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Memorial’s Research Centre on the Creation of Memorials to the Victims of Stalin’s Repressions

Source: (info), 21/10/10

· Human Rights Education · Victims of Political Repressions · Leningrad Region and St. Petersburg

In today’s Russia it is absolutely necessary for there to be a government programme for the creation and maintenance of memorials to the victims of Stalin’s repressions and for the establishment of one centralised record of all memorial endeavours.

Until recently the public memory of the tragic events of the Stalin era has been, to a large degree, preserved by community organisations, but gradually the preservation of the memory of Stalinism is becoming a central requirement of society at large.

The director of Memorial’s Research Centre (St Petersburg), historian Irina Flige, made it clear that the government needs to take responsibility for the financing of memorials to the victims of political repressions. The work of creating museums dedicated to the events of this period has been going on for around two decades in this country.

For a similar length of time a public record of memorials to the victims of terror has been under creation. At present there exist more than a thousand such memorials across the country. In St Petersburg there are monuments to the victims of political terror at Troitskaya Square, in the Levashovo Memorial Cemetery, a memorial plaque and a cross have been put up at Kovalevsky Forest, and there is a memorial plaque at Toksovo, BaltInfo writes.

According to Irina Flige, ‘All of these monuments and plaques have been erected by groups of enthusiasts. There is no government programme for memorial sites of this kind. Across the country monuments are being put up solely by community groups, and there is, to this day, no centralised record of these monuments and memorials to the victims of Stalinism.’

Irina Flige also noted that in the Memorial Books and the electronic database maintained by Memorial are the names of about three million people – roughly one quarter of the overall number of those who became victims of the repressions.
Rights in Russia,
9 Nov 2010, 11:40