I'd never heard of this one either.
My Simferopol home yesterday noted that the Crimean Tatars' deportation by Stalin in 1944 for supposed German sympathies was not the only disaster to befall them. Some Tatars were simply left behind on the Arbatskaya Strilka and drowned.
She shows a map of a narrow strip of sand pretty much like the Curonian spit in Neringa, but maybe narrower, looking at her photos.
Now mass drownings have to be organised by someone, so calling it drowning is not very accurate. Murder is actually what it is. Genocide possibly, if the numbers are high enough. (Er, how high do they have to be? 7000 in Srebrenica is the precedent?)
What happened to the rest is not very pretty according to Wikipedia:
All Crimean Tatars were deported en masse, in a form of collective punishment, on 18 May 1944 as special settlers to the Uzbek SSR and other distant parts of the Soviet Union. The decree "On Crimean Tatars" describes the resettlement as a very humane procedure. The reality described by the victims in their memoirs was different. 46.3% of the resettled population died of diseases and malnutrition. This event is called Sürgün in the Crimean Tatar language. Many of them were re-located to toil as indentured workers in the Soviet GULAG system.Perhaps as well not many people live in Neringa, and the Germans had already fled, otherwise Stalin might have tried the same solution on the coast of Lithuania in 1945.
However, there are still some Tatars left, again according to Wikipedia
Today, more than 250,000 Crimean Tatars live in Crimea and about 150,000 remain in exile in Central Asia, mainly in Uzbekistan. There are 5,000,000 people of Crimean Tatar origin living in Turkey, descendants of those who emigrated in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the Dobruja region of Romania and Bulgaria, there are more than 27,000 Crimean Tatars: 24,000 on the Romanian side, and 3,000 on the Bulgarian side.
I was working in Kyiv in 1994, when the Crimean Tatars came back to the Crimea. Our Deputy Minister (a rather humane character with good intentions) frequently had to go to try to solve the housing crisis their return caused. Whether it is solved now, I am not sure.