Stalin's Great Purge: Mass Grave Near Moscow is Among Russia's Holiest Sites (Video)

In 1937-1938, hundreds were shot here every day. Today, people come here to remember and pray


"Garden of Memory" a monument to the victims of Stalin's Bloody Purges, opened last month on the location of the infamous Butovo firing range.  In the bloody years 1937-1938, hundreds were shot here every day. 


It recreates the horrifying story; in order to enter the memorial, you descend down to the place, where, less than 100 years ago, lay thousands of dead bodies in a pit. 

Over 20,000 names are etched into the black walls.

The spot is now full of Christian symbolism. People cross themselves, as they read the names, praying for their repose, lighting candles and ringing the bell - traditionally the sound that calls the Russian people to pray and remember. 

A priest present at the consecration of the memorial states that: "The people who died here are our spiritual roots"