In Russia, on the basis of a secret interdepartmental order of 2014, archived registration cards with information about the repressed in the USSR are destroyed. The director of the Gulag History Museum Roman Romanov informed the adviser to the president of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Fedotov, asking him to understand the situation. The destruction of cards means the complete deletion of information about the finding of convicts in the Gulag system, the letter says.
One of the first to sound the alarm about the destruction of the cards of the repressed edition of Kommersant. Since the director of the Gulag Museum Roman Romanov addressed him directly.
What is really going on? And what does all this entail?
Let’s try to figure it out.
Card of the repressed. What it is? And why is it so important?
- If a person, a prisoner, died or died in a camp, his personal file was sent for indefinite storage.
- If a person, a prisoner, was released, then his case was destroyed, but an archive card was drawn up, which indicated the name, year and place of birth, the movement of the prisoner between the camps and camps, as well as the date of release.
About the practice of destruction
Sergei Prudovsky, one of the partners of the Gulag Museum, was looking for information about the repressed peasant Fedor Chazov, whose brother Grigory survived after being shot, was able to reach the chairman of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, Mikhail Kalinin, and was again sent to be shot. Fedor Chazov was sentenced to five years in prison camps and sent to the Magadan region.
Prudovsky made a request to the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Magadan Region. They replied that the personal file of the prisoner was destroyed in 1955 according to the order of those years. It turned out that the archive account card was also destroyed. To the question of Prudowski on what basis this was done, the head of the information center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Magadan Region, Mikhail Seregin, said that there was an interdepartmental order under the heading “for official use.”
An interdepartmental order labeled “for official use” dated February 12, 2014 “On approval of instructions on maintaining and using centralized online-inquiry, criminalistic and search records, formed on the basis of the internal affairs bodies of the Russian Federation.” This order was signed jointly by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Emergencies, the Ministry of Defense, the FSB, the Federal Drug Control Service, the Federal Customs Service, the Federal Security Service, the Foreign Intelligence Service, as well as the Prosecutor General’s Office and the State Courier Service. “The term of storage of cards on convicts is until they (convicts) reach the age of 80. The convict Chazov Fedor expired in 1989, the card was destroyed by the act of September 11, 2014.”
More cases of destruction of repressed cards
In 2014, a resident of the Moscow region Nina Trushina tried to find information about her relative, convicted in 1939, and received a response from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Magadan Region that the registration card was postponed for destruction on the basis of a service order.
She appealed to the courts, but lost them.
Confusion with order
According to the BBC historian, deputy chairman of the board of the Memorial society Nikita Petrov, the speech, apparently, is not about an order aimed specifically at the destruction of Soviet archival documents.
Most likely, this departmental order simply regulates the storage of data of various operational and investigative records. And there, these norms are included about the fact that it is impossible and not necessary to keep forever information that a person was once convicted.
At the same time, Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov said that archival documents of the repressed should not be destroyed by this order.
According to Nikita Petrov, the employees of Memorial turned to different authorities and found out that, apparently, it was the information center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Magadan Region that decided to apply a service order with respect to documents of the Stalin era.
If you believe the sources, then these facts apply only to one area, as described above.
If this practice wakes up continued on other archives?
According to official figures of repressed people, there are from 12 to 17 million. Let us imagine for a moment that the cards from which you can find out the fate of your relatives and ancestors, as well as which are material evidence of crimes against humanity and the facts of bloody terror in the USSR, will be destroyed.
If the state is not able to store and maintain archives, and the fate of archives is very sad, in the era of computer technology everything can be digitized, as other countries do, and the problem is solved, it takes up minimum space and maximum access.
Or, after all, a course towards unconsciousness? And here is the ideological and political aspect of today’s Russia?
The question is complicated…
Good luck in finding.