“Light in the Darkness” (I)

This website has already published excerpts from Irina Flige‘s 2019 book about Sandarmokh: The Search for Sandarmokh. What follows is from a review in the January 2020 issue of Novy mir, the literary magazine (Moscow).

“Two themes run through Irina Flige’s book,” writes Tatyana Bonch-Osmolovskaya. “One is the quest, pursued across many years, for the ‘lost transport’, a search to locate 1,111 inmates of the Solovki Special Prison who vanished in October 1937.” The other theme, which “embraces and deepens the first”, describes Sandarmokh today, as a place of commemoration and remembrance.

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The Search for Sandormokh (contd)

SOLOVKI

From a list to biographies

To compile biographical profiles and confirm the information they contained we sent questionnaires to those regions in the USSR where the prisoners on Solovki had been arrested and sentenced.

Solovetsky Islands (map)

Meanwhile, we engaged in more active communication with the family members who took a keen and constant interest in our work – they longed to find out more about their relatives. They themselves began to draw up questionnaires and study the case files, bringing copies of the documents and photos to our archive at Memorial. Sometimes, on the contrary, we became  acquainted with the children of executed prisoners from Solovki as a result of studying the case files of their relatives.

Veniamin Joffe and I were establishing what had happened not to abstract victims of the Great Terror but to real people, we were uncovering the circumstances in which they had met their end.

An excerpt from Irina Flige‘s The Search for Sandormokh (2019)

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