This section of the exposition is dedicated to the memory of the people who fell victims to Stalin’s repressions. Only recently did it become possible to understand the extent of such losses. According to the Sumy edition of the Rehabilitated by History documentary, more than 1,200 locals were repressed in Shostka and its district.
The first victims of repressions became allies and opponents of the Bolsheviks in their revolutionary contests, members of the Menshevik and the Socialist Revolutionary Party, and members of Roman Litovchenko’s unit that fought against the Red Army in 1918.
Convictions and executions befell many directors and engineers of Shostka plants as well as their ordinary workers. Complex explosive production of gunpowder was frequently accompanied by accidents, whose cause was traditionally attributed to sabotage and harm caused by “enemies of the people.” A collection of documents from the archive of the Security Service of Ukraine, presented in the exposition, shows how such “investigations” were conducted.
139 people were arrested in Shostka and its region during the Great Terror (1937-1938). Meanwhile in Chernihiv region, 1,700 people were shot and 3,450 sentenced to different terms of imprisonment. These were mostly peasants.
Is it possible to describe the woes of the children and wives of the repressed who lost their homes and had to wander from relative to relative in search of shelter? And whenever a school found them to be children of the “enemy of the people”, they were harassed anew and were forced to seek another place of residence. Relatives of the arrested were not only subjected to moral humiliation. From 1937, wives of “enemies of the people” were also imprisoned or sent into exile for 5 years or more.