French scholar who studied Tatars dies at the age of 94

French scholar who studied Tatars dies at the age of 94

Hélène Carrère d’Encausse was the first woman to head the Académie française in 1999, founded in the XVII century by Cardinal Richelieu.

Hélène studied the Tatars and Tatarstan, and was also one of the first to predict the imminent disintegration of the USSR: in 1978, she described this in The Ruined Empire (L’Empire éclaté), the scientific work. Hélène’s father was a Georgian composer, and her mother was from central Russia and had German roots.

There are many precedents when intellectuals from the West broke through the wall of silence around problems in the USSR. They were the first to reveal the truth about the Holodomor (the Famine), Stalin’s repressions, the dissident movement, the national liberation struggle of the indigenous peoples of the USSR, etc. The communist regime knew this and tried to find corrupt Western journalists or “useful idiots” like the French writer Romain Rolland to add shine to Soviet reality and propagate communist values. Tatars should remember and appreciate Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, she was one of the sincere friends of Tatarstan and was not sold for Russian money.


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