“Look, kitty, it’s a terrible page of our history” – where thousands of people received a ticket in the pit

“We do not want people to “spoil the holiday”, but it gives them a more complete picture of Moscow, not fake, but real”. Two weeks ago in the capital by the efforts of the international society “memorial” appeared in the exhibition “Victims of Shootings at home.” House number 23 on Nikolskaya street in the years of the “Great terror” was sentenced to death more than thirty thousand people.

  • How many repressed people in Russia suffered for Christ?
  • On the memory of victims of political repression and “Orthodox Stalinism”
  • What do Stalin and Hitler?
  • In Moscow began collecting donations for the “Wall of sorrow”
  • To get drunk and not go to the execution

People came up and said “Thank you”

Sunday at St. Nicholas especially crowded. At a distance of 500 meters from each other, the musicians sing “Katyusha” and Pink Floyd. Not far from them, wearing a curly wig, the artist recites poems by Pushkin. Everywhere stretches tart flavor of coffee. Passers-by eating ice cream out of Gum hiding in the flower bed, established at the time of the festival of urban landscape design, and take selfies. Groups follow a guide from the Zaikonospassky monastery to the circuit court. On St. Nicholas each house – history.

One of these houses is covered with a fixation drape. On the contrary is full of petunias veranda of the restaurant, and between them, dividing the street into two parts, modestly there are two small black-and-white stand with the inscription “Victims of Shootings at home.” It is the exhibition of the International human rights society “memorial”.

It was here, at No. 23, where once stood the house of the princes Khovansky’s lived count Sheremetyev, going to a circle, the philosopher Stankevich, and by it broke in the Kremlin by the Bolsheviks in 1930-ies was the Military Collegium of the Supreme court.

From 1 October 1936 to November 30, 1938 here was sentenced to death 31 thousand 456 people. Among them – the writers Isaac Babel and Boris Pilnyak, the Director Vsevolod Meyerhold, Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky, the fathers of Maya Plisetskaya, Olga Aroseva, Alexander Zbruev, scientists Kondratyev and Polivanov, as well as Bukharin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, 25 Union Commissars and 19 Republican, more than 100 professors, more than 300 Directors of leading enterprises.

Black-and-white mourning stands with photos of executed people out of the General tone of the street-feast, with its colorful signage, noise and entertainment, dancing to the song “I’m a chocolate Bunny”.

Someone notices them and runs towards red square or Lubyanka, someone clinging look, a couple of seconds, trying to see the name, but the path continues. And someone a long time attract the eye Tamara Latinskoy – 28-the summer student of the second course of the evening Department of the technical school im. Lenin. She was accused of “participation in anti-Soviet terrorist organization”, was arrested and shot in six months. Litinskii have left two young children – son and daughter.

“Memorial” and like-minded people over a decade have been struggling to hit the house there was at least some mention of the Military Collegium and its deeds: if it’s not a Museum, it is a sign or a small display. In 2014 the mayor’s office even promised to buy a house in the city to open up a branch of the Museum of Gulag history, but then the deal failed because of the crisis, the owner raised the price. According to recent reports, the new owner plans to open a shop of elite perfumery, it leads the negotiations on the establishment of the memorial exhibition.

Periodically during these years near the house, there were exhibitions testify about the persecution. For example, in 2014, the portraits of the victims of the “death list” due to the Museum of Gulag history stood on Nikolskaya two weeks. This time the stands will be here until November.

We wanted to install them before the start of the championship, specially translated all the texts into English for the tourists and made out a few names of the victims of Soviet players, – says the curator of cultural programs of “Memorial” Alexander Polivanov. – We do not want people to “spoil the holiday”, just Nikol deserves to her and celebrated the victory in the championship, and football mourned the defeat, and conceptualized history. We thought that it would give people a more complete picture of Moscow, not fake and more real. And fans could read and just learn what happened here. But we, unfortunately, were not allowed to do it in may-June. And when colleagues mounted the stands in August, people came up and said thank you.

