Chufarovo Prison [C]* Burials of executed & prison dead | Russia's Necropolis of Terror and the Gulag

Chufarovo Prison [C]* Burials of executed & prison dead



Date of burial
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Republic of Mordovia, Romodanovsky district, Bolshoe Chufarovo village, 1 Nagornaya Street
Access outside a populated area
On foot
2 kms southwest of Chufarovo Monastery
Visiting Hours or Restrictions
Type of burial
Secret interment of executed
Camp (prison) burial ground
Current use
Cultural and/or educational purposes
Ceremonial events
Presence of memorials, etc.
Protected status
Not protected
Фотография 2012 года. Источник:июля-2012-года2.html
Фотография 2012 года. Источник:июля-2012-года2.html

From 1929 to 1939 inhabitants of Mordovia sentenced to death were buried not far from the Chufarovo Monastery on the right bank of the river Chufarka. Those who died or were killed in the NKVD’s interrogation centre, located in the buildings of the closed monastery, were also buried there. Local inhabitants knew about the burials (which included the period of the Great Terror).

In 2005 a burial was discovered two kilometres from the monastery by the “Explorer” group for military-patriotic education of the young, led by I.A. Selivesterov. The found several mass graves, each containing 40-70 people. The burials spread over an area 180 by 250 metres and the human remains were found at a depth of 15 cms to 1.3 metres. Permission was not granted for the pits to be opened and or for exhumation of the remains. In 2006 monks of the Chufarovo Holy Trinity Monastery raised a wooden commemorative cross where the burials were found.

In 2008 members of the exploratory group made a memorial here in the form of a fragment of brick wall including barred windows and a plaque: “Burials of the victims of repression at the NKVD’s Chufarovo interrogation centre (1929-1939) and labour colony (1939-1954)”. In July 2017 the “Explorer” group led by N.A. Kruchinin again investigated the same territory. A total of 17 mass graves were discovered, with the remains of 38 people, dating back to the period of the prison’s existence. This time the excavations and exhumation were conducted officially. On 23 July that year the remains were reinterred in the same place in separate coffins. Father Nikolai Novotvortsev performed the Office for the Dead.

Books of Remembrance

Remembrance: Victims of Political Repression in the Republic of Mordovia (2 vols. 2000 & 2004) includes 13,900 biographical entries on those shot or sent to the camps.

DateNature of ceremoniesOrganiser or responsible personParticipantsFrequency
25 January
Feast of Russia's New Martyrs and Confessors
Holy Trinity Monastery, Chufarovo
Monks and congregation
annual event
30 October
Remembrance Day for the Victims of Political Repression
Romodansky municipal district administration
Relatives of those shot, district officials, NGOs, religious organisations, schoolchildren
annual event
Commemorative services
from time to time
Nature of area requiring preservation
State of burialsAreaBoundaries
have not survived
180 х 250 m
not delineated
Administrative responsibility and ownership, informal responsibility for the site
On land under the control of the Romodanovsky district administration. The Explorers group looks after the memorial area
Sources and bibliography

[ original texts and hyperlinks ]

“New materials about the history of the Chufarovo Holy Trinity Monastery based on FSB archives for the Mordovian Republic”, Saranskie eparkhialnye vedomosti (News of the Saransk Diocese), No. 11, 2002

Sergei Bakhmustov, Higumenos Lazar, The Chufarovo Holy Trinity Monastery in the past and the present, Saransk, 2000

“The remains of the victims of mass executions have been reburied in Mordovia”, website of the Monavist agency, 25 July 2017

A communication from the Romodanovsky municipal district administration, 9 June 2014 (RIC Memorial archive, St Petersburg)