After the elections of 2022, there were no “independent” deputies left even at the municipal level, meaning even less support for real, lively civil initiatives.Plaques as a guide to history
Through the plaques installed over Last Address’s 10 years of work, you can follow the course of history.
On February 3, 1938, 229 Latvians were killed at the Butovo Firing Range. In the neighborhood of Chistye Prudy, where the Latvian embassy is now located, more than a dozen plaques were put up with the names of those killed during the NKVD’s Latvian Operation in 1938.
With each plaque on the wall of a building, an article appears on the Last Address website that has more detailed information about the name that is engraved on the plaque. Reading the stories of the residents of just this area, one can learn about the existence in 1920-30s Moscow of the Latvian theater called Skatuve, whose members were almost all killed. This is a story forgotten by Muscovites. Three years ago, a memorial plaque appeared on Strastnoy Boulevard on the building where the theater had been located – there are only dates, not a word about what happened to the theater in 1938. The only memory of the theater is a few small plaques scattered along the various streets where the Skatuve actors lived.
In August 1937, People’s Commissar of Internal Affairs Nikolai Yezhov issued an operational order on “the operation to repress wives of traitors to the motherland.
” And in the spring of 1938, besides this order, a circular appeared that ordered the establishment of undercover surveillance of the children of repressed parents so that anti-Soviet sentiments could be uncovered and suppressed. If such sentiments were detected, it was necessary to bring the children to justice on a common basis and send them to camps. The circular was signed by the deputy of the people’s commissar of internal affairs, Mikhail Frinovsky.
Less than a year later, Frinovsky himself was arrested and shot, followed by his wife and son, a 10th grader. First they shot the son, then the wife. Last Address does not put up memorial signs for those who were directly related to organizing the terror. But plaques with the names of Frinovsky’s wife, Nina Stepanovna, and son, Oleg Mikhailovich, have been installed on the wall of the house where they lived – a building built specially to house law enforcement.23 plaques
There are buildings with signs in two, three and even four rows – these are most often the buildings of agencies, and their walls now speak of the scale of the catastrophe of entire industries. The house at the corner of Pokrovka and Potapovsky Lane belonged to the Military Builder Cooperative. Today’s residents of the house decided to keep alive the memory of everyone who was taken from there to die – it is 23 people. Twenty-three plaques now hang on the façade, passers-by always stop.