the Uzbeks buried there can go straight into the wastebasket. The governor has read the book ‘Child of the Military Cemetery’ by Remco. Since then the story of 101 of his countrymen won’t let go of him. Even more so because there are indications that at least part of the Uzbeks murdered in Amersfoort came from Samarkand. And it is this region that Turdimov governs since 2018.

He does not have to think about lending financial support to a documentary about this subject for even one second. “Had you been able to present me with a budget”, he says to the producers, “I would have taken care of it today. For I am happy to contribute to a showing of the courage and humanity of our countrymen. Young people should know how diligent and perseverative our forbears have been.”

The minister of film, Firdavs Abduchalikov, nods his consent. He has travelled with us from the capital Tashkent to Samarkand for this project. “It would be great if the Uzbeks followed the example of the Dutch who annually light a candle or lay flowers for the dead Uzbeks”, says Abduchalikov.

We take a few photos with the Uzbek flag and Remco is not allowed to leave before writing a personal message in his book for the governor.