In 1935-1939 there was a secret site, the NKVD “dacha”, where the Gagarin park now stands. At the end of the 1930s the executed inhabitants of the Kuibyshev Region, including those shot during the Great Terror, were buried there. The numbers are not known: researchers estimate that there were between 2,500 and 3,500 bodies.
On 30 October 1989 a memorial to the victims of political repression was erected in the park. It took the form of a granite cube on a plinth bearing two inscriptions: “This is where the victims of repression in the 1930s and 1940s were buried” and “Let us bow our heads in memory of the slain innocents”. In 2012 the memorial was replaced on the initiative of the Samara city authorities by the “Saviour” sculptural composition (artist I.I. Melnikov). The new memorial was triumphantly unveiled on 30 October 2012. It depicts a bronze figure with a crown of thorns on his head that is transformed into barbed wire. The figure sits on a dark red granite plinth on which the following words have been etched: “To the victims of political repression in the 1930s and 1940s”. On either side of the memorial are six granite pillars on which various texts, including Anna Akhmatova’s Requiem, have been inscribed.
From 1997 to 2005, twenty-three volumes of The White Book of Victims of Political Repression (Samara Region) were published. They contain biographical details about more than 25,000 individuals convicted of “political” crimes, who were imprisoned or executed; several volumes provide details about another 20,000 individuals who were dekulakized or deported.
|Nature of ceremonies
|Organiser or responsible person
Solemn ceremonies to mark Remembrance Day for the Victims of Political Repression
Samara Region Commission for Restoring the Rights of the Rehabilitated Victims of Political Repression
Descendants of the victims, representatives of the City Administration and urban public organisations for Defending the Victims of Political Repression, pensioners and disabled members of the Rehabilitation association
|State of burials
have not survived
L. Belkina, “The Samara Golgotha”, Blagovest Orthodox newspaper, 27 May 2005 [retrieved, 28 May 2022]
Reply by the Samara City Administration (№ 21-12-07/3469 of 15 April 2014) to a formal enquiry by RIC Memorial (St Petersburg)