of the Gulag
About eliminating spies in the camps
"There were some cases, rare cases naturally, but there were some. It was mainly in 1950-51 that we began killing the informers in the camps. An informer could only be killed by someone of his own nationality. If there was a Ukrainian informing the camp authorities about me, it was not for me to kill him. I would go and see the Ukrainians and the Ukrainians would decide on his fate. They would warn him once, then twice, and if that was not enough, he was done for, but we weren’t allowed to execute him ourselves.
I was often transferred from one camp to another; in Mordovia there was a transfer camp where we were brought from a large number of camps; there were cases of personal revenge because people did not know each other. That was in 1951-52. I know, for example, that a doctor was killed at that time, a Russian doctor, but no one knew who killed him. He was practically killed in front of me. I think he hadn’t agreed to sign someone off work. So he wasn’t killed for political reasons but out of personal revenge, if you like. At the same time, I can tell you there were more crimes in the outside world than inside the world of the camps."