What does memory mean?

What does memory mean?

I fear that I will provoke the wrath of many, but I still want to share my thoughts. There is a lot of talk today about paying tribute to the victims of repression. And they do not just talk about it Ц they collect money all over the country (donations for monuments in honor of the innocently killed people). I'm thinking about building about a dozen monuments in Siberia, not only one in Krasnoyarsk. It seems that I should be happy with the triumph of justice, but my heart is protesting against the fact that people turn such large collections into soulless reinforced concrete.

After all, do the surviving victims of oppression live so well with us, and does none of them need mercy? Are the investigations to determine the number of repressive victims, their burial places, the names of the hangmen already completed? Are the tombs of the exiles, who died far from their homeland, tidily cared for in our region?

There are many questions in my head, and no one can convince me that the best tribute we can pay to the memory of the perished are - monuments of reinforced concrete. Maybe a monument is necessary, but it would have to be a real work of art that survives for centuries, like a threatening memorial. But you do not have to hurry. Ask the repressive victims themselves what they think, question the people, and I think that not everyone will vote for such a form of immortalization of memory. How many monuments and wingless buildings in our country, which decay with time, remain in oblivion! And the work on mass rehabilitation, all the research which is done on this tragic period in the life of the country, has just begun, and that, I repeat, will require considerable resources.

In this context, I would like to present a fact, how in Poland the perpetuation of the memory of children is handled, who were killed during the war behind barbed wire. Here, also with the help of donations, a huge medical children's center was built. It seems you just have to remember that. And we - we stand up for numerous monuments and appreciate the mere formalism.

Even my family was affected by this national tragedy. For many years I have searched in vain for the graves of my husband and mother; I also lost other relatives. My memory of the oppressed is Ц a sorrowful one. And the pain does not calm down, although decades have passed since their disappearance.

W. MIKHAILOVSKAYA, pensioner
"Krasnoyarsk worker" - 22.01.1989


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