The Theme of “Descendants of the Executioners” in the Discourse in Memory of the “Era of Political Repressions” (2/2 2010s – early 2020s)
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Memory Studies
Memory Discourse
“Descendants of Victims”
“Descendants of Executioners”
Memory of the Era of Political Repressions
“Difficult Memory”

How to Cite

1. Zevako Y. The Theme of “Descendants of the Executioners” in the Discourse in Memory of the “Era of Political Repressions” (2/2 2010s – early 2020s) // Journal of Frontier Studies. 2022. № 2 (7). C. 26-46.


The search and analysis of ways to overcome the “difficult” repressive past inherited from the 20th century by many countries including Russia, is one of the tasks of contemporary humanitarian thought. However, in the reflections of many researchers, very little attention is paid to the topic of “descendants of executioners”. In Russia, the topic of “descendants of executioners” is also quite marginal.

Nevertheless, a number of significant events took place in the public media space in the 2/2 of the 2010s – early 2020s. It started a more active discussion of this topic. Thus, general public learned about the project “Investigation of KARAGODIN”, about the database “Personnel of the USSR State Security Bodies. 1935−1939”, about a letter of repentance from the granddaughter of an NKVD officer involved in the case of great-grandfather D. Karagodin, at 2016, and about a lawsuit by a descendant of another NKVD officer demanding that the author of the project be brought to legal responsibility, at 2021. In addition, the lawsuit on the liquidation of “Memorial” caused a great resonance in the society at 2021. These events intensified discussions about the “descendants of the executioners” and their responsibility for the deeds of their ancestors. Here were manifested the positions of not only the “descendants of the victims”, but also the “descendants of the executioners” and representatives of the “double heritage” (simultaneous descendants of both), trying to find ways to comprehend the inherited “legacy”. The article is devoted to the analysis of the meanings and dynamics of these discussions.
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