Skip to comments.Bears, vodka and Harry Potter: The hunt for Stalin's forgotten gulags in Siberia
Posted on 12/04/2018 8:19:05 AM PST by CondoleezzaProtege
Gulag hunter is an unusual CV entry, admits Stepan Cernousek.
"We are not like professional archaeologists from the university it is a kind of passion which is a little strange, because the topic is very dark."
Stepan is the leader of a small team of archaeologists, amateur historians, and adventurers, trekking thousands of kilometres across Siberian taiga forest and facing bears, freezing temperatures and raging rivers to preserve an increasingly forgotten part of Russia's dark past the more than 30,000 prison camps that embodied forced labour: the gulags.
"Today's Russia and its relationship with its history is awkward," says Stepan.
"Putin's regime wants to show that Soviet history is full of great victories and moments like the gulags are inconvenient. It's not right."
Some of the camps the group has come across are like time capsules from the worst days of the gulags.
"...Buildings stood perfectly preserved and we found a lot of old fashioned tins, bottles, old bunks and machinery personal things including letters of the prisoners..."
Northern Siberia where the majority of the group's work takes place is a logistical nightmare for fieldwork.
Winters can get down to -50 degrees Celsius, there are no roads, and the landscape is cut through with rivers, swamps, and shrouded in dense taiga forest, meaning a lot of travel is spent on foot hauling heavy gear.
At night when temperatures drop, they huddle together and drink vodka for warmth, then fall asleep listening to Harry Potter audio books praying a bear does not stumble into the camp...
(Excerpt) Read more at mobile.abc.net.au ...
Looks like old railroads through.
I HIGHLY recommend the book “Travels In Siberia” by Frazier.
A travelogue, but, filled with history. The author had an obsession with Siberia, and, made quite an effort to visit a Gulag.
It’s an older story now, but, I find it quite entertaining.
To get an idea of the landscape they are dealing with watch Dersu Uzala it plays on TCM now and again. Great story about a Russian surveyor and a trapper/guide he befriended.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Novel by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
I was required to read Ivan Denisovich in 10th grade High School English class back in the late 1970’s when the Soviet Union was still considered BAD. Communism/Socialism was BAD back then. We also read 1984 and Animal Farm to learn the evils of Communism and totalitarian Dictatorships.
This was in NY State before we learned that socialism was good and Capitalism is bad as we now know as a fact.(sarc)
Someone once said, paraphrasing, “in Soviet Union all rail lines end at prison.” I’m close...
Unfortunately, most people have not read Solzhenitsyn, especially people under the age of 40. Hitler was evil and killed millions in ethnic cleansing. He killed 7 million Jews. Every millennial knows this. However, what most do not know is how many millions of people Stalin killed in the name of Communism. It is estimated 20 million or more. The worst part is that they were mostly Russian and their satellite republics. Stalin was much worse than Hitler.
Communism/Socialism is the worst EVIL Satan has ever subjected the world to. Every time it is implemented it leaves death and destruction in its wake.
Yes, and ex-Nazis are rightfully hunted to the ends of the earth...communists, however, have NEVER been called to account for their many crimes against humanity. Why? Because they are still in power in many nations, and grappling for power in more!
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