Interviewee ID: 990117
Parent's name: Anonymous
Year of Birth: 1941
Notes on education:
Born in: Öndör-Hishig sum, Bulgan aimag
Lives in: Han-Uul sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder
To read a full interview with Anonymous please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 090207A with Anonymous by Khishigsüren
Anonymous gave a complete and extensive interview on the foundation, development and the disintegration and breaking up of the industrial sector of the socialist period for the twentieth century oral history project. He worked as a head of a department in the Ministry of Industry, the darga of the leather and hide industrial collective and the darga of the metallurgic plant of Darhan.
Anonymous with a family name (ovog) of Hiad Borjigin was born in 1941 in Avzag sum, the present Hishig-Öndör sum of Bulgan aimag. He explained why he took Hiad Borjigin as his family name and the basis for that. He discussed extensively his family, where his parents were born, what kind of people they were and his relatives.
He spoke of his childhood, the method of children’s education by the parents of that time and how the herders’ children were educated through labor, he recalled, valuing the Mongolian delicate tactics of raising the children.
He completed the seventh grade in 1956 in Hishig-Öndör, and in 1959 he finished the secondary school in Bulgan center. He was raised in the countryside and he was fond of livestock. He was very interested in horses therefore he was reluctant about going to school. He completed secondary school with excellent marks and the golden medal. The citizen Lamjav, and the writer Urianhai also completed the school with the a golden medal and they were classmates. Later, many people from their class became famous in Mongolia.
At the time of his secondary school graduation the virgin land cultivation campaign began nationwide and a main policy of the state started to be implemented. It directly influenced his choice of his vocation.
The state had a major plan to train agricultural engineers and mechanics. Having completed the tenth grade, he was appointed to study in the Kiev Agricultural Academy as a agricultural engineer mechanic. He didn’t know anything about engineering and he didn’t know what kind of engineer he would become. At that time the state provided the students who were going to study abroad with 1500 tögrögs to purchase clothing. The State Department Store was closed for one day to serve the students. The new students were officially delivered to the Soviet Union by train carriage, they were provided with money, special work was organized to teach them to eat in a cultured way, introduce to them the meal names, the menu. A trip aimed to introduce with Kiev was organized and they traveled by ship on the Dnieper river. They were taken to a sauna and bath thus introducing and them to culture and educating them. The Russian teachers expected the countryside herder’s child to be backward and they entrusted him to Russian students to assist him. But soon those Russian students lagged behind him academically, he recalled. He was an excellent student and he was one of the outstanding students.
He graduated from school with excellent marks. At his graduation he was discussed at the scientific council meeting and it was resolved to let him study further to become a candidate of science.
He spoke very extensively about the personnel policy issue which was a very important matter. Having studied for five years in Kiev, he came back and was appointed to work in Ih Uul of Hövsgöl. There he started his career. He had worked for a year when the State Planning Commission called him to work. The State Planning Commission was in charge of all capital and money. It worked out the general policy to develop the nation. It was the place that approved and coordinated the five year plan to develop the nation and he explained very clearly the roles and the activities of this organization. Having come to the State Planning Commission, he established the livestock husbandry hay-making and fodder machinery and mechanism repair and service bases and made an estimation of how much hay-making and fodder machinery and technology are required nationwide. As a result he estimated that 150 tractors were needed immediately and he submitted this data to his administrative management. But due to the lack of budget and planning it was turned down. But he independently addressed the specialists of the Soviet Union and the officials in charge, explaining in a proper way the reasoning and consequently at the age of 25 he had those 150 tractors approved and they were imported to Mongolia by credit. He explained that any estimation, planning or project could be implemented in any system if it had a good justification.
When he was still a child, he was interested in mathematics. In the countryside secondary school he translated various math formulas and he solved them by his own. Since his childhood he has been a child with engineering skill; he used to break the locks and then put them together, he was a curious child who went in for various things. He attempted to create some new things. In his student years he tried to create a wool combing machine.
In order to enhance the household culture of the countryside herders, to bring close to them the household culture service he created a new technical output called the ‘traveling public service’ fit for the nomadic life circumstances. The Russians have supported it and they gave credit. The output had a ‘55’ state registration number and it was displayed in 1975 at the ‘ShBOS-75’ exhibition. (Shine Buteel Onovchtoi Sanaa -New Output Rational Idea). The Politiburo members visited the exhibition and Tsedenbal darga said, “A revolution has emerged in the herders’ life”. It was an auto-service machinery installed with all kinds of service like dry cleaning, washing, tailoring, barber, shoe making etc.
