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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Creates a virtual Museum of Gulag history

Perm – cultural hot spot. The artistic Director there, was expelled from the theatre, and then the world returned, as it was with Boris Milgram, the Gulag history Museum pereprofilirovanie actually in the Museum of the NKVD. Memorial center of political repression history “Perm-36” was located in the village of Kuchino in the place of camp of political prisoners. Now there is another countdown.

photo: Sergei Ivanov

The Minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky, which would have asked for clarification, said, “We don’t know what’s going on. What is it like? I do not know. Send an official request”.

Documentary filmmaker Pavel Pechenkin, who directed the film “Varlam Shalamov. The experience of a young man”, told us: “I Sat in this camp, mostly political, but there were other people. During the war the old believer told a joke in the trenches, and planted it. They were forced to shave, but he always resisted, because to conservatives it cannot be done, and immediately fell into the hole. Rewind 10 years, but he was given another term. So the man spent 30 years behind a beard, which did not want to shave. People were mainly trying to defend their beliefs or the denunciation. Not all have survived. To sit also be able to”.

Talk with one of the founders of the Memorial center of political repression history “Perm-36”, by the way, and screenwriter of the film Shalamov, Victor by Smirnovym.

– Does the label “GULAG” was replaced by “NKVD”?

– Such signs, of course, there can not be, although in fact everything is going to. Begin to praise the work of the NKVD and of the sharashka, do everything quietly and carefully. But the name changed. Now this is not a Museum of repression and the penitentiary (criminal-Executive) of the system. Cosmonautics Day on its website has posted material that sharashka played a positive role. Some employees got fired after that, the scandal was extinguished, but continued to work in the same spirit. A new state institution of culture called “Memorial complex political repression”, and we had a Memorial center of political repression history. His work was based on the system of public-public partnership. The state was responsible for the condition of the premises, lighting and cleaning, and our social organization was to conduct research and design activities. The Museum Board was drawn, and led him Alexei Simonov.

For those who have not been to your Museum, tell us what it is.

The large economy. On 7 acres of the former camp – 20 buildings of the Gulag, mostly wooden. All of them were in a dilapidated condition. For 20 years, we have restored the camp, workshops, solitary confinement, collected artifacts and powerful library. 15 years ago our center has become one of the founders of the International coalition of museums of conscience. Originally it consisted of 6 museums, including ours, and now over 200 of them from 52 countries. Our most famous project was the international civil forum “Pilorama” is held for seven years. We were visited by activists from different cities, bards, rock musicians, and most importantly – we had a discussion about the state of civil life in the country, caused discontent with the new authorities. The former Governor once held the blow, not pressed us. But a new person came, he clicked, and began the elimination of “Sawmill”, and then the Museum caught.

– How did it happen?

– The fact that the old and rotten buildings in which the Museum was located, was the state of earth. We created it by our social organization more than 20 years. Part of the money allocated by the state, but most of them we have collected ourselves. In may 2014 we just put up, replacing the guards and the locks, passing all the new team. But the Museum announced anti-Soviet.

In the Charter of our organization recorded that its purpose is the creation of a Museum in the former camp. In the spring of 2015 the Board adopted a decision to eliminate it because to perform its functions, she could not. The regional Ministry of culture presented us a number of claims worth about 1 million rubles. That kind of money we have. And while we didn’t return them, could not be liquidated. Recently in a private conversation we were given to understand that the local Ministry of culture is no longer intended to return the debt. After August 10, 2016, our social organization ceased to exist.

– The walls belong to the state, but what is the fate of the collected you archive? He also left in charge of the new leadership?

We went on expedition to Kolyma, “the Dead road”, in Komi Republic, collected valuable documents and artifacts. Almost everything is captured by the new people who don’t let us in the Museum. They had an argument: “You give us a million return, then we will understand.” Now we don’t owe anyone anything. Our organization is liquidated, but there is a documented decision regarding the property passed to her heirs. I hope we will soon usasem with the regional Ministry of culture that does not belong to him.

But your labor is not in vain?

“The main target was still not the creation Museum, and the preservation of the unique complex of buildings of the former camp era of the Gulag. We were there for the first time in 1992. Since then I have been to many camps and colonies of the Perm territory, Sverdlovsk region and the Komi Republic during the expeditions, and can say that “Perm 36” – the only preserved in the country the complex of camp buildings of the era of the Gulag. They stood out in the open, collapsed and rotted. The locals dragged them to patch up their barns. It was necessary to save them, which we did. Now they stand for another 40 years if they don’t burn. The Museum has successfully worked. And those who came instead of us, afraid of him to radically change, though gradually turn in the direction of the Museum of the NKVD. Well, we are deprived of the opportunity to work at the Museum, conduct research, prepare a database of prisoners and camp events. Based on the most modern technologies and under the auspices of the coalition of museums of conscience will create a virtual Gulag Museum “Perm-36”, which could be a massive resource.


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