Stalinís concentration camps the railway Igarka Ė Salechard
Stalinís camps, 503 constructions.
In 1949 Soviet management was accepted the decision about construction of
the polar railway Igarka - Salehard. Built this road the prisoners. The road
long 1263 kms in total. Road runs on 200 kilometers to the south of the Polar
circle. The problems of construction were down to not only climatic and
geographical problems - permafrost and ten-monthly winter. The line should cross
a great number of brooks, streams and large rivers. Above the small rivers were
built wooden or concrete bridges, across the
We could visit the railway from the side of 503 constructions. There were made our photos.
Along the single-track on the all line on distance 5 - 10 kms from each other were built the camps.
These camps are stand till now. Many from them were perfectly kept. To make
escape from camp was impossible. The general road was supervised by security.
The only way to freedom laid to Yenisei, then upwards on it 1700 kms up to
Krasnoyarsks or on north of 700 kms up to a mouth of Yenisei or up to Dudinka
and Norilsk, which also were build by prisoners and were under protection. All
necessary for construction, from a brick and nail up to a steam locomotive was
delivered from continent. For 503 constructions the delivery of cargoes was
carried out at the first on Trans Siberian highway by railway up to Krasnoyarsks,
then downwards on
Absence of sufficient material maintenance forced constantly to search for the extraordinary engineering and building decisions. The roofs of barracks in camps are covered not with slate or with tip-plated sheet metal. For roofs was used short wooden log, which were broke up in particular way. Exactly, they were broke up, instead of were sawn. In 40 years after construction roofs like this continued to carry out the functions.
By 1953 - year of Stalinís death - the forces of prisoner were
constructed more than 900 kilometers single -track
of the railway. After death of the Leader the construction was hastily
completed. Camps, steam locomotives, bridges, other property were simply thrown
in tundra. The great construction which has taken away life more of 300 000 men
was finished by a failure. Within several next years the insignificant part of
property was taken out, on some parts near
Our group within the framework of the Soviet -American projects ę California - Siberia " has visited the road in July, 1991. To the railway and camps we took off by helicopters MI - 8 from Turuhansk.
Except for Photograph of the railway and camps you can see the unique
pictures of Stalinís Pantheon
Near a road Igarka - Salehard there is a settlement Kureika, where after verdict
of imperial court been in prison Iosif Dzhugashvilly, Stalinís comrade. In the
soviet time above a log hut, in which Stalin was lived, was built the large
building with glass show-windows - Pantheon.
Close to a building there was a massif statue of the Leader and the vessel on
At the end of 20 centuries the Pantheon was burnt. You can see the rest of it on the last pictures.
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© Alexey Voevodin, 2000. All rights reserved