He spoke in detail that he meant to assemble a tractor in Mongolia and make an engine, to establish an auto machinery industrial sector in Mongolia. But he encountered resistance from the Russians and the issue failed. He had a plan to make electric engine in Mongolia, to make the electric engines that they used to import. He planned to make then in great numbers and export them. But his plans were hushed up in the upper-levels. He showed the copies of the hushed up machinery industry and other projects he had retained.
The energy issue was very tough then therefore he was thinking to establish a hydroelectric station and even he made an estimate of its output. He spoke of the errors of the state in managing the agricultural farming, what it lacked, how many hectares of current land were cultivated, what the harvest was like, what the outcome was like. He spoke of the ways and the levels of managing agricultural farming in Mongolia. He has tried several times to make the agricultural irrigation system but he encountered resistance. He spoke of the level of provisioning materials, technology and machinery, where they were procured from, how the state considered the matter, what kind of policy it pursued. You can find all information on the progressive achievements and drawbacks of the agricultural issue.
In 1977-1985 Anonymous was appointed and worked as the darga of the leather and hide cooperative. He supervised an establishment with the largest number of workers of Mongolia therefore he deeply understood that the social issue, the issue of a personal life has great influence on work productivity. He noted that women couldn’t work peacefully after 4 pm and he studied the reasons for it. He found out they worried about meat for the meal and flour and they rushed from the factory to do the shopping before the shops closed. So, he opened a food store inside the factory, and he set a system that let the workers purchase on credit even if they didn’t have money. Also, many women delivered babies therefore he provided five ‘UAZ-469’ jeeps to deliver the women home to breast feed the babies but he still couldn’t cope with the problem. So, it led to opening a nursery in the factory. In this way he understood the social and life issue of the workers and struggled to resolve it. He was appointed to work at the factory with black hair and very soon his head became white. He considers it was due to worries on social issues. He has recalled he considered each one’s case and he bore each one’s responsibility sensing it by his heart and he had a sincere attitude to each one of them.
The leather and hide factory cooperative had over 5000 workers and he succeeded to resolve the social issues of the workers in consistency along with the main work of managing this big enterprise. At the final bus stop of Bayanhoshuu and in Yarmag (both parts of Ulaanbaatar) he built flats that fit the ger district. He established a canteen, a store, a kindergarten and a wedding palace inside the factory. He built a workers’ hostel accommodating the male and the female workers in pairs. He estimated when and at which hours the people’s work efficiency weakened. He had psychologists work at the factory and on the basis of studying the household provision, how much they consider about their children and the like, he resolved the issues. He has even studied the reason why the labor productivity of the heroes of labor was so high. He rewarded the workers when they worked well. He rewarded them when they made quality outputs. He rewarded them when they fulfilled the plan. He worked with the reward system if the workers did a financially profitable job. Collective evaluation is very important in rewarding. He spoke of the collective meetings where they certified the workers for the reward. He didn’t work only for the sake of the workers, but he considered about the output quality of the factory, the technology, the result, foreign and local marketing and the capacity of the factory. He also spoke of the technique and technology of the factory. He even established a best-practice school named after the heroes. In fact the genuine worker is trained through the generation therefore as a start of a training system of the worker’s class from generation to generation he furnished labor class cabinets in several secondary schools providing them with the waste and leftover materials, and he trained the schoolchildren by a special program.
He had a good personal relationship with Tsedenbal and his wife Filatova, and he spoke about how and what kind of issues he had resolved through this relationship without asking the various stage dargas about them. He spoke of the Czechoslovak shoe factory and how we began cooperation with this factory independently from the Soviet Union of that time, and how we had the plan to make children’s shoes with the Czech label and export them to China. The Czechs took our leather and hide as raw material for making work boots. All these negotiations were confidential. Under the protection of the special service unit he had been served during his visitations to Czechoslovak. 2500 workers of the leather and hide factory out of 6500 were trained in Czechoslovak. In this way a very high level working power has been trained and it could be seen from the fact that later many of them went to Ulan-Ude to work. He has written a very precise diary and has over 100 diary notebooks written chronologically and very accurately that he has showed and explained. There’s even a note among these diaries addressed to him from Anastasia Ivanovna (Filotova). These diaries are well-preserved and they are virtual documents and data of the history of Mongolia of that period.
He was a member of the MPRP Plenum when the 1990 democratic process started. He spoke at length that he knew in detail what the attitude of the party leadership was towards this event. He also spoke how the views and the ideas of reformation spread out. We can find from his talk that the big MPRP officials had no anti-democratic views but they had a critical view of the naïve and thoughtless position of the democrats.
