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"The Death by Shooting of a Family"


This documentary book is a joint result of many people efforts. The book consists of articles of journalists specialized on Kola Peninsula history and political repressions in Murmansk Region, as well as of old women’s memoirs, who were eye-witnesses of those times. Many family photos, rare documents from the National archives of Murmansk Region, family trees of Motovskiy’s Pogost Saami, Saami stamps, patterns, portraits and genre photographs are also included in the book.

Repressions of 1937, execution by shooting of Saami men (i.e. Semyakin, Stakanov, brothers Chaporovs) from Motovskiy Pogost, creation of secret German Centre Nord in Motovskiy Bay, abolishment of deer collective farm Tundra in Polar district, forced resettlement of native inhabitants of Bolshaya Zapandnaya Litsa in 1940 were described in this book.

Documents for this book I had collected for seven years. I wanted to show the tragedy of Motovskiy’s Pogost families as the tragedy of all Kola’s Saami as native inhabitants of Kola Peninsula. I also wanted to tell about miseries of widows, who brought up children without husbands, about staunchness of Saami people and their hope for the future.

Daughter of Mikhail Semyakin and children of three brothers Chaporovs received an official apology only in autumn 2001. In other words, a label of “public enemy” was withdrawn from these families.

Alexander Stepanenko, 2002.

© Александр Степаненко, 2018