In Stalin’s Great Terror, Even The Deaf, Mute Could Be ‘Fascist Terrorist Saboteurs’

ST. PETERSBURG — At the Levashovo mass grave site outside Russia’s northern capital, there are nearly two dozen separate memorials for various groups of victims of dictator Josef Stalin’s Great Terror — Assyrians, Belarusians, Jews, Italians, Lithuanians, Germans, and so on. Each one represents a small chapter in a historical crime that saw between 650,000 and 1.4 million people executed and millions of others imprisoned, deported, displaced, or orphaned.

One of the Levashovo stones features two hands reaching up from a prison cell toward the light, with the words: “To the eternal memory of the deaf-mute victims of political repression — 1937.”