Chilling discovery in Ukraine: Human remains found in courtyard of Lviv museum
Society17:51 Aug. 10, 2016

Human remains found in courtyard of Lviv museum

"Prison on Lontskoho Street" national memorial is dedicated to victims of occupational regimes

UPDATE: Remains of at least 12 people were unearthed at an excavation site in the courtyard of former Soviet and Nazi torture chambers in Lviv, on the territory of the present-day "Prison on Lontskoho Street" memorial museum. Specialists says the remains could be just the first grim founding as only upper layer of the ground was removed.

According to historians, victims of the Soviet NKVD secret police are buried in the newly discovered mass grave, because Soviet bullets, tableware and a certificate with Cyrillic writing were found there as well.

The chaotic way the bodies were placed and household garbage on the top also point to the NKVD pattern. Historians say the Nazis, who also used the premises at some period of time, buried their victims in a more orderly way.

There are three theories of who is buried at the site. The first assumption says these are graves of 1939-41 when the prison was just occupied but the NKVD and the executions of political prisoners started.

The second version says the burial was made in June 1941, when the Nazi Germans were advancing and the Soviet secret police was ordered to cover up their traces and execute all the prisoners. According to the third version, the mass executions by firing squad were made after 1945.

Watch also Relics of the Soviet Union: Ukraine's plan to create a museum of totalitarianism

Lviv memorial museum is one-of-a-kind, and has only two analogues in Eastern Europe. One of them is the Museum of Genocide Victims in Vilnius – a former gymnasium occupied at different periods of history by Nazi Gestapo, Soviet NKVD secret police, and KGB. The other is Stasi prison museum located in Berlin.

Watch also Ukraine's Secret Service reveals hidden archives of Soviet regime

 "Prison on Lontskoho" museum was established on June 28, 2009, following nearly four years of citizen's initiatives demanding that Ukraine's authorities honor the memory of those who had been killed and detained there during the years of Soviet rule. It was designated a national museum on Oct. 14, 2009.


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