Gaziz Gubaydullin is widely considered to be the first professional historian of Tatar ethnicity.
At a press conference dedicated to the event, Chairwoman of the State Committee on Archives of Tatarstan Irada Ayupova said, “He was a man of complicated biography who went through a difficult life path. Of course, there was history of Tatar people before him. But from an academic standpoint, he was the historian who created a systematic and scientific concept of the history of Tatar people.”
“Here in Kazan we have a significant number of objects linked to him and his family. Unfortunately, they are not memorialized in any way. We are thinking on ways to arrange this. However, a museum is unlikely.”
Acting Director of the Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences Ilya Zaytsev brought new documents on Gaziz Gubaydullin from the archives of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The other contributors to the press conference were Gubaydullin’s great-granddaughter Irina Bessarabskaya (Associate Professor, Moscow Technological University), Margareta Aslan (Associate Professor, Babes-Bolyai University), and Marie Favereau-Doumenjou (University of Oxford).
Gaziz Gubaydullin was born in Kazan on 27th June 1887 (old style – 15th June).
In 1917 – 1918, he was a member of the executive committee of the All-Russian Muslim Council and worked in a commission on the proposed Ural-Volga State. In 1925 – 1933, he lectured at various universities of Kazan, published papers and textbooks on Tatar history and Tatar literature. Since 1926, he also acted as the Dean of the Division of History and Social Studies of Baku Higher Pedagogical Institute in Azerbaijan. In 1927 he was appointed the Dean of Faculty of Oriental Studies of Azerbaijan State University and later worked in the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan SSR.
In March 1937, Gaziz Gubaydullin was arrested on the case of the “Idel-Ural Organization”, an alleged separatist anti-Soviet entity. In October of that year, he was sentenced to death and executed soon after. Gubaydullin was rehabilitated in 1957.