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15.06.2007

Another common grave found in Odessa where during the Terror one in ten was repressed

   

A mass grave of victims of repression has been discovered in Odessa. Odessa’s Mayor Edward Hurvits informed the City Council Executive Committee of the discovery on Thursday 14 June and said that the city authorities would do all that was needed to honour the memory of the victims of the political repression.

The grave was found on the outskirts of the Black Sea city six kilometres out on the “Ovidiopolsk Road”

Three to six thousand victims

The grave may hold the last earthly remains of up to six thousand people from Odessa and the region executed during Stalin’s repressions*. The mass grave lies over an area of approximately 180 times 110 metres, and six metres deep.

It was members of Odessa’s Memorial Society and organizations for former victims of repression who succeeded in establishing that the remains are those of victims of political repression. They gathered testimony from witnesses and studying archival material. According to their information, the mass executions took place in 1937.

During Stalin’s rule, every tenth Odessan was executed or exiled to Siberia. 

“Ovidiopolsk Road” – Road of Death

Compiler of the Odessa Martyrologue, dedicated to the memory of the victims of repression during Soviet rule, Georgy Razumov explains that during the 1930s the “Ovidiopolsk Road” on the outskirts of Odessa became a real “road of death”.  It was along that road that the bodies of those executed were taken out of the city to be buried six kilometres away on the road.

Mayor Hurvits has given instructions that the territory where the mass grave was found is to be under the supervision of the General Director of the international airport “Odessa” Svitlana Kobylyanska, since the human remains were found on the airport land.

The city authorities are presently looking into the possibility of reburying the remains in Odessa’s Western Cemetery. Another option would be, following the completion of the exhumation and necessary procedure,, to erect a memorial complex at the site of the burial

If there is an exhumation, specialists say that this will last up to three months.

 

*  these figures are from the State Commission on immortalizing the memory of the victims of the War and political repression under the Cabinet of Ministers,

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