44 Lenin Avenue

A researcher's journey to Siberia

Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions

Filed under: Monument square,Stalinist repression — Wilson Bell at 4:45 pm on Monday, October 30, 2017  Tagged , , , , , ,

Just a quick note: In Russia, October 30 is officially the “Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions.” As the museum at 44 Lenin Avenue is run by the Tomsk chapter of the Memorial Society, dedicated to preserving the memory of the victims of Soviet-era repression, it’s a key day for the museum staff and for the building itself. In the square outside of the building, people gathered and read 1500 names of those repressed under Stalin. Vasilii Khanevich, director of the museum, referred to Tomsk as a key site of Stalinist repression, because the region was such a major centre for exile, and Tomsk itself was the “gateway to Narym.” There are some nice photographs of the event at the link, above.

This particular October 30 is special, too, because it is the official opening of a national monument to the victims of repression, in a prominent Moscow location. Vladimir Putin himself officially opened the monument, stating, as reported by Radio Free Europe, “This horrific past must not be stricken from the national memory”. While some have argued that Russia under Putin has ignored the violent side of Stalinism, including the Gulag, my own sense is that it is much more complicated, a complexity certainly highlighted by this monument and the relatively recently opened Gulag Museum.

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