<ul><li>“ The old bourgeois machinery of compulsion has to be broken up, and a new one created immediately in its place.” </li></ul>Lenin
<ul><li>In the first months after the October Revolution Lenin was already demanding “the most decisive, draconic measures to tighten up discipline.” </li></ul>And are draconic measures possible – without prison ?
<ul><li>In December, 1917, Lenin suggested for consideration the following assortment of punishments: “confiscation of all property, confinement in prison, dispatch to the front and forced labor for all who disobey the existing law .” </li></ul>
<ul><li>WHERE IT </li></ul><ul><li>STARTED… </li></ul>
the archipelago raises from the White Sea. solovetsky Island.
Half a hundred years after the battle of Kulikovo Field and half a thousand years before the NKVD, the monks Savvaty and German crossed the sea and came to look at this island. The Solovetsky Monastery began with them.
Military thought: it was impermissible for some sort of feckless monks just to live on just an island. Prison thought: how glorious – good stone walls standing on a separate island! What a good place to confine important criminals. Had Savvaty thought about that when he landed on the holy island?
You enter the gates of Solovki – Kemperpunkt and… <ul><li>“ Hey! Attention! Here the republic is not So-viet-ska-ya but Solovets-ka-ya! Get this straight – no prosecutor has ever set foot on Solovetsky soil! And none ever will! Learn one thing! You have not been sent here for correction ! You can’t straighten out a hunchback! The system here will be this: when I say, ‘Stand up,’ you stand up. Your letters home are going to read like this: I’m alive, healthy, and satisfied with everything! Period!” </li></ul>
Sekirnaya Hill. Photo from the 1910s. Bolsheviks set up punishment cells in the two-story cathedral there.
In summer they might put the prisoners “on the stump”, which meant naked among the mosquitoes. But in that event one had to keep an eye on the culprit; whereas if he was bound naked to a tree, the mosquitoes will look after the things themselves. This tree could have been the witness …
<ul><li>“ They squeeze him through that little door and shoot him in the back of the head – steep stairs lead down inside, and he tumbles down them, and they can pile up as many as seven or eight men in there...” </li></ul>
USLON – the building where they tortured the prisoners.
In winter one could see a man being led barefoot along this road, in only his underwear, through the snow, his hands bound behind his back with wire,.. And the condemned man would bear himself proudly and erectly, and with his lips alone, without the help of his hands, smoke the last cigarette of his life.
“ But why like this? Couldn’t they have done it at night – quietly? But why do it quietly? In that case a bullet would be wasted. In the daytime crowd the bullet had an educational function.”
<ul><li>By 1928 their total number was </li></ul><ul><li>60,000 </li></ul>
<ul><li>HOW WERE THEY ALL KEPT FROM REBELLING? </li></ul>
<ul><li>ONLY BY TERROR ! </li></ul><ul><li>ONLY WITH SEKIRNAYA HILL ! </li></ul><ul><li>WITH POLES ! </li></ul><ul><li>WITH MOSQUITOES ! </li></ul><ul><li>BY BEING DRAGGED THROUGH STUMPS ! </li></ul><ul><li>BY DAYTIME EXECUTIONS ! </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ They were drunk and careless when they were shooting people – and in the morning the enormous pit, only lightly covered over, was still stirring and moving.” </li></ul>The Camp - Photo from 1928.
<ul><li>“ Twenty months! From September, 1931, to April, 1933. One hundred and forty miles. Rocky soil. An area abounding in boulders. Swamps. Belomorstroy was entrusted to the OGPU and received not one kopeck in foreign exchange!” </li></ul>
“ Trainloads of zeks kept on arriving and arriving before there were any barracks there, or supplies, or tools, or a precise plan”
“ The canal must be built in a short time and it must be built cheaply!” - Stalin
“ Women came in silk dresses and were handed a wheelbarrow on the spot.”
“ From the camps in Central Asia, from Samarkand they brought Turkmenians and Tadzhiks in their Bukhara robes and turbans – here to the Karelian subzero winter cold!”
“ Nature we will teach – and freedom we will reach”
The Belomorstroi newspaper choked with enthusiasm in describing how many Canal Army Men, who had been “aesthetically carried away” by their great task, had in their own free time decorated the banks with stones – simply for the sake of beauty.
Butugychag labor camp “ There is only one form of early release that no bluecap can take away from the prisoner. This release is – death.” And this is the most basic, the steadiest form of Archipelago output there is – with no norms.”
From the fall of 1938 to February, 1939, at one of the Ust-Vym camps, 385 out of 550 prisoners died. Certain brigades died off totally .
“In the autumn of 1941, Pechorlag had a listed pupulation of 50,000 prisoners, and in the spring of 1942, ten thousand .” “ During this period not one prisoner transport was sent out of Pechorlag anywhere,..” So, where did all the prisoners go?
<ul><li>“ The oldest of all kinds of work in the Archipelago is logging. It summons everyone to itself and has room for everyone, even for cripples (they will send out a three-man gang of armless men to stamp down the foot-and-a-half snow). Snow comes up to your chest.” </li></ul>During the war years (on war rations), the camp inmates called three weeks at logging “dry execution”
Taiga in winter <ul><li>“ In addition their summer workday was sometimes 16 hours long! When the brigade didn’t fulfill the norm, the only thing that was changed at the end of the shift was the convoy, and the work sloggers were left in the woods by the light of searchlights until midnight – so that they got back to the camp just before morning in time to eat their dinner along with their breakfast and go out into the woods again.” </li></ul>
Marble Canyon <ul><li>“ I’ll shoe you in tin cans, but you are going to go out to work!” If there aren’t enough railroad ties, I’ll make one out of you!” </li></ul>
Marble Canyon A super secret project – uranium mines in the mountains of Kolyma, in Marble Canyon.
Butugychag labor camp <ul><li>“ And the ones who were left, who could no longer walk and were straining to crawl along on all fours on the way back to camp, the convoy simply shot, so that they wouldn’t escape before they could come back to get them.” </li></ul>
To defend yourself in that savage world was impossible. To go on strike was suicide. To go on hunger strikes was useless. And as for dying there would always be time. So, what’s left for the prisoner? To break out! To change one’s fate!
<ul><li>“ To beat the fugitive to within an inch of his life and to kill him were the principal forms of combating escapes in the Archipelago. And even if no escapes occurred for a long time – then they sometimes had to be manufactured.” </li></ul>Captain Berezin – Chief of Camp.
The survivals speak… <ul><li>Flora Khakimova: “And I was told to sign the paper saying that I knew that my father was the enemy of the soviet state, and that I condemn my parents, and do not want to know them, that I only have my Soviet Motherland. … I said, it’s not possible, it’s a lie! – And I found myself in a camp too. </li></ul>
The survivals speak… <ul><li>Konstantin Kravchenko: </li></ul><ul><li>“ We found three ditches… they were about 20 feet wide and 10 feet deep,.. half filled with corpses. They shot 100-150 people a day. They threw them into the ditches and slightly covered with some clothes.” </li></ul>
Survivals speak… <ul><li>Elena Glinka (25 years in camps): “They pushed us in this barrack and locked inside, and there was a line – men were raping these women.” </li></ul>
Survivals speak… <ul><li>Danzig Baldaev , a former camp guard: “On Trans Siberia road there were camps everywhere,.. one zek had only 6 square feet,.. all of it had been scientifically based. </li></ul>