The Museum of Stalin's Repressions
Political repressions in the Soviet Russia affected 3,777,380 people. They were sent to prison or internally exiled in 1921-1954. Numerous Gulags (Main Administration of Camps), a huge network of the Soviet Union forced-labor camps (ITK), were constructed for those, who commuted crimes against the revolution of 1917 and communism. Its prisoners fought for human rights and were oppositionists to the state.
ITK6 or Perm-36
After Stalin’s death in 1953 this Gulag was converted into a prison for those officials who were found guilty for organizing repressions. It was a harvest camp, and it had special facilities to keep prisoners in cells, which were closed 24x7.
In December 1988 the camp was closed. Thus, Perm-36 worked for more than 4 decades.
The museum of the Soviet forced-labor camp
Later the camp was converted into a historic site and museum to preserve the dark history of repressions. It was dedicated to the history of Soviet forced labor camps and its impact on the modern Russia.
1. To preserve this dark period of Russian history a museum of Stalin's repressions, Perm-36, was opened. Despite the fact that it is extremely important it was closed in 2014. Its directors were fired. An official from the Ministry of Culture of Perm became a new director. This replacement has totally changed the idea of this exhibition. It was said that new exhibitions may be dedicated to technical means of holding nationalists and fascists in custody.
2. Perm-36 (or ITK-6), a Soviet Gulag, was built in 1946 after the II World War and worked for almost 40 years as a logging camp. It was located in the north of Russia, not far from Perm city next to a populated place Kuchino. The camp was built next to the forested region near the Siberia. Earlier, in 1942, this camp was functioning at Selyanka station. This forced-labor colony's prisoners were responsible for logging.
3. This forced-labor camp had 4 barracks, that could fit up to 1,000 people. There also was a block for punishments (for those who did not want to follow the rules), headquarters building and a hospital.
4. Prisoners had a very strict day schedule. They woke up at 6 am, had their breakfast in a half an hour and started working after a roll-call. They worked 9 hours every day. Moreover, they had to spend 3 hours to reach to the forest in the morning and get back to their camp in the evening. Then, at 7.30 pm they had dinner and went on working inside the camp (for example, they were responsible for cleaning snow at the territory of ITK6, gardening and repairs). Prisoners went to sleep at 11 pm to wake up at 6 in the morning and go on their working hard.
5. Perm-36 is a mixture of an authentic camp with its original interiors and an exposition with exhibits, which were found and collected for descendants. The museum had several parts.
6. The first one highlighted the period of Joseph Stalin's repressions, described life of its prisoners and told about their crimes. The 2nd was devoted to the fight for human rights in the Soviet Union in 1960s and 1970s. The 3rd section's goal is to focus on educating the young visitors of the museum on the history of Gulags and totalitarianism in the Soviet Russia.
7. The Article 58 (it was set in 1927) of the Soviet Russia penal code, indicated enemies of workers and implied punishment for counter-revolution activists. "Traitors" and "saboteurs" could be sent to deat those, who did not report of a "counter-revolutionary activity" went to prison for 6 months. Non-reporting of a treason by a military man could coast 10 years of imprisonment. Contacts with counter-revolutionary foreigners or any help to "international bourgeoisie" was forbidden as well.
8. There were five periods when prisoners filled GuThe first one reffered to the collectivization period in 1929-1932. The second "wave" took place in 1934, when the Article 58 was extended. The great purge of Stalin's terror sent a huge amount of "enemies of workers" to camps during 1936-1938. At the peak of the repressions in 1939-1940 hundreds of thousands people from territories occupied by the Soviet Union were sent to forced-labor camps. During the II World War some prisoners were also sent to fight in penalty battalions on the front line.
9. Even though the number of GULAGs declined after Stalin's death, political repressions took place up to 80s. During 2 decades, in 60-80s, thousands were sent to prisons, mental hospitals or camps.