Beautiful and terrible are inseparable

– Look, kitty, it’s a terrible page of our history, – the Muscovite Ekaterina is trying to interest his four sons, who now and then pulls in different directions the hands of their parents. Eventually the husband catches him on his shoulder and together they avoid stand to see the map.

Catherine 35 years. The repression affected her family on both sides. One grandfather, a veteran of the great Patriotic war, in the 50s he worked in the colony, but, according to Olga, was not involved in executions and, probably like many, didn’t even know who these people are and what are they were just numbered. The parent and the other grandfather was arrested – were “kulaks”.

Now everyone knows that this moment was in our history, just the genocide of the nation… And, of course, it is necessary to tell as much as possible, that this does not happen, that the people were not deaf to this, – says Ekaterina. The son will show and tell when you get a bit older and start to understand the value of life.

Well, all the same normal people are interested in the history of his country, asks the question of the importance of such exhibitions physicist from Zelenograd Olga. On Sunday she came to walk through the centre of Moscow and was on Nikolskaya.

Olga, 53 years old. After the restructuring took a job as a accountant – engineering not found. In the 2000s, when he began to publish literature about repression and to open the archives, started to learn the details.

– Any more or less educated person wants to know what came before it – continues to Olga. And this is the page the history of our country, and not some other. Yes, terrible. And that is only to admire the beautiful? Beautiful and terrible are inseparable.

Importantly, in promoting such knowledge, in her opinion, is to give the facts, not someone’s opinion, and the man himself concludes. On the stands, it did not have more detailed information about the people and not just their photos.

The couple and the people of Moscow, Vladimir and Natalia, engineer, and scholar, the history of Shootings at home watching on the media. Had passed, as, in General, most of the guests at Nikol, noticed only a facade, particularly beautiful when illuminated. And the exhibition itself saw at once: first, hurried to the side of Okhotny Ryad and only on the way back, reducing the pace of walking, saw the same eyes Tamara Litinskii. Vladimir and Natalia are convinced to know what happened here is important, especially young people. Their 20-year-old son with the filing of the parents also took a fancy aglantzias history of the country.

Sometimes at a stand for a crowd. Two grandmothers almost in a whisper discussing what he saw, a girl with long dreadlocks standing in front of the booth, takes a picture and runs away – may consider the after. A young man in a tracksuit intently reading about the history of the College, for a second, raises eyebrows, looks around, trying to figure out if this is the house, and returns to the stands. But the two approached and he heard Italian speech. But there are also curiosities: a young couple in a hurry ran to the map of the prison, mistaking it for a map Navigator, and use it to tried to determine his location. The name of the stand they saw immediately.

None of the interlocutors do not mind that in the house No. 23 was a Museum or at least a memorial exhibition. Perhaps those for whom this idea does not like it stands is not delayed. Only 82-year-old Vladimir, who as a teenager ran to the funeral of Stalin, but did not get, was surprised by the Khrushchev report and only then learned about the persecution, embarrassed and said quietly: “Well, if people are interested in history and really know about those events, but to talk about the bad, to advertise… I think not”. But the question of why and what he learned about the exhibition, purposefully came to St. Nicholas and longer than the others examined each photo and number on the stand, remained unanswered.

“Here thousands of people received a ticket to the ditch…”

Every Wednesday for eight years in a row on the picket Firing near the house’s octogenarian Alex G. Nesterenko – his father, the head of the planning Department of the research Institute of civil air fleet, sentenced to be shot here in 1937. The day of the arrest Alexei was 25 days.

The family immediately fled, some even changed the names. To connect with family “enemy of the people” they only started after a couple of decades, occasionally, arriving in Moscow to visit. Three children, mother raised alone and nothing said. Alex thought that his father never returned from the war, like most of the guys in school. And only when the University learned the whole story from the mom and the questionnaire in the column “father” wrote “arrested by the NKVD, convicted by the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme court for 10 years without the right of correspondence”.

