MuseumThe memorial complex of political repressions
Over het museum
The memorial complex is located on the site of former correctional labor camp VS 389/36. It is one of a hundred world heritage sites.
There were 3 distinct periods in the history of the camp.
The first lasted from 1946 till 1953. In those days forest correctional labor camp No 6, located in the Kutchino village, run by the Molotov division of NKVD, was used for prisoners evicted for domestic crimes and other criminal offences. The prison also housed so-called “ukazniki”, people who was absent from work without good reason or had been more than 20 minutes late for work on more than one occasion or committed other similar crimes. According to the data of 1947 there were around 500 prisoners in the camp. In those days every aspect of prisoners lives was strictly regimented. They had to spent much of their time on tree falling, wood processing and wood work.
The second period of the camp history began after Stalin’s death in 1953 and lasted until 1972. During this time there was a change in a type of prisoners detained in the camp. Instead of prisoners convicted of domestic and work related offences the camp now housed former law enforcement agency staff, judges and prosecutors who had been convicted of various crimes.
The camp contained over 300 prisoners during this period fewer than in the first period of its existence. The prisoners day-to-day lives were still strictly regimented.
The third period began in 1972 and lasted until 1988 when the camp was closed. This was the most notorious period in the camp’s history. In the early 1970s after camp VS 389/36 was reconstructed, the political prisoners from other camps arrived there. In March 1980 a maximum security area was built on the site of former camp's sawmill. Prisoners convicted of ordinary crimes continue to be sent to the camp in addition to political prisoners. At that time there were approximately 200 prisoners at the camp. Most of them had been convicted of treason, espionage, antisoviet agitation and propaganda, sabotage, promotion of war and so on.
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