Last Address

By Maryna Polataiko for


Last year, Russian human rights organization ‘Memorial’ set out to produce and hang commemorative plaques to individual victims of the Soviet regime. Named ‘Last Address,’ the initiative will manufacture inscriptions that can be installed on the former homes of those who were executed or taken to the gulags. The small memorials will provide information on the life of the victim. It will read “Here Lived,” prefacing the name, occupation, dates of birth, arrest and death, as well as that of rehabilitation.

Those who wish to have a plaque made and mounted in memory of someone can pay around 3,500 to 4,000 rubles. The project website provides an interactive map indicating where plaques have been requested or already installed. Starting in Moscow, Memorial aspires to spread its plaques throughout the country.

The project draws on the idea of a well-known European initiative, Stolpersteine (Stumbling Block), started by a German artist Gunter Demnig, over 20 years ago. Since that time the memorial project spread to hundreds of cities and towns in 18 European countries. Within its framework, as of August 2014, over 48,000 stolpersteine commemorating the victims of Nazi regime—predominantly those of Holocaust—have been installed.


Tom Balmforth. “’Last Address’ Project Aims To Honor Victims of Soviet Repression.” Radio Free Europe, November 26, 2014. Accessed December 1, 2014.

Mahsa Lipman. “Humble Memorials For Stalin’s Victims in Moscow.” The New Yorker, December 13, 2014. Accessed December 15, 2014.

«Проект 'Последний адрес.'» Мемориал. Accessed October 25, 2014.

“Stolpersteine: Here Lived 1933-1945. An Art Project for Europe by Gunter Deming.” Stolpersteine. Accessed October 25, 2014.