Solidarité Ukraine

European Memories

of the Gulag

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Work: building the railway

 

“The first winter, people cut logs. Along with building a new village and huts in the middle of the forest, we had to build a narrow-gauge railway. The Lithuanians began to build the railway. But logs had to be brought from the mountains to the railway. In the early years, we used oxen, we had no horses, but there weren’t many oxen either.

So the Lithuanians dragged the logs themselves. It was like that picture we saw once, ‘Burlaks [barge-haulers] on the Volga’.”