Saken (Saduakas) Seifullin (1894-1938) was a writer, one of the founders of modern Kazakh literarure, poet, playwright, outstanding state figure. He was the first chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Kazakh SSR, member of All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Kazakh Central Election Commission.
He was born in Karashilik wintering place of Agadyr (Shet) municipality of Karaganda region. He attended Nildy Russian-Kazakh School, secondary parishioner school, Akmolinsk municipal academy and in Omsk teacher's seminary.
In November issue of Aikap journal Saken Seifullin oublished his first article. In 1914 he was one of the heads of the first cultural-educating society of the Kazakh youth 'Birlik' (Unity) in Omsk which clamored against the royal empire and propagated achievements of culture and science among the Kazakh people. The same year his first book of poems 'Otken Kunder' (Past Days) was published in Kazan. Since September, 1916 he was a teacher of Bugulin School in foundation of which he took an active part.
In 1916 Saken Seifullin worked in commission on property census of 12 districts of Akmola region. The same year he wrote his poem 'Unrest' dedicated to unrest of the Kazakh people in 1916. in 1917 he founded social-political and cultural society 'Zhas Kazakh' (Young Kazakh). That year he participated in the issue of 'Tirshilik' newspaper (Life).
Right after the Russian Revolution, Seifullin wrote a poem, "Hey, Guys!", which is said to be the first work of Kazakh Soviet literature. On 27 December 1917, the Soviet regime was established in Akmolinsk. Seifullin was elected a member of the Akmola Deputy Board and was appointed national commissar of education. In February, he was admitted to the Party. On 1 May 1918 was held the premiere of a play by Seifullin, "Bakyt Zholyna" (On the Way of Happiness).
When in June 4, 1918, the White Guard conducted a revolution, Seifullin was arrested and sent to Petropavlovsk jail. He was put in a Death Carriage of Ataman Michael Annenkoff, where he spent 47 days. He broke out of Kolchak Prison and reached his village by July. After two month he was forced to fleefor Taraz.
Seifullin was captured by the agents of the NKVD from Moscow in February 1939 and executed in Almaty, Kazakh SSR, deemed a "threat to the society" and a "nationalist".
However, since Independence, Saken Seifullin is often considered one of the most influential Kazakh thinkers of the 21st century, a major contributor to Kazakh culture and literature, and a martyr for freedom.
Source: Kazakhstan, National Encyclopedia, Volume 4.
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