Reading the names: Sandarmokh 2022

For six hours on Friday, 5 August 2022, people around the world read out a seemingly endless list of those who were shot during Stalin’s Great Terror in 1937-1938.

Over six thousand men and women were executed at SANDARMOKH, one of Northwest Russia’s biggest killing fields. I was asked to read some names where I lived and on Friday I did so, standing next to our village sign in Geldeston.

This was an act of solidarity not only with colleagues around the world and in Russia but also with YURY DMITRIEV who discovered Sandarmokh in July 1997 and is today serving a long sentence, like Soviet political prisoners before 1987, in one of the Dubrovlag camps of Mordovia (Volga Federal District, Russia).

PS — After six hours, I estimate, we had read about one thousand names …