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The Italians as victims of Red Terror

joint work of Gariwo and Centre for Recovered Names

Logo of Nomi Restituiti

Logo of Nomi Restituiti

The Italians as victims of Red Terror lecture by journalist Francesco Bigazzi

St. Petersburg Centre for Recovered Names decided to cooperate with Gardens of the Righteous Worldwide Committee in an attempt to retrace the fate of all the Italians, including the Soviets of Italian descent, who fell victims of Red Terror. The Centre’s chairman, Mr. Anatoly Razumov, invited hundreds thousands contributors scattered in all towns of the vast Russian territory to give precise information about all the Italians who fell prey of Stalinist terror.
For the first time it will be possible to reconstruct the fate – in many cases by finding the burial places of – not only Italian political expats, most of whom were Communist who fell victims of the gruesome mechanisms of Red Terror, but also of the small Italian minorities who had settled in Russia over the centuries (Italians from Crimea, Moldova, the Carpatian Mountains, St. Petersburg, Kazakhstan and many other places).

The Centre for Recovered Names, which avails itself of the spontaneous and free contribution of millions people interested in uncovering the truth about the tragic fate of their dear ones, has already carried out an extraordinary work: they have compiled a steadily growing list of over five millions names of people of different nationalities, annihilated by the monstruous machine of Soviet terror. This list already contains hundreds Italian names, both of political refugees and of descendants of the migrants (artists, peasants, owners of small businesses, and workers) disappeared during Stalinist terror. These names will be singled out and published, with all the details found, in the Website of Gardens of the Righteous.

In turn Mr. Razumov asked for our help in order to “get the research done” in some cases. The Centre would like to have more data about the fate of those Italians who after surviving prison and GULag came back to Italy. There are already many lists of Italians who faced a horrible death in the first State of the Soviets. Dante Corneli, Romolo Caccavale, Elena Dundovich, Francesca Gori, Francesco Bigazzi and Giancarlo Lehner have already worked out some lists with the description of some victims’ fate. This tragedy, according to the data found so far, has involved 1,300 names. The Centre’s research – which will compare “its” Italian names with the already existing ones – tells us the number of the Italians disappeared in the USSR is far bigger. It is very important to notice that it will possible to find the burial places of many of them and retrace the charges upon which thet were executed.

3 January 2011

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GULag

the Soviet labour camps

GULag is the acronym, introduced in 1930, of Gosudarstvennyj Upravlenje Lagerej (General Direction of the lagers).
In 1918, with the beginning of civil war, the Soviet system created a broad network of concentration camps for the political opponents of the newly created Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (the USSR). In 1919 the Soviets created the forced labour division. Forced labour was designed to socially redeem the detainees according to the very Soviet constitution. Besides the economic and punishment function, some lagers also worked in order to murder the deportees.

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