Levashovskaya Pustosh Memorial Cemetery: history, list of the executed, how to get there

Levashovskaya Pustosh Memorial Cemetery: history, list of the executed, how to get there
Levashovskaya Pustosh Memorial Cemetery: history, list of the executed, how to get there

Levashovskoe Memorial Cemetery "Levashovskaya Pustosh" is one of the largest fraternal cemeteries in St. Petersburg, a former NKVD firing range. More than 40 thousand victims of the repressions of 1937-1953 are buried on its territory. What is this complex? Where is Levashovskaya Pustosh located? What is her story? Who found eternal rest here? How to get to Levashovskaya Pustosh? It is about this cemetery that the article will be discussed.

Levashovskaya wasteland

Description of the memorial cemetery

Levashovskaya Pustosh is a secret object of the NKVD, where every piece of land is a grave ditch in which victims of repression are secretly and barbarously buried.

The exact number of those buried is still unknown. At that time, the lists of the buried were not kept, since the place of burial did not matter to the authorities.

A monument "Moloch of totalitarianism" was erected at the entrance to the Levashovskaya wasteland. But here every tree is a living monument. The forest is veryyoung, grew up after the war. And after the object was declassified, relatives began to come to this mournful place. Signs with surnames and names began to be attached to the trees, thus living monuments and memorials began to appear.

The land here has been sinking heavily for a long time due to the very large number of human bodies that it has taken.

The number of victims of the Stalinist terror

According to some official data, over 40,000 people were shot in Leningrad between 1937 and 1938 on political charges. In 1937 alone, about 19 thousand people were shot, in 1938 - 21 thousand innocent victims. For the burial of bodies, the NKVD received a plot of 11.5 hectares at the Pargolovskaya dacha, the site was endowed with the status of a secret object. Grave ditches occupy an area of ​​6.5 hectares of this terrible land. Among those buried on this land were residents of the Leningrad region and Pskov.

According to official figures, out of 61,000 repressed during the years of Stalinist terror, approximately 8,000 are Pskovites. All the condemned were taken to Leningrad, where the sentence was carried out. Tens of thousands of unknown graves are located in Levashovo.

For about 15 years, the Pskov society "Memorial" has been organizing trips for relatives of the victims of repressions to the Levashovskaya Pustosh.

In Russia, there are about 590 cemeteries where victims of repression are buried. Dozens of memorial necropolises appeared on the site of mass graves of the executed.

History of the Levashovskaya wasteland

Once upon a timeThis place was the estate of Count Levashov. The building of his former family palace has been preserved in the Aspen Grove area, it is an architectural structure of the late 18th century, erected in the style of Russian classicism.

In 1938, an area of ​​11.5 hectares was transferred to the NKVD department, where secret burials of the executed prisoners began.

The cemetery remained a secret KGB facility until 1989. A forest grew in place of the wasteland, and the guards covered the graves that sagged from time to time with imported sand.

Levashovskaya wasteland history

Secret execution orders

1937 is the year of terrible mass repressions in the USSR. It was a year of elections under a new constitution, there was propaganda for the triumph of freedom in the Soviet state.

This is the period of the five-year plan for the victory of socialism and the final elimination of the "remnants of capitalism". It was in this year on July 2 that the Politburo of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks decided to conduct special operations to repress anti-Soviet elements, kulaks, and criminals. On August 5 of the same year, a similar order of the head of the NKVD Yezhov N.I. entered into force

According to the latest order, in 4 months it was planned to condemn and sentence to death 76 thousand people, 193 thousand people were to go to the camps.

In the Leningrad region, it was planned to sentence 4 thousand people to death, 10 thousand people were to go to the camps.

How sentences were passed

The verdicts were also called "sentences of triplets", since such a commission included threeofficials: head of the UNKVD, prosecutor of the region, second secretary of the regional committee of the CPSU (b). They were issued in absentia, without the presence of the accused, without participation at the meeting of the defense and prosecution commission. And were not subject to appeal.

