Thursday, March 05, 2015

Stalin wiped from Soviet Gulag prison museum

Perm-36 site: Local officials stopped supporting the camp-museum management

By Laurence Peter BBC News

The director of a Russian museum at a Stalin-era prison camp says local officials have taken over the site and removed references to the Soviet dictator's crimes.

"Of course it's a political move," Viktor Shmyrov told the BBC.

Perm-36, in Russia's Ural mountains, is the only surviving camp with buildings dating back to the Stalinist terror.

A non-governmental group has been managing the museum, but is disbanding after arguments with Perm officials.

Millions of Soviet citizens were sent to labour camps in the notorious Gulag system, or shot, during Joseph Stalin's hardline communist rule. The worst repressions took place in the 1930s.

Portraits of Stalin - taboo after the scale of his crimes was revealed - have become more common since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Surveys indicate that many Russians now regard Stalin as a hero.

(More here.)

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