“From 10 am to 10 pm on Sunday, 29 October, we shall be reading out the names of the victims of political repression here in Moscow,” announces an item on the Restoring the Names page on Facebook. “The Memorial Society has organised this event for ten years, ever since 2007. One after another, people will get up and read from the list. Yet thus far we have barely read half of the names of the 40,000 people executed in and around Moscow during the pre-war period.”
“Name, surname, occupation and date of execution. Thousands of names will be spoken aloud that day on Lubyanka Square, next to FSB headquarters. People were shot in secret: we are turning this into a public commemoration of those victims.
“Come to Lubyanka at any time during the day, or stand somewhere nearly, and join in Memorial’s annual Act of Remembrance beside the Solovetsky Stone, the oldest monument in our country to the millions of victims of the Soviet totalitarian regime.
“This year, as in 2016, we invite all to contribute to the costs of this event through its popular funding – help share the costs of sound amplification, heaters and candles. Restoring the Names is our common cause.”
The main building on the square is the current headquarters of the FSB. It served the same purpose for FSB predecessors in direct descent from Felix Dzerzhinsky’s Cheka: the GPU, OGPU, NKVD (from 1934); the wartime NKGB and MGB; and, finally, the KGB.