European Memories

of the Gulag


It was good to have power, it was good…

“We were deported as political offenders. My father’s brother did not want to do his military service; he deserted and hid in the taiga. So they deported all his brothers here. My father’s brother was in Balagansk and we were in Zhigalovo. They only deported the brothers, not the sisters. So they came and stood my father against the stove. And next to the stove there were logs. The NKVD man took a log and hit him on the head. The other one fired, not at my father but at the wall. My father didn’t know where the shot had come from. He fell to his knees. He was bleeding.

It was good to have power, it was good. The NKVD men did what they wanted to people.

That way they beat up lots and lots of people. I got beaten too.”