Soon there were sentences - "deuce", they were used in cases of national minorities. The commission on them consisted of the People's Commissar of the NKVD Yezhov N.I. and the country's prosecutor Vyshinsky A.Ya. They made decisions in "album order", sentences were pronounced for everyone at the same time who was on the list, at the end of which only two signatures were put.

The order of the NKVD was put into effect regarding the repression of the wives and children of traitors to the Motherland.

The Leningrad region included Murmansk, Novgorod, Pskov, part of Volgograd. It was on their territory that the operations of the Leningrad NKVD were unfolding.

In 1938, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks adopted a new resolution on anti-Soviet elements and an additional plan for the number of people to be repressed. In the Leningrad Region, 3,000 more people were to be sentenced to death, and another 1,000 people were to be sent to camps. Moreover, the increase in the quota for executions occurred regularly.

Counter plans on the ground and local initiatives have begun. By the summer of 1938, as a result of the implementation of the decisions of 37-38, about 818 thousand people were convicted in the Soviet Union, the plan was overfulfilled by 365,000 people (almost 6 times!). For example, in the Leningrad region alone, 40,000 people were executed for political reasons.

Place of execution

Yezhovsky order prescribedcarry out the sentence of execution by firing squad keeping the place and time of execution secret.

The main place of execution in the Leningrad region was the department of the Leningrad prison on Nizhegorodskaya street, house 39. People from all over the region were brought here. The sentences were carried out by officers of the NKVD commandant's office. They shot people every day.

The progress and results of the "operation" were reported every five days. These reports included only the statistics of those who were shot and exiled to the camps, nothing was reported about the places of burial.

How and where they buried

The bodies were taken out at night in covered cars and dumped into huge pits in Levashovo. But it was not the only mass grave site. Secretly buried at the Rzhevsky training ground, in Toksovo, Berngardovka.

However, the burials on the territory of the Levashovskaya wasteland were the most massive. The mystery of this tragic place has not yet been revealed - of course, there is no official list of the buried.

All burials were carried out in a barbaric way: the bodies of the dead were dumped into huge pits from cars. Everything happened at night. So the cemetery, under cover of darkness, received dozens or even hundreds of bodies daily.

Currently, the boundaries of the grave ditches are not marked in any way. The road ruts rolled by deadly cars are no longer visible.

Late 80s

In 1989, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union decided to rehabilitate the victims of repression. In the same year, the KGB declassified the purpose of the Levashovskaya Pustosh cemetery and the lists of the executed, but they did not provide information about those buried here, explaining thatthat they don't have that kind of data.

In the summer of 1989, the Levashov burials were officially recognized as a memorial cemetery. The gates of the former secret facility were opened to everyone, and the relatives of the victims were able to visit this tragic and terrible place for the first time.

Levashovskaya wasteland memorial

People's Museum of Political Repressions

The former guard building now houses the National Museum, which displays letters, death certificates, execution protocols, cemetery diagrams and many other documentary materials.

Relatives, as a rule, were not told anything about the execution. In the death certificates it was written that the person died of an illness, the date of death was always indicated incorrectly. But in fact, the execution was carried out immediately after the verdict. The families of the repressed people received 3-4 death certificates, which indicated different dates of death and causes.

The museum presents numerous official data declassified after 1989, for example, in one day in 1938, 1263 sentences were signed in the city of Leningrad, 27 people from this list went to camps for 10 years, the remaining 1236 were shot. And this is just for one day of those terrible years of repression.

where is levashovskaya wasteland


After the war, the territory of the wasteland was heavily overgrown with trees, and after 1989 surveys were carried out in order to establish the boundaries of burials. Paths were laid between the grave ditches.

The relatives of the dead began to hang signs with names and photographs on the trees. Monuments and memorials were erected. A memorial stone was erected, at which memorial services began to be served, in 1993 a belfry was built in the Levashovskaya Pustosh, and three years later, in 1996, the monument “Moloch of totalitarianism” was erected.

