Stepan Ivanovich Karagodin (center) was executed in 1938 after being deemed a Japanese spy amid dictator Josef Stalin's Great Terror.
Radio Free Europe: One Russian's Search For His Great-Grandfather's Soviet Police Killers
Denis Karagodin had something important to say when he walked into the regional branch of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) -- the main successor agency to the Soviet KGB -- in the Siberian city of Tomsk.
"There's been a murder," Karagodin, now a 33-year-old designer, told the major manning the front desk.
The officer was perplexed at first: "Excuse me?" Karagodin recalls his interlocutor saying.
To explain himself, the visitor produced a copy of a certificate. The officially stamped document, dated 1955, confirmed the Soviet authorities had rehabilitated his great-grandfather, Stepan Ivanovich Karagodin, who was executed in 1938 after being deemed a Japanese spy amid dictator Josef Stalin's Great Terror.
"He said: 'I see. Send an official request,'" Karagodin tells RFE/RL's Russian Service.
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WNU Editor: I can relate to this story. My father's best friend experienced the same thing. His father was a high official in Stalin's government in the 1930s. He was a young boy but he still remembers that day when the KGB came knocking at their door .... because he was the one who opened the door. He remembers the men .... tall and stern in trench coats who were asking for his parents. And the last thing that he remembers is his mother and the look on her face .... looking at him for the last time. They left .... and he remained in the apartment for the entire day until his uncle came in the evening to take him away. He never saw his parents after that. He only learned the details about his parent's death after the fall of the Soviet Union, because in the chaos that ensued he had that opportunity and the access to the files that documented the trial and execution of his parents.
My father's friend died a few years ago .... he was an incredibly good man .... loyal and generous .... always helping my family. Sighhh .... here's to you Pavel .... I will always remember you.
On a side note .... his parents apartment is now my condo and home in Moscow.