Government may adopt federal programme on commemoration of victims of repression

posted 18 Sept 2015, 11:45 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 18 Sept 2015, 11:55 ]
10 September 2015

Source: (info)
The Russian government intends to set up a federally-funded programme for the commemoration of the memory of victims of political repression, media report. citing Kommersant, states that a framework for government policy concerning the remembrance of victims of repression has already been developed by human rights activists at the request of the president. The head of the presidential human rights council, Mikhail Fedotov, says that the government has already confirmed the relevant policy document. This document, which was in fact approved by the cabinet of ministers in mid-August 2015, sets out the framework for commemorating the memory of victims of political repression. The document points out that ‘Russia cannot fully become a state based on the rule of law’ until the memory of the millions of victims of political repressions have been commemorated for all time.

According to sources in the presidential administration, the government is now preparing a federally-funded programme to ensure the implementation of this policy. This programme, coverings the period up to 2019, will include development of educational programs, efforts to locate the mass burials of victims of repression, and the creation of appropriate commemorative memorials at these places.

In its main publication on this issue, "The Year 1937 and Today’s Russia" the International Memorial Society has stated the following:

"<...> A fully-developed broad government policy related to the tragic experience of the past must, most likely, be international and inter-governmental in nature. This concerns both historical research and the publication of Books of Memory, and the memorialization of places of burial, and much more – perhaps even including the preparation of school textbooks. The memory of the Terror is the shared memory of our peoples. This memory does not divide us, but unites us – not the least because it is not only the memory of crimes, but also the memory of joint resistance to the killing machine, the memory of international solidarity and human mutual aid <...>" 

Translated by Simon Cosgrove