He spoke with pain about the process of privatization of the enterprises, the chaotic and thoughtless way it was carried out as if carrying out extermination. He considers it right to have private property and the enterprises based on private property. He spoke of the great accumulated capital and the property being destroyed in an irreversible way. He has seen it by his eyes. He spoke very clearly and visibly to the future generation about demolition in a very short period of time of the accumulated capital and the knowledge and skill. He was surprised and taken aback seeing the industrial workers separating the spare parts of the machinery they had operated and taking them home during the privatization. The workers weren’t aware that those separated spare parts wouldn’t operate like a machine and that they would be waste metal. He was well aware of it and he looked at it and regretted it. He saw there had been left empty shapes of the machines and the buildings in the factory and soon some cunning people had possessed them. Many years have passed, and he looks each time from a bus window at the ruins of factories where once the labor of several thousand of people was. He considers it’s impossible to make again an development of such dimensions in Mongolian history for it is impossible to spend such great capital, time and effort.
In the middle of the 1990s while he was unemployed he did cashmere trading together with his children and he operated a small tailoring workshop.
He had been doing all the survey estimates of the Erdenet mine and the Darhan metallurgy plant at the time of their establishment. Therefore beginning from 1990 with the exploitation commencement of the Darhan metallurgy plant he was appointed its darga. He spoke in detail how they used to cooperate with the Japanese. He spoke of the activity of the metallurgy plant, its foreign market, debt, exploitation, the personnel issue, the thoughts and plans on putting the plant on its feet.
After the 1996 parliament elections the democrats took power and not knowing what to say about the motive of his dismissal his job was transferred to a young philosophy teacher. The new young darga had no imagination about the industrial environment and stepping into a part of te plant with an observation window he stepped back startled by the crashing sounds of the plant. He observed it all and regretted it inside.
I’m sure the reader of this interview will find out what high-level professionals, high educated and cultured leaders, developers and initiators were the supervising officials of the socialist time who dedicated all their life, their burning hearts for the sake of their country and will be proud of them.
Summary of Interview 090207B with Anonymous by Khishigsüren
In the second part of his interview he told the following story. In 1921 after the victory of the People’s Revolution the basis of the development of the industrial sector in Mongolia was laid. He has a collection of materials and documents related to the foundation and the development of the industrial sector. In particular there are materials on the Nalaih mine of 1922.
He has told an interesting story of how they went to the countryside initially to recruit the industrial workers and how they propagandized among the people. Our factories considered numbers, overlooking quality, and the workers lagged behind in their qualifications and education. The technological progress was poor and the machinery and the techniques were outdated. He said that the state couldn’t conduct a decent policy due to the fact that the government was in the hands of narrow-minded people.
All his children acquired professions in the industrial. His oldest daughter is an engineer who graduated from the Moscow Light Food Industry Institute. His next son Ganzorig is a mechanical engineer in light industry. The youngest daughter Gantuul is a tailoring engineer. They have all become industrial sector people. He also mentioned that when he was a darga of a leather cooperative, he established a sanatorium canteen for the workers and used to operate it.
He thinks democracy came out of the basis of the ‘industrial cooperative’. It was the unification of the people who incorporated their private machinery and equipment, and inside they conducted and managed their activities by the principle of democracy. He also said there were forms that incorporated Russians, Chinese and Mongolians.
He defined himself as a supporter and observer of democracy, but he wasn’t a participant. The value of democracy has long ago emerged in our intelligentsia. He thinks of himself that he had a democratic orientation and attitude at a certain stage.
He spoke also about the equal rights of men and women of the socialist period, what was the situation in the labor field, in what forms the party punishments were carried out and he also talked about the deeds of the female heroes of labor.
Summary of Interview 090775A with Anonymous by Khishigsüren
The final part of Anonymous’s interview (see 090207A and B)we did in his homeland, Hishig-Öndör sum of Bulgan aimag. He spoke of his childhood, how he used to have pretend battles at the small hill. He also showed his father’s winter camping homestead.
He also showed the place near the winter camping where the Soviet military field trainings were organized. He introduced us to the mountains, rivers, nature, monastery, hills and spoke of the legends and historical memories. In 1968 there was an earthquake and he was spending the night in the mountains with his horse. The horse sensed it. He told an interesting story about what happened to him. He spoke of the tireless work of the cooperative herders who tried to fulfill the milk plan, his childhood stories, the things he had heard and read and many other things.