No one knows for sure how many people were murdered during Stalin’s Great Purge, but estimates put the figure at more than 1 million. During the height of the purges, in 1937-38, Stalin’s secret police executed more than a 1,000 people a day, the most with a shot to the back of the head. These photos show eight victims in their last weeks or days. The original photographs were kept in the FSB (Federal Security Service) and GARK (The State Archives in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) archives. Copies were provided by the international association Memorial in Moscow. Nine hundred of them were published on the anniversary, establishing the identity of each person, in the album La Grande terreur en URSS 1937-1938 by Tomasz Kizny and Dominique Roynette, Lausanne, Éditions Noir sur Blanc, 2013.
Nikolai Vasiliyevich Abramov: Russian; born in 1890 in Lukerino village, Moscow Oblast; primary education; no party affiliation; collective farm foreman; lived in Lukerino. Arrested on October 5, 1937. Sentenced to death on October 17, 1937. Executed on October 21, 1937.
Aleksandra Ivanovna Chubar: Armenian; born 1903 in Artemivsk, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine; higher education; no party affiliation; consultant in the People’s Commissariat of Light Industry; lived in Moscow, Dom Sovietov 1, Apt. 227. Arrested on July 4, 1938. Sentenced to death and executed on August 28, 1938.
Aleksei Zheltikov: Russian, born 1890, locksmith at the Moscow Metro workshops. Shot on November 1, 1937.
Boris Nikolayevich Rozenfeld: Russian Jew; born 1908 in St. Petersburg; higher education; no party affiliation; engineer of the Mosenergo company; lived in Moscow, Malaya Nikitinskaya Street 16/105. Arrested on January 31, 1935. Sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. Prisoner of Byelomoro-Baltisky complex of camps in Karelia. Transported from the camp to Moscow on April 12, 1937. Sentenced to death and executed on July 13, 1937. Rehabilitated in 1990.
Gavril Sergeyevich Bogdanov: Russian; born 1888 in Aminevo village, Moscow Oblast; primary education; no party affiliation; laborer; lived in Aminevo. Arrested on August 8, 1937. Sentenced to death on August 19, 1937. Executed on August 20, 1937. Rehabilitated in 1989.
Vasily Semyonovich Kurenkov: Russian; born 1886 in Faleleyevo village, Western Oblast; primary education; no party affiliation; worker on a state farm; lived in Polozovo village, Moscow Oblast. Arrested on August 10, 1937. Sentenced to death on August 19, 1937. Executed on August 21, 1937. Rehabilitated in 1989.
Semyon Nikolayevich Krechkov: Russian; born 1876 in Ponizove village, Moscow Oblast; secondary education; no party affiliation; Orthodox priest in Bykovo village church, Moscow Oblast; lived on Perednyaya Street, Bykovo. Arrested on November 1, 1937. Sentenced to death on November 15, 1937. Executed on November 25, 1937. Rehabilitated in 1989.
Marfa Ilichna Ryazantseva: Russian; born 1866 in Makhachkala, Tverskaya Oblast; uneducated; no party affiliation; retired; lived in Moscow, 1st Meshchanskaya Street 62/26. Arrested on August 27, 1937. Sentenced to death on October 8, 1937. Executed on October 11, 1937. Rehabilitated in 1989.