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History of GULAG

Ruins of a prisoners’ barracks, Komsomolsk. Photo: James Robb imageRuins of a prisoners’ barracks, Komsomolsk. Photo: James Robb

Day Schedule


➤Breakfast

➤Excursion: Investigation of the remains of the camps and the ruins of the tunnel

➤Meeting with the old-timers

➤After 16:00 return by the car along the Komsomolsk-Oha oil pipeline, built by the GULAG prisoners. The story about the oil-pipe

➤Overnight stay in Zimermanovka village

The legendary BAM - nowadays imageThe legendary BAM - nowadays

As well as building most of the factories, oil pipeline, apartment blocks in the city, the prisoners in Komsomolsk and neighbouring towns built the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM), an east-west railway line running parallel to the older trans-Siberian line, around the northern end of Lake Baikal to Komsomolsk. The first prisoners in the 1930s laid most of the tracks.


Two peaks in the supply of prisoners occurred. The first of these was in 1936-37, after the paroxysm of denunciations and frame-ups known as the Moscow Show Trials, in which tens of thousands of workers and others who had made the revolution, along many others outside the political struggle altogether, were framed up on fantastic charges of supporting counter-revolution, executed and jailed.

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