“Memorial” publishes information on victims of the Stalin repressions


The Human Rights Society “Memorial”, together with the Russian Federation Human Rights Ombudsperson, the Yabloko Party and the Internation Lichachev Foundation, has put together a compact disc with information about victims of the political terror in the USSR.

According to the Head of Memorial, Arseny Roginsky, the latest information suggests that there were more than 12.5 million victims of repression in Russia itself.

“At the present time our database contains about 20-25% of this figure. It is the result of the efforts of hundreds of people in a huge number of regions over almost 20 years”, Mr Roginsky stated at a press conference in Moscow on Thursday.

He thanked the Yabloko Party and the Internation Lichachev Foundation for their support in searching for information about those who perished. He added that thanks to the Human Rights Ombudsperson’s office and the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs they had received 700 thousand names.

The Ombudsperson Vladimir Lukin addressed the press conference, saying:

“I think that such pages of history, terrible pages must be recalled, it is absolutely essential. Those who don’t want to and resist efforts to ensure that the history of the twentieth century is studied and thought through in its entirety are simply not showing concern for the future of our country.”

As reported here, methodological handbooks have appeared in Russia for teachers of history and social sciences. Their authors conceal the horrors of the repressions in the Soviet Union and propagate the views of Vladimir Putin on politics and history. The recommendations will become the basis of new textbooks from next year. The Ministry of Education states, however, that they will not be compulsory.

Stalin is named one of the “most successful” of Soviet leaders, and the creation of the labour camps and mass purges are justified as a necessary measure for creating a great country.

Speaking before teachers in June this year at his country residence, Putin praised the methodological recommendations.

He acknowledged that the purges carried out by Stalin in 1937 had been terrible, but said that “in other countries there were even worse things”. In justification for the many years of repression in the Soviet Union, he stated: “We didn’t have such black pages as Nazism”.

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