Women’s prison through the eyes of Gulag prisoners.

 In the thirties, someone from the Bolshevik government decided that the most dangerous enemy of “any regime” can be – a Woman!

   Someone’s “sick brain” felt that because of the sincerity, cordiality, worldview, Orthodoxy – it is impossible to change the character of women in the right direction, but it can be done through a women’s prison. Of course, if the vast majority of men could be convinced of the correctness: “taking away from the peasants a single cow or the last bag of wheat and shooting “exploiters”, the “merciful Keeper of the hearth” did not accept such arguments!

   Thus, the Soviet government began to classify “their enemies” not only by class, but also by gender.

   For the prisoners and the prisoners were given a separate criminal classification:

VSWR – family member of the enemy of the people
CSIR – family member of a traitor of the Motherland
SOE – socially dangerous element
Sve – socially harmful element
SITS – ties, leading to suspicion of espionage

   The most “dangerous with the rod” prisoners in prisons and Gulag camps – raped, tortured, humiliated, brought to suicide, and the most persistent after all – shot!

   To break the will of the prisoners, to turn into a weak-willed creature, invented various kinds of torture and punitive actions to intimidate others.

   This was told to the whole world by the Gulag prisoners themselves, as well as those who witnessed this nightmare.

Torture children – what could be worse than this mother?
   Watching such bullying, the wardens themselves went crazy.

   From the memoirs of a psychiatrist Professor from 1949. The original text with a stored spelling:

“……The second test subject — the warden of the women’s prison — was presented to me by the investigator: “a good worker, and suddenly went crazy and poured a steep boiling water on her head.”

Brought to me a full simple woman of 50 years struck me with his eyes: her eyes were full of horror, and his face was stone.

When we were alone, she suddenly said, slowly, monotonously, as if absent soul: “I’m not crazy. I was a party member, and now I don’t want to be in the party anymore!” And she talked about what she’s been through lately. As a female warden, she overheard a conversation between two investigators, one of whom boasted that he could make any prisoner say and do whatever he wanted. As proof of his “omnipotence” he told how he won the “bet” – forcing one mother to break the finger of his own one-year-old child.

The secret was that he broke the fingers of another, her 10-year-old child, promising to stop this torture if the mother breaks only one little finger to a one-year-old baby. Mother was tied to a hook on the wall. When her 1-year-old son shouted — “Oh, mom, I can’t” — she broke down and broke. And then she went crazy. And she killed her little baby. Grabbed by the legs and the stone wall head enough…

“So I heard that”, — finished his story the Warder, — “so I imagine boiling water was poured on my head… I’m a mother too. I have kids. And also 10 years and 1 year old”…

I don’t remember leaving this exam… I myself was in a “reactive state.”.. After all, a psychiatrist nerves of steel!…..»

(Prof. I. S. Vozrozhdenie, Paris, notebook sixth, November-December 1949, pp. 142-149.) 

Rape by prison guards.
   Forcing female prisoners to cohabitate was common in the Gulag.

   “To the head of the Kemsky camp to Chistyakov women not only prepared a dinner and cleaned boots, but even washed it. It usually selected the most young and attractive women… Actually, they are all on the Solovki was divided into three categories: “ruble”, “prorubila” and “pyatnadcatiletnij” (“patienterna”). If anyone from the camp administration asked for a young pretty convict from the newcomers, he said to the guard: “Bring me “ruble”…

   Every security officer on Solovki had a combined three to five concubines. Toropov, who in 1924 was appointed assistant to the Kem commandant for the economic part, established a real harem in the camp, constantly replenished to his taste and order. From among the prisoners, 25 women were selected daily to serve the red army soldiers of the 95th division guarding the Solovki. It was said that the soldiers were so lazy that the prisoners even had to make their beds…

   A woman who refused to be a concubine, automatically lost the “improved” ration. And very soon she died of dystrophy or tuberculosis. On the Solovetsky island, such cases were especially frequent. Bread for the winter is not enough. Until the navigation began and new food supplies were brought, and the already meager rations were cut by almost half…”

(Boris Shiryaev. “An unquenchable lamp.»)

   Rejected jailers took revenge and so:

   “….Once upon a time a very attractive Polish girl of seventeen was sent to Solovki. Which had the misfortune to attract the attention of Toropov. But she had the courage to refuse his harassment. In retaliation Toropov told you to bring her to the office and putting forward a false version of “harboring counter-revolutionary documents” section naked and in front of the entire camp guard carefully felt the body in those places, where, he said, is best to hide the documents…

  …..In one of February days in the female barracks included several drunken guards, headed by the security officer Popov. He unceremoniously threw off the blanket with the prisoner, once belonging to the highest circles of society, dragged her out of bed, and the woman was raped in turn each of the entered…”

(Malsagov Sozerko. “Hell’s Islands: the Owls. a prison in the far North.»)

