Jamala-1944 Song

History of Sorts

With the current tension between Russia and the Ukraine, I couldn’t help being reminded of the 2016 Eurovision Song contest winner.

“1944” is a song written and performed by Ukrainian singer Jamala. It represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 and won with a total of 534 points.

The lyrics for “1944” concern the deportation of the Crimean Tatars, in the 1940s, by the Soviet Union at the hands of Joseph Stalin because of their alleged collaboration with the Nazis. Jamala was particularly inspired by the story of her great-grandmother Nazylkhan, who was in her mid-20s when she and her five children were deported to barren Central Asia. One of the daughters did not survive the journey. Jamala’s great-grandfather was fighting in World War II in the Red Army at this time and thus could not protect his family. The song was also released amid renewed repression of Crimean…

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