Now, Memorial’s project has been moved to a searchable database with information on about 3.1 million political terror victims. The information in this free database cannot be found on any subscription genealogy website.
Some of the details found on political terror victims include full name, birth year, place of birth, nationality, education, place or type of work, place of residence, date of arrest, date of conviction, length of sentence and source where the information was found.
The website can be easily used, even without knowing Russian. Here are translations of the keyword boxes: фамилия is last name, имя is first name, отчество is patronymic middle name (i.e. Ivanovich, son of Ivan) год роджения is birth year and mесто рождения is place of birth. The green button saying искать is the search button.
To search for relatives in the database, follow these tips:
- Translate keywords into Russian by using Google Translate or Transliterating English to Russian in One Step in a browser window next to the database.
- Copy and paste the translated keywords into the search boxes.
- If results don’t appear, eliminate some search criteria until results appear. Also, try all possible surname spellings from Transliterating English to Russian in One Step.
- When results appear, click on each name to see the complete information on his or her persecution.
- Copy and paste the information into Google Translate to see it in English.
Here’s a sample result from the database:
Then Google Translate will switch the information into English:
The information does not end with this database. The region where the arrest took place has the “secret file” on the prosecution and the file can be opened to relatives to obtain additional information.
Naturally, the regional Federal Security Service office needs the request for information in Russian. That’s easy as copying and pasting the information from the database and merging it into this statement “My relative (name and birth year) was arrested as enemy of the people in (town/city) in (year ) and was under investigation until (year, if known). Later he/she was justified. Please send me extracts from his/her criminal case to the above e-mail address. I’m especially interested in ………..(addresses, education, employer, relatives who lived with them, etc.)
This information would be greatly appreciated.
Once you completed that step, copy and paste this statement into Google Translate to get your official request in Russian. The final step is translating “Federal Security Service” and the name of the region where the arrest took place into Russian on Google Translate to find the website for that particular Federal Security Service.
All of this seems like a lot of work, but it’s worth it in the end. Here’s the proof from my own experience-Secret files help complete the life story of five brothers.