Punishment cell.
   “Anya was convicted of espionage… her Indignation knew no bounds. In her own way she struggled: defiantly did not get up when the authorities entered, spoke loudly, without permission opened the window. Naturally, I got to the punishment cell. And conditions in a punishment cell were such: the room without Windows; food – 400 g of bread a day and two mugs of hot water; topchan bring for 6 hours, the rest time it is necessary to stand or go on the two-meter cold room or to sit on the floor filled with water. The punishment cell was given for a period of 4 to 20 days. She must have really pissed off the warden that he gave that poor girl all 20 days. For the first time in my camp life, I was faced with such a period. Usually and after five days went sick.

   After that Anya lived with us for a month. She was getting worse, and one night she started bleeding from her throat. Anya was taken to the hospital. She died two days later. She was only 21 years old…”

(from the memoirs of a prisoner of the Gulag Adamova-Sliozberg, O. L.).

   Hot and cold punishment cell.

   “….Because of my character, I often found myself in punishment cells on different floors. In one of them I woke up one night from the noise in the corridor. The door of my punishment cell was next to the door to the stairs, and opposite was the post of wardens. That night there was an unusual excitement in the corridor. The guards forgot about the silence, strictly observed around the clock, when all orders are given almost in a whisper and no one speaks in a normal voice. Now they constantly opened the door to the stairs, ran out on the platform and, finally, someone excitedly said: “Led, led…”I listened. Footsteps, as usual, were not heard. Then a heavy door slammed below, there was silence, and then two shots… When I was still sitting in the common cell, and we were led down to the bath, I was shown this door — heavy, iron-bound, and said that behind her shot. It’s amazing how much they know where they want to hide everything…

…. under the ceiling in the corridors were huge pipes, and above the door of the chamber was a lattice through which the hot air. There was also a catch, so that the prisoners could adjust the temperature at will, it was only necessary to knock and call the warden. But when it was necessary to punish the prisoner, no requests helped: either very hot or absolutely icy air went to the cell…

   …And the hot and icy punishment cell I got is not because I refused to answer the interrogation. I tell them what it really is, and not what we would like the investigator, and each time he saw my point and had nothing to do with it. And in the punishment cells I was sent to the head of the prison, Latvian, with whom we both hated each other.

   It all started from the first morning — with the mandrel. We were built in pairs and led along carpet paths to the lavatory. Here I learned that the restrooms in turn wash the prisoners from all the cameras. It angered me because I knew that political from cleaning latrines released. But no matter how I tried to persuade my new cellmates that it was a mockery, that everyone should refuse, they did not agree to protest, so I was the only one who protested at the next round of the cells by the head of the prison. And immediately fell into the hole. The warden went around the cells once a week, and when he arrived, all the prisoners had to get up. I demonstratively sat down on the bench and… got another punishment cell.

   By the way, there was another one — not cold, not hot, but small and narrow, in which the air came only through the peephole in the door, so that the person soon began to suffocate, being between consciousness and fainting…

   …For protests against the regime, I soon found myself in a solitary cell, where they pumped hot air, bringing the temperature to about 50°C. the Heat I endured easily, it did not act on me. It was much worse when I was transferred to the ice chamber. It was a slit about two meters long, to one of the walls of which was attached a Board with a width of 10-15 centimeters. The prisoner here could only stand or sit on this perch, leaning back against the wall, and the wall was ice, because that winter frosts reached minus 30°C. However, perhaps it could cool and artificially.

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11 thoughts on “Women’s prison through the eyes of Gulag prisoners.

  1. Читаешь и за душу берет… Через что прошли эти женщины…. Данная статья служит хорошим плодом для размышлений, спасибо автору.

    • Avatar Arestantka

      Вячеслав, спасибо и Вам за Ваше мнение.

  2. Огромное спасибо автору этой статьи. Действительно, Гулаг – эта одна из самых чёрных и трагических страниц нашей истории. И забывать об этом факте нельзя! Очень много погибло невинных людей . Мы должны всегда помнить об этом, чтобы такое никогда больше не повторилось…

    • Avatar Arestantka

      И Вам спасибо за лестный отзыв о статье.

  3. Avatar Даниил

    Прочитал данную статью, понял, что в те времена женщинам сиделось, намного жестче, чем сейчас в самое жестокой тюрьме мира, хорошо, что это пережиток прошлого и сейчас мир стал более-менее цивилизованнее, чем в те времена.

    • Avatar Arestantka

      Прочитайте мою историю, следуя по содержанию. Возможно Ваше мнение изменится.

  4. Меня особенно поразила сцена с карцером, мне кажется если бы я попал в карцер то не знаю вынес бы я такое испытание или нет, а тут девушка так стойко проявила себя просто браво, выше всяких похвал и человеческого достоинства!

  5. Avatar Дмитрий

    Женская тюрьма – очень специализированный объект и в настоящее время, что уж там говорить о прошлом. Страшные дела творились там, сосед рассказывал об этом (старый дед, был надзирателем в колонии в то время), страшно, не хочется повторения…

    • Avatar Arestantka

      Современные женские СИЗО и унижения-пытки не отличаются от ГУЛАГА!

  6. Avatar ЭДКАРД

    Читая эту статью я плакал серьезно не ужели так было это же просто в голове не укладывается как мне очень жалко этих женщин которым пришлось пройти через такое светлая им память

    • Avatar Arestantka

      ГУЛАГ жив и в сегодняшних тюрьмах….


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