Although it was 1954, documents the University did not accept. Mom wrote a note to Voroshilov with a request to rehabilitate her husband and 17-year-old Alexei G. two years was listed as “son of an enemy of the people”, before my father was rehabilitated. Then, along with student scholarship he received a pension for the unjustly accused father.

I went to Institute of chemical technology named after Mendeleev and then almost all his life worked in the electronics industry, Korolev and Kurchatov. And in 1995, when everything collapsed, was employed as a watchman in the club “Flight.” And since many years translating technical literature from English into Russian for publishing houses “Energy” and “Peace” that settled in his native Mendeljejevka, 2015 taught technical translation.

About your family Alex G. says with a bitter smile: “we Have a typical Soviet family was – my father was shot, and his wife – worked in the NKVD”. But mingle they did not – father-in-law died shortly before the Dating of the future couple. Lydia S. died in 2008. At that moment Alexei Georgievich seemed – well, all front – solid loneliness. Soon 15-year-old grandson for a lesson at school decided to make a family tree. Together with his grandfather started to draw the lines. And then Alexei Georgievich something clicked.

Began to visit libraries and archives, to read Solzhenitsyn, Shalamov, Rybakova. After he will admit that “in every book out his life and was ashamed that he lived carelessly”.

Met with “Memorial”, was to read the lists of the repressed at the Solovetsky stone. On the cardboard blue put the picture of dad, laminate, tied a ribbon, hung on the chest, and went to St. Nicholas. Portrait of Georgy Nesterenko are among the other portraits in the stands.

From the Lubyanka, he goes in small steps, rocking slightly from foot to foot, the right hand carries the backpack in his left hand a blue plastic bag, pulls out printed on A4 paper quotes Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Alexy about the need to remember the tragedy of repression, copies of the Newspapers that wrote about the prisoners, and lay on the nearest bench. Some time is silence, then, when these exhibits are people starting to talk about the house with the words “here thousands of people received a ticket to the ditch…”.

– Indifference prevails, of course, people go by. Those who are looking mainly listen carefully, but there are those who react aggressively: “Everything is fake”. Does not accept the minds of some, that he, who for many years praised, turned out to be a criminal, – said Nesterenko about Stalin. And with each new sentence and approached the man, his speech becomes more emotional.

Alexei G. criticizes the television, which tells almost nothing about the persecution. The years of terror he calls “the final fall of the law enforcement system that has sentenced innocent,” and the creation Museum here – “the question of the future life of the country”. He seems to be a very accurate comparison of Butovo with Buchenwald.

The children and grandchildren of such activities are treated with suspicion, now support.

Periodically to “crazy town” as some call Alexei G., approach the police checked the documents and asked what he was doing here. Sometimes even taken to the police station. During our conversation, approached police after seeing the documents, walked away, and then one of them whispered to the photographer “Pravmir”: “you Know, I have both of my grandfather was shot in Butovo”.

– It’s hard to know where the truth lies and where people, especially young people. But the moral improvement of society will come when we will understand that no “enemies of the people” was not, you know! – continues to Alexei Georgievich. – We refer to these tragedies: “Well, it was, like all, it is necessary to go forward”. As it turns out, go ahead and stumble on what it used to be… Remember Oblomov and Stolz? Still, we need to learn from the Germans to overcome… Good word “overcoming”. Now we need to be overcoming consequences of the godless Soviet regime.

So the ninth decade of life Alexei Nesterenko has a new meaning, now he wants to have a law banning the glorification of Stalin, and death house Museum. Its Communist past has not disappeared anywhere, and their faith in the construction of an ideal society Alexey Georgievich does not hide, but price now is the past differently and urged to relate to the history of their country, although some of her episodes and I want to erase.

Two weeks after the installation of stands on a column someone had tied a small bouquet of artificial flowers.

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