Victims of political reprisals among Russia's ethnic Germans have been commemorated in Moscow.
Sixty-one years ago to a day the presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR issued a decree "On Resettling Germans Living in the Volga Area". This document marked the beginning of political reprisals of hundreds of thousands of innocent ethnic Germans. Every year, on August 28, survivors of the long years of nightmare reprisals, their relatives, near and dear ones come to the Stone of Grief in Lubyanka Square (where the KGB and now FSB is headquartered) in Moscow to revere the memory of victims of political persecution.
Those who assembled laid flowers and wreaths on the Solovetski Stone (so called because of its "origins" -- the stone was brought to Moscow from the Solovetski Islands on the White Sea where those repressed were sent) and observed a minute's silence in memory of ethnic Germans.
"On this day, as on no other, we feel our roots, our common destiny and common responsibility", Vladimir Bauer, president of the Federal National Cultural Autonomy, said at a ceremony. He noted that the resettlement of the Germans was an "act of glaring injustice, which cost many Germans their lives". According to Bauer, especially painful is the fact that "the German people has still not been rehabilitated".
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969