Interviewee ID: 990203
Parent's name: Tseveen
Year of Birth: 1933
Occupations: retired, was pensions bursar(?)
Notes on education:
Born in: Gurvansaihan sum, Dundgovi aimag
Lives in: Songinohairhan sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder
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Summary of Interview 090325A with Gombo by Tsetsegjargal
I was born in 1933 in the former Zuun Gurvansaihan som of Ömnögovi aimag. I didn’t attend school; I learned from the neighboring children the letters of alphabet and learnt to write general things. I joined the army in 1954 and served for three years in Ulaanbaatar. After demobilization I worked as a senior agitator in the bag and a horseman in the cooperative. Since 1963 I did many different jobs, such as brigade economist, agent, veterinarian, brigade darga and so on. Then in 1975 I moved to the centre of Dundgobi aimag to work as accountant of a construction storehouse. I retired in 1992. Then I organized and operated a tailoring workshop with over ten workers but it didn’t work well. So I came to Ulaanbaatar and stayed at home.
The collectivization movement began in 1957. Initially the negdel was founded with ten-odd families. Before the collectivization movement the herders had to pay a great many official taxes in the form of wool, meat, livestock. If they didn’t pay it, they were fined, and could even be imprisoned. So, when the collective was being founded initially, it was said that they wouldn’t take tax in the form of livestock, and that the herders would receive a salary for tending the livestock. People joined the negdels in great numbers. The negdel meetings were held and the people who came there collectivized their livestock, reporting the number they had. Those who were at least 16 joined the negdels, and the members had the right to participate in all the activities of the collective. When first joining the collective, a family was left with 150 head of livestock. And with the second collectivization, they left 75 heads of livestock (25 large, and 50 small) per family. In fact, first, the people with little capital began joining and later those who had no ability to pay the official taxes joined. Those who were better off and who had many head of livestock joined the cooperative at the very end. At the end, the aimag and sum representatives came to the remaining people forcing them and demanding they join. By 1959 all the people officially had to join the collectives. Some cunning and bright people sold their livestock and such and went to the city prior to joining the negdel. Those who carried out the state propaganda (agitators) who came from the sums and aimags used to tell people that life would be equal if the people worked well after the establishment of the collective. The agitators were people who made presentations to the people according to directives given by the aimag and sum party committees. Those with no capital joined the cooperative and worked there. For them, receiving a salary meant their living conditions improved.
Later, the cooperatives acquired many head livestock and had good income and they were able to stand on their own. For a while the cooperatives had a lot of capital. The cooperatives looked after the herders. The herders moved by the nedgel’s transport and they were given fertilizer and hay. Those who could work well lived well, and also the good herders were given incentives. But the aimag, sum and collectives gave assignments to give certain amounts of wool, milk and dried dung. And if those assignments weren’t fulfilled, money was deducted from their salary. The inspection commission counted each ail’s cattle by their age and teeth, and there had been many inspections from the sum and aimag. Because the young people left to pursue education and culture, there was lack of herders therefore one herder family tended almost 1000 heads of cattle.