More than one thousand prisoners were shipped from the island prison of Solovki in October 1937.
For their relatives they disappeared even earlier when letters remained unanswered, but they were not forgotten. Their families tried to discover their fate. Many years would pass before it was learned that they had been shot.
For decades, relatives were fobbed off with lies and phoney certificates: the prisoners were sentenced to “ten years without the right to correspondence”; they were being “held in distant camps”; they had “died from a heart attack, from pneumonia.” In the late 1980s truthful information about their deaths finally emerged: when they were sentenced and shot – but not where they were executed and buried.
Their departure from Solovki was remembered and recorded.