Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Butovo - the killing ground

The table is also displayed near the gate at Butovo, and it shows the number of people shot here every day between August 1937 and October 1938, when the madness started to abate, largely due to the increasing lack of any vaguely plausible victims. Alongside are pictures of some of the people killed, as shown above the table here. A beautifully-produced, 500-page book, full of fascinating illustrations and reproduced documents, gives a full history of the tragedy that took place on this spot, along with a great deal of interesting context and background information. Though sold on site, it is probably available only in Russia. Published in 2007, it is called Бутовский Полигон: Книга Памяти жертв политических репрессий ("Butovsky polygon: a book in memory of the victims of political repression"). The ISBN is 5-93547-008-X. Below is an illustration in the book. It is the signature of a man called Pavel Troitsky, on the left as it was before his arrest, on 29 October 1937, and, on the right, as it was on the night after he was interrogated.