Returning the Names: Victims of Stalin’s Great Terror Are Not Forgotten
Oct 30, 2018 9:51 am
The Memorial human rights group has identified more than 40,000 Muscovites as victims of Stalin’s purges. As many as 30 million are believed to have been killed during Soviet repressions.
This year, Moscow officials wanted the commemoration moved from the former KGB building.
One by one they stepped up to recite the names: “Nikolai Afanasiev.” “Filipp Bezikov.” “Boris Troitsky.” “Vladislav Yankovskiy.” And hundreds more.
Those who came to Lubyanka Square in the shadow of the former KGB headquarters, took turns reading not just the names but professions and ages of those killed during Josef Stalin’s Great Terror. In a line that wrapped around the square, they waited their turn for up to three hours in temperatures that hovered around freezing throughout the day and into the evening.
“It’s important that he knows what happened,” said Sulamif Volfson, 40, who brought her 10-year-old son Yakov with her: “We have relatives who were killed during the repressions, and we have relatives who helped carry them out. I want him to know the full history.”
The Memorial human rights group, which has organized the “Returning the Names” event on the same date for the past 12 years, has identified more than 40,000 Muscovites as victims of Stalin’s purges. As many as 30 million are believed to have been killed during Soviet repressions.
In addition to Moscow, events were set to take place in 35 other Russian cities.
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