Research Project “Erschossen in Moskau …” (Shot in Moscow…)

Book cover "Erschossen in Moskau..." (shot in Moscow...)

"Erschossen in Moskau ..."
(Shot in Moscow...)

German Victims of Stalinism at the Moscow Cemetery Donskoje 1950 to 1953

“Shot in Moscow…” is an international historical research project, supported by the Foundation for Examination of the Dictatorship in East Germany and realized in collaboration between Facts & Files Historical Research Institute, Berlin and the Russian human rights organization Memorial International, Moscow.

Since 2004, Memorial International and Facts & Files have been researching biographical information about 1,000 Germans who were arrested in East Germany under mysterious circumstances, sentenced to death by Soviet Military Tribunals because of supposed espionage and shot in Moscow between 1950 and 1953. Within the scope of this project, previously unknown or closed records held at Russian and German archives were made accessible for the first time.

With the publication of a Book of the Deceased in autumn 2005, the biographical information about these victims of Stalinist persecution was brought to the public’s attention for the first time. In addition to the book, Facts & Files designed a travelling exhibition. The exhibition uses photographs, texts, and documents to describe the victims’ fate and the background of their arrest and conviction.

Documents on 927 Germans from all parts of East and West Germany who were sentenced to death on charges of “spying”, “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda” or “illegal possession of guns” in secret trials held by a travelling Soviet military tribunal. After their trials, the sentenced were held at the prison in Berlin-Lichtenberg before they were transported in disguised railway-cars to Moscow, where they were shot in the cellar of the Butyrka prison. The same night, their bodies were burned and their ashes were buried anonymously at the Moscow Donskoje cemetery.

Memorial International estimates the total number of victims of the NKWD/MGB buried at the Donskoje cemetery to be higher than 7,000. Today, stones at three of the mass graves serve as a memorial to the murdered.

The new revised edition of the book  was published in October 2008.

The travelling exhibition “Shot in Moscow” was shown between 2006 and 2016 in 24 places in Germany and Austria.

Please find more references and studies here (only available in German):
GULAG – The Soviet Camp System.





Erschossen in Moskau …

Die deutschen Opfer des Stalinismus auf dem Moskauer Friedhof Donskoje 1950-1953

Editors: Arsenij Roginskij, Frank Drauschke und Anna Kaminsky
Edition: 3. completely revised edition
Published in: Berlin 2008
Publisher: Metropol Verlag
ISBN  978-3-938690-14-7
Pages: 480
Price:  22,00 EUR

The book can be ordered directly from the publisher METROPOL-Verlag

Verurteilt zum Tode durch Erschießen. Opfer des Stalinismus aus Thüringen, 1950-1953

Authors: Jörg Rudolph, Frank Drauschke und Alexander Sachse
Published in: Erfurt 2006
Publisher: Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Thüringen
ISBN-10: 3-937967-10-9
Pages: 104


Verurteilt zum Tode durch Erschießen. Opfer des Stalinismus aus Sachsen-Anhalt, 1950-1953

Authors: Jörg Rudolph, Frank Drauschke und Alexander Sachse
Published in: Magdeburg 2006
Publisher: LStU in Saxony-Anhalt
Pages: 120


Hingerichtet in Moskau. Opfer des Stalinismus aus Sachsen 1950 – 1953

Authors: Jörg Rudolph, Frank Drauschke und Alexander Sachse
Published in: Leipzig 2007
Publisher: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt
ISBN: 978-3-374-02450-6
Pages: 191


Frank Drauschke
Frank Drauschke
P: +49 (0)30 / 480 986 20