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Remembering the Great Terror: Tangible and Intangible Heritage at Sites of Stalinist Repression

Author(s): Margaret A Comer

Year: 2017

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This paper will compare and contrast tangible and intangible forms of memorialization and commemoration at two ‘dark heritage’ sites from the period of the Soviet Union’s Great Terror in the late 1930s. Both the Butovo firing range, near Moscow, and the 12th Kilometer, near Yekaterinburg, are mass graves of Soviet citizens shot during Stalinist repression. Both are now sites of individual and public remembrance, with mass ceremonies occurring several times each year. However, the narratives of suffering, violence, and loss put forward at each vary considerably, as do the quality of heritage infrastructure and the scope of interpretation. The paper will categorize these differences with reference to a wider range of sites of repression within contemporary Russia. Further, it will outline and forward several reasons behind the discrepancies in resources and interpretative focus, which are linked to larger trends in the post-Soviet development of civil society and Russian Orthodoxy alike. 

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Remembering the Great Terror: Tangible and Intangible Heritage at Sites of Stalinist Repression. Margaret A Comer. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435472)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -8.158; min lat: 49.955 ; max long: 1.749; max lat: 60.722 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 503

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America