News Politics Society, 23/08/2018

Three Victims of Stalin Regime Return in Plaques

Last week, Ostannya Adresa (Ukrainian: Last Address) project was presented and started working in Kharkiv. Earlier the same initiative was launched in Kyiv.

Three unusual small-size memorial plaques were unveiled on August 15 and 16. One appeared in Vodolaha town station and two were placed in Kharkiv. The first plaque was dedicated to the railway station worker, Pavlo Horbatenko. Two other plaques were placed accordingly for Mykola Ignatov, a mechanical engineer, who lived in 40 Kuznechna St. and Lev Henes, an engineer-economist, in 8 Darvina St.

All three men were arrested after false accusations, charged with being subversives and enemies of the Soviet power and shot in 1937. Their descendants did not have an opportunity to find out about their executed family members and were even banned from talking about them for many decades. Only in the 1960s thousands of such people were exonerated.

Therefore a public initiative, the Last Address project, is aimed primarily at reviving the memory of fellow citizens, of common people who were victims of Stalin tyranny and political repressions during the years of totalitarian Soviet Union.

“They say that one lost life is a tragedy, and a thousand deaths is just statistics,” highlight the project organizers. ”For us, every killed person matters, every story is important. So each memory plaque unveiling ceremony becomes a very emotional and moving event.”

If people want to install a plaque to their relatives or friends who were repressed or killed in the 1930s, they now can contact the organizers and provide them with all the information.

Reference: Last Address сivic project was initiated in 2014 in Russia by journalist Serhiy Parkhomenko. A plaque similar to the mailing envelope with the name, profession and dates of arrest and execution was attached to the house, which was the last address of a repressed person. Thousands of memorial symbols appeared on the houses as a result. In Ukraine, an independent project “Last Address, Ukraine” appeared in 2017 to remind the society about the particular people who were killed in mass.

Text: Olena Sokolynska

Photo: Ostannya Adresa