Moscow, Donskoy Cemetery

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13.00 ha
Fraternal Cemetery (common grave)
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Cemetery located in the place of monastery.

In 1927 crematorium within territory was built and used for burning bodies of victims of Soviet repressions.

  "Common Grave Number 1"

In 1930, Bolshevik authorities dug a large pit in the east portion of the cemetery to act as a common grave for the cremated ashes of executed political prisoners from Joseph Stalin's Great Purge; the site was intentionally chosen for its isolation from normal burial sites due to its "shameful" history as Eastern Orthodox consecrated ground during the Tsarist era, which the Soviets had revoked as part of their general persecution of religion in the USSR.

The ashes of numerous executed prisoners, both common and high-ranking—including notorious figures such as Nikolai Yezhov, Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Grigory Kulik, Pavel Alexandrovich Alexandrov etc. — were unceremoniously dumped here until the grave was filled and closed in 1942.

The pit currently bears two markers, one erected during the Soviet era and simply reading

"Common Grave Number One: Unclaimed Ashes from 1930-42.

" while the other was erected after 1989 and reads "Here lie the remains of the innocent victims of political repressions in 1930-42 who were tortured and shot. To their eternal memory."