Levashovskaya Pustosh how to get there

Currently, there is a project to build a chapel-monument of All Saints, who shone in the land of St. Petersburg.

But there was a lot of controversy on this issue. For example, a public organization from St. Petersburg "Memorial" opposed any construction on the territory of the cemetery, offering to build a chapel outside it. Members of the society especially emphasized that it should be a chapel, and not a long-standing Orthodox church, arguing that people of various faiths and even non-believers found eternal rest in the wasteland.

Nevertheless, on July 17, 2017, the laying of the foundation stone of the future church in Levashovskaya Pustosh and its consecration took place.

Groups of pilgrims come to the memorial cemetery more and more often, every week they serve a memorial service for the dead. The wasteland has become a true place of mourning.

Memorial crosses and a stone, monuments and a church in the Levashovskaya Pustosh are a tribute to the memory of all those innocently killed during the years of terrible and cruel terror.

Buried at the Levashovsky cemetery

There is no exact list of victims of repression buried in the cemetery, or itwas destroyed. But the lists of the executed and the protocols of executions have been perfectly preserved, and since it was at the Levashovsky cemetery that mass graves were carried out, it should be assumed that most of the bodies from the list of the executed were buried here.

According to the list of those sentenced to death, the youngest man was 18 years old, the oldest was 85. The youngest woman was 18 years old, the oldest was 79.

Here lie the brightest minds, the glory and strength of the people. Peasants, workers, soldiers, scientists, engineers, students, teachers, clergy - they still remain nameless, and their rehabilitation was calm and very quiet.

a monument in Levashovskaya Pustosh and a church

The list of those who were shot

They were shot and, most likely, buried at the Levashovsky cemetery:

  • priests: Akulov I. A., Kandelabrov V. V., Blagoveshchensky A. A., Cherepanov L., Pylaev V. A., Pavlinov V. A., Florensky P. A.;
  • scientists: Beneshevich V.N. - historian, Bekhtereev P.V. - inventor and engineer, Bronstein M.P. - physicist, Gerasimovich B.P. - director of the Pulkovo Observatory, Dubinsky S.A. - archaeologist and historian, Michelson N. G. - aircraft designer;
  • poets, writers, writers and critics: Livshits B. K., Nevsky N. A., Oleinikov N. M., Stenich V. I., Kornilov B. P., Shchutsky Yu. K., Yurkin Yu Yi;
  • VKP(b) figures: Kuznetsov A.A., Lazutin P.G., Voznesensky P.S., Rodionov M.I.

In addition, the head of SMERSH, the Minister of State Security of the USSR, V. S. Abakumov andrevolutionary Dobanitsky M.M.

It was here, in the Levashovskaya wasteland, that both the victims and their executioners met in the same grave, who were executed by the following executioners.

Levashovskaya Wasteland: how to get there

You can get to the memorial cemetery:

  • by train from Finlyandsky railway station to Levashovo station, from the station by bus No. 84 or No. 75 to the stop "City Highway";
  • by bus number 75 from Prospekt Prosveshcheniya metro station;
  • by car to Vyborgskoye Highway, exit it onto Gorskoye Highway and go to Levashovsky Cemetery, there are signs and parking.

Instead of a conclusion

Levashovskoye cemetery has truly become a people's place of mourning and memory. Tree trunks are hung with portraits and plaques with photographs of the executed. The forest has turned into a living memorial, silently accepting signs of memory. The history of the Levashovskaya Pustosha is the history of the tragedy of those terrible years. The graveyard is a spontaneous monument to the victims of terror, it is a huge mass grave.

Church Levashovskaya Pustosh

Relatives who come here talk as if they are alive, with portraits of dead relatives. Crying.

Levashovsky forest listens to this cry and answers it with the noise of its crowns instead of the dead.

This is how the tragic period of the country's history was reflected in this mournful place - the Levashovskaya wasteland.

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