On 29 October, we took part in the Returning the Names event

October 11, 2023 | Returning the Names

The Returning the Names event is held annually on 29 October, on the eve of the Russian Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression. Among the millions of victims were thousands of Czechs and citizens of Czechoslovakia. By reading their names we honoured their memory.

The Returning the Names event has been held annually for more than 15 years. This event started in Moscow at the Solovetsky Stone in Lubyanka, gradually spreading to various cities in Russia and around the world. Every year on October 29, thousands of people around the world line up and read aloud the names of those shot by the Soviet authorities. In 2017, the Returning the Names event was for the first time held in Prague.

For the second year, the Returning the Names event is taking place in the context of the full-scale war that Russia is waging against Ukraine. Ukraine is defending not only its independence, but also an essential value system, centered on freedom and human rights. Against the backdrop of mass killings and arrests wherever they occur, the reminder of the price of each individual life is particularly acute.

Tragedies are unfolding before our eyes in various post-Soviet countries that have a direct bearing on the fact that the modern Russian state has inherited the mechanisms of terror and persecution used in the USSR, while society has not yet learned to recognize and successfully resist them in time.

All those who for various reasons are interested in preserving the memory of the victims of Soviet state terror were invited to come to the Returning the Names event on Sunday, October 29, to the monument to the victims of communist repression (Újezd, Malá Strana, Praha 1).

Those of you who weren't able to participate personaly but wanted to honor the memory of those shot by the Soviet authorities had an opportunity to send us a video of the reading of their names: Returning the Names 2023 online.

The Returning the Names event in Prague was organized by the Czech Memorial, Gulag.cz and the Prague Russian Anti-War Committee. The main initiator of this action was the Memorial Society.

More information can be found at this Facebook event.