The victims deserve our commemoration

The victims deserve our commemoration

In the premises of the Strelka Museum Center was held the presentation of the third and forth volume of the “Book of Memory” published in commemoration of the victims of political reprisals in Krasnoyarsk Territory.

The publication of this book is financed by the regional budget. It is the result of the common efforts of the archives agency, the affiliate of social welfare of the Krasnoyarsk regional administration, the Krasnoyarsk “Memorial” organization, the Krasnoyarsk office of Federal State Security, the Main Administration of the Interior, the Public Prosecutors of Krasnoyarsk Territory and “Izdatelskiye Proekty” Publishers. Volume 3 and 4 comprise biographic details on reprised Krasnoyarsk citizens, who were under investigation on Krasnoyarsk Territory and whose family names start with the letters “D-K”, as well as scientific publications.

Alex Babiy, project leader of the group which has been working on this books and chairman of the Krasnoyarsk “Memorial” Organization, reminded the public that under the rule of the Soviets about 60.000 people were charged and sentenced for political reasons. As from August 1937 until July 1938 alone, approximately 11.600 individuals were executed, about 5.440 people were sent into camps. More than 500.000 special settlers of different nationalities were deported to Krasnoyarsk Territory, thousands of prisoners eked out a wretched existence in the Kraslag, Norillag and other camps. By the way, many victims have not received their rehabilitation yet, although more than half a million applications have been submitted during the past years.

- The main aim of our work is the reconstruction and revival of every single repressed person’s fate, - said Aleksey Babiy. – This is not merely a matter of utmost importance to their relatives, but, in fact, for all of us, as long as we do not want to be come one of those little “screws” again, as it was the case during Stalin’s era.

Nikolay Andreevich Kirilolv, the son of a repressed Baikal-Cossack, also rose to speak. He expressed his deep gratitude to all, who took part in the realization of the book.

- Many paragraphs you cannot read without a shudder. But we have to learn about our history, no matter, how tragic and cruel it was.

Lubov Alekseevna Kushnir, whose grandfather and father with the whole family were expropriated, talked about the hard life of the children of repressed people:

- We are not doing enough for those, who became victims of political reprisals during the hard years of stalinism, although we are aware that many of them, as well as their children, have to cope with considerable problems with regard to the amount of their pension, the possibility to spend a few weeks in a sanatory to regain health, the granting of lower fees when using public means of transport or the installation of private telephone.

After the presentation of the books the film “The shooting gallery supervisor or a remorseful sin” (produced by Yuriy Afanasev-Shirokov) about repressions of the 1930s in Minusinsk was shown. The main topic of interest were not merely the victims, but the executors, as well, who did not show the slightest remorse – those, who once shot dead an “enemy of the people” and still today have the opinion that this was just and right. “For there is no God”, - one of them said. – “And if God does not exist, there cannot be any sin, either…”.

On October 30 the Russians are going to commemorate the victims of political reprisals. Before that day there will be a number of events in Krasnoyarsk. On October 24, for example, a lecture on “The repressed Krasnoyarsk intelligentsia” will be held in the premisses of the Strelka Museum Center. On October 30 there will be the traditional meeting at the memorial stone of the victims of political reprisals. Afterwards people will light candles and lower wreathes to the waters of the Yenisey. On the same day three exhibitions will open in the Museum Center: “The repressed Krasnoyarsk intelligentsia”, “Political “jurisdiction” and political prisoners in today’s Russia” (one of the exhibits will be photos of the physician Danilov) and “Under the sign of OST” (about young prisoners in fascist concentration camps).

“Krasnoyarsk Worker”, 26.10.06