Watchtower, Perm-36, Perm Krai



Perm-36 is allegedly the only Gulag camp that has been turned into a museum. While this is not strictly true (there are other former camps that have been partly preserved) and Perm-36 is heavily reconstructed, the museum has conserved an important part of the Soviet camp system, especially from its latter era after the death of Stalin. Perm-36 camp operated from the 1940s until the last days of the Soviet Union, and it was meant mainly for the political prisoners and dissidents. Among the dense forests of Russia near the Ural mountains stands a solitary watchtower of the former camp. Behind it, inside the zona, one finds relics of the barracks, but somehow the tower itself, a symbol as poignant as barbed wire, communicates the utter isolation of Gulag victims.


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