Elena Zhemkova

Elena Zhemkova is the Executive Director of the Russian human rights NGO Memorial Society. Born in Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Zhemkova graduated from Odessa University in 1983. In 1987, she joined Memorial and became a member of its organizational committee in 1988. In 1989, at the founding conference, she was elected to Memorial’s Management Board. Since then, she has remained a board member. In 1995, she was named Memorial’s Executive Director. Additionally, she has been a member of the Council of the Moscow Scientific Informational and Educational Center. She is curator of Memorial’s projects concerning the legacy of World War II in Russia, including the project “Victims of Two Dictatorships,” dedicated to the fate of former “Eastern Workers”—people who were exiled by the Nazis and used as forced labor. Additionally, she supervises the projects of International Memorial aimed at students and young people. Her main sphere of research interests include the history of political repressions, comparative analysis of Nazi and Soviet modes of repression, NGO development, and the promotion of NGO work.