This Blog is also available as an RSS Feed


Step Back in Time at Perm 36

Some political prisoners were able to enjoy some sunshine at times, while others were locked away in their cells permanently. Even if those locked away had been given the opportunity to venture outside, their outlook would have been just as grim. The high fences, barbed wire and high tech security systems of the day, ensured that escape was almost impossible, and guards in the watchtowers kept a close eye on the movement within the camp. Perm 36 was notorious for being the most brutal camp for political prisoners and the only one that has survived to become a museum and monument to those who suffered and lost their lives while imprisoned by the GULAG regime.

Perm 36 is located in the tiny village of Kutchino and did not start harsh political prisoners’ camp. It was constructed in 1946 on command of Joseph Stalin, but was a reformatory camp where prisoners would assist in timber logging. Usually these camps were not permanent structures, due to prisoners being moved on to the next site once the trees in the specific area had been cleared. In the case of Perm 36, the structure remained, as it was located perfectly for a timber storage unit, to store timber from the various other camps, to be floated down river in spring. It therefore became the first mechanized camp in Russia, with tractors and trucks being moved to the camp to transport timber. In addition, workshops for repairs, blacksmith shops and garages were opened.

Because of the camp’s assets, it was not destroyed after Stalin died in 1953, but its infrastructure preserved and used as a prison for law enforcement members who had been found guilty of crimes from the year 1954. Due to its new inmates having knowledge of security procedures and measures, the security around the camp was stepped up with multi layered fencing and security systems. In 1972, the camp took the form that it is still known for today, as a cruel facility that housed the “enemies” of the State, and was divided into two sections, namely the special treatment division and the high security area. It finally closed in 1987.

Visitors to the Perm 36 Camp and museum will still be able to view some of the old structures, such as some of the original fencing and security systems, the infirmary, barracks (1946), laundry, lavatory, bathhouse, living areas for prisoners, the grove of trees they planted, mechanical workshops, power plant, log cabins, administration centre, power saw plant and various other sites that have been restored and preserved. Walking through Perm 36 is a close encounter to a regime and time in the history of Russia that was filled with oppression, cruelty and unspeakable acts. The camp and museum allows visitors to travel back into the past, relive the pain suffered by prisoners and remind them of a part of history that should not be repeated.


User Comments & Reviews: 0 Comment(s)

Combine Flights?

New Business Users, read more and join on the Business Affiliates page.

New Individual Users, join on the Forum Users Registration page.