Levashovo Memorial Cemetery: history
- View Source
From what I understand this was the very first burial ground for NKVD mass murder of repression prisoners. See quotes below:-
On July 2, 1937, the Politburo of the Central Сommittee of Communist Party of the Soviet Union resolved to undertake a large-scale "operation for the repression of former kulaks, active anti-Soviet elements, and criminals". On July 31, 1937, L. M. Zakovsky, chief of the Leningrad and Leningrad Region NKVD Directorate, received from Moscow a copy of Secret Administrative Order No. 00447 from N. I. Yezhov, the People's Commissar of Internal Affairs, for immediate commencement of the operation. According to the plan for the Leningrad region described in the order, a "threesome" (troika) consisting of the chief of the regional NKVD Directorate, the regional prosecutor, and the second secretary of the District Committee of the Communist Party was required within four months of August 5 to sentence 4,000 people to execution by shooting (First Category) and to send another 10,000 to camps and prisons (Second Category).
The cemetery remained secret until 1989 and was maintained in virtually pristine form by the Leningrad KGB Directorate. The guard building and barns were preserved, along with tracks left in the earth by vehicles. To be sure, over the half century a tall forest had grown up, and from time to time the guards had covered the common graves with sand brought in for the purpose. In 1975-76 the fence and entrance gate were repaired.
So does Levashovo Wilderness look in our own time: a cemetery similar to Butovo and Kommunarka near Moscow, Kuropaty near Minsk, and Bykovnya near Kiev — a cemetery similar to the many burial places of those who were executed, both the known and the unknown.