75 years ago between 27 October and 4 November 1937 1, 111 prisoners of the Solovky Labour Camp were executed at the Sandarmokh Forest Clearing in Karelia.
Many were members of the intelligentsia of almost all nations of the USSR imprisoned at the Solovky Labour Camp. Among them were 290 Ukrainians. Labelled “Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists”, those murdered included the neo-classic poet and professor of Kyiv University Mykola Zerov, the creator of the theatre “Berezil” [“March”] Les Kurbas; the playwright Mykola Kulish; Anton. Ostap and Bohdan Krushelnytsky, the writers Valeryan Pidmohylny, Pavlo Filypovych, Valeryan Polishchuk, Oleksa Slisarenko, Myroslav Irchan, Hryhoriy Elik, Marko Vorony, Myhkailo Kozoriz, Mykhailo Yalovy; the historians Academician Matviy Yavorsky, Professor Serhiy Hrushevsky; the scientists Stepan Rudnytsky, Mykola Pavlushkov, Vasyl Volkov, Petro Bovsunivsky, Mykola Trokhymenko; the founder of the Hydro-meteorological Service of the USSR, Dutch by origin, Professor Oleksiy Vangenheim; the Minister of Finance of the Ukrainian SSR Mykhailo Poloz and others.
There had been executions at the Clearing earlier, nor did they end with these murders carried out to a “quota” of 1, 825 executions imposed on the head of the Solovky Labour Camp. Thousands of victims of the Stalin Terror lie buried in the Clearing.
The mass grave was found and identified in July 1997 by the Karelian and St, Petersburg branches of Memorial. On 27 October 1997 the victims of the Sandarmokh Executions were properly honoured for the first time, with a small oak cross To the Slaughtered Sons and Daughters of Ukraine taken to the Clearing by Yevhen Sverstyuk, himself a former political prisoner. Nearby in the clearing there are Crosses erected by Poles and by Russians, Muslim and Jewish Memorial Stones, while in the forest there are around 150 Karelian signs with memorials. The Russian Orthodox Church has built a chapel. At the entrance to the memorial there is a monument with the words inscribed: “People, do not kill each other”. The St. Petersburg chapter of “Memorial” brought the stone here from Solovky.
Every year on 27 October a memorial gathering is held in Kyiv near the Memorial to Les Kurbas on the intersection of Prorizna St and Pushkinska St in Kyiv). Delegations also travel to Solovky and Sandarmokh in early August every year.
Вічна пам’ять Eternal Memory