Restoring the Names

Since the late 1980s volunteers all over Russia and other former Soviet republics have compiled lists naming the men and women arrested, imprisoned and shot during Stalin’s time, and published regional Books of Remembrance about them.

Working with Ivan Chukhin, Yury DMITRIEV compiled such a volume for Karelia. It contains over 14,000 names.

Nikolai KRESTOVSKY, shot 2 December 1942

In the past 15 years national databases of those “repressed” by the Bolshevik regime have been created by combining information from Books of Remembrance and other sources. Again this was the work of volunteers at organisations like the Memorial Society and, more recently, those behind the Open List database. The State has played no role in this extraordinary enterprise. At present, over three million men and women have been named and identified. This, it is estimated, is a quarter of all those who fell victim to political repression: those sent to the Gulag during dekulakisation, or deported to distant, inhospitable regions; those shot during the Great Terror and the many other waves of violence and repression before and after World War Two.

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