The Leningrad Affair: the City and the People

New exhibition of The Museum of political history of Russia is dedicated to the ‘Leningrad Affair’ - series of fabricated trials of 1949-1952 against the party, city and district leaders of Leningrad.

‘Leningrad Affair’ became one of the last political processes of the Stalin regime. The consequences of the trials had an influence on the political history of our country in the late 1940s and early 1950s. A heavy blow was dealt not only to the party leadership, but also to many economic leaders, figures of science and culture.

‘Leningrad Affair’ has a direct relation to the history of our museum, which this year celebrates its 100th anniversary”, - said the Director of the Museum of political history of Russia Yevgeny Artemov at the opening of the exhibition.

Throughout the XX century the Museum had repeatedly experienced repressions: it was closed, employees were persecuted, and exhibits were destroyed. But the biggest damage to the Museum suffered in the years when the "Leningrad affair" happened- reminded Artemov. - Then more than a hundred thousand exhibits were destroyed."

Museum collection of the history of the siege of Leningrad and the "Leningrad affair" were formed with the help of witnesses of those terrible events, as well as children and relatives of the repressed. "We are grateful to them for sharing valuable family relics," said Artemov. He recalled that in 2009, the Museum staff published a book based on the materials of the collection of Museum, dedicated to these tragic events in the history of the city and the whole country.

The curator of the exhibition, candidate of historical Sciences Alexander Smirnov, said that the beginning of the Museum collection on this topic began many years ago. In 2002, four men came to the Museum of political history of Russia. Georgy Mikheev, Andrei Kapustin, Lev Safonov and Sergey Tairov were children of the repressed during the Leningrad affair. They want to preserve the memory of their parents and visit different museums. The Museum of political history of Russia was forming the collection which was connected to the "Leningrad affair". In total, about 30 families were involved in gathering work.

"The exhibition represents the biographies of people who were responsible for different spheres of life of the besieged Leningrad. The exhibition tells how they defended the city during the war and how restore it in peacetime. Leningrad itself, this amazing city on the Neva river, also became the hero of the exhibition," said Smirnov. He has been studying the "Leningrad affair" for 17 years and he is sure

that if there were no coordinated actions of the city's leadership, the city would not have survived during the blockade.

At the opening of the exhibition the children of the repressed held a speech. Galina Talyush, Sergey Tairov, Irina Orekhova told about the fate of their fathers who worked in the besieged city during the great Patriotic war.

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