European Memories

of the Gulag

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Underground life at Kengir camp

Antanas Petrikonis describes his arrival at Kengir camp in the Kazakhstan Steplag, where there was a major prisoner uprising in summer 1954.

“At the start, they kept us in quarantine, it was compulsory for 20 days. There were Lithuanians who came and asked us where we came from, why, how. We immediately joined the underground. The underground organisation there was strong. I was introduced, they asked where I came from, why and how. I said I was a partisan, I’d been captured and arrested. I gained more of their confidence in that way. We joined the struggle straight away.”