Most of the barracks and watchtowers of Soviet prison camps have disappeared because they were made of wood. But in many camps there was one building that was usually of stone – the camp prison. It seems absurd to have a prison inside prison, but such uncanny things were common in Gulag. This former labor camp prison house, or tjurma, is situated at the microraion of Severny at the northern side of Vorkuta, a city which was born out of a prison camp. The building had been in other use after Gulag and now it is abandoned – a true modern ruin that can tell a lot about the recent past.
At the Russia’s Karelian Republic, somewhere between Medvezhyegorsk and Povenets, there is an unassuming tract of forest with a dark memory underneath. During the Great Purges, more than 10 000 people were executed and buried here, some of them from the nearby villages, others brought from the Solovki Gulag camp. The nameless people were forgotten there for sixty years before Russian human rights society Memorial found the mass graves at 1997. After that, Sandarmokh became a site of commemoration, and monuments & crosses began to emerge. This is one of them, memorial cross for Evgenia Yakovlevna Mustangova.
Ukhta is a medium-sized town in northern Russia, west form the Ural Mountains. It is situated by the Pechora mainline railroad, which was built with forced labour – as were many parts of Ukhta itself. During the World War II many ethnic Germans from the Soviet Union and later German POWs were incarcerated in Gulag. For that reason there is a German memorial cemetery at the outskirts of Ukhta. There were few tombstones and a memorial, but for some reason the most touching thing was a burnt page of some Russian book found from the forgotten cemetery.