Browse Items

Minaev's illustration of a prisoner suffering in the darkness of a punishment cell from the series "From the Sufferers without Guilt."

Black and white photograph of prisoners shot at NKVD prison, Lonskii street, L'viv. Onlookers gasp looking at the heaped bodies, perhaps looking for missing relatives.

Black and white photograph of prisoners clearing and hauling rocks in wheelbarrows from the site of the White Sea Canal.

Color sketch from Evfrosiniia Kersnovskaia's self-illustrated memoirs depicting a discussion between a prisoner and a prison chief.

Mug shot of Evgeniia Mikhailovna Peunkova (surname Khalaimova at the time of the arrest).

Photograph of Evgeniia Michailovna Peunkova.

Black and white photograph of prisoners gathered together after hearing the head of Belomorkanal Camp speak. The prisoners were headed out to make a major breakthrough on the construction of the canal, and the camp chief had spoken to them to try to raise their morale.

Color sketch from Evfrosiniia Kersnovskaia's self-illustrated memoirs of one female prisoner defending another. In the accompanying text, Kersnovskaia describes an episode when one of the guards decided to insult female prisoners. They forced the women to lay in the dirt when they heard them talking and shouted, "lay down or we will fire." Women began to lie down on the ground, except for Kersnovskaia who decided to oppose the command. The guard lifted a gun and suddenly a small female prisoner stood up to protect Kersnovskaia. Within minutes, other women stood up in defiance and solidarity.

Kersnovskaia drawing of conflict between criminal and political prisoners in a barracks. She recalled that urki(criminal prisoners) maltreated the famous scientist, Fedorov. Kersnovskaia tried to defend him, but criminals beat her severely. Many years later, Kersnovskaia received a letter of thanks from Federov for her having the bravery to defend him.

Black and white photograph of shockworkers and two officials from the Belomorkanal Camp visiting the forest in Valdai posing in front of a banner that reads: "Labor in the USSR is a Matter of Honor, Glory, Valor and Heroism."