History 19/02/20 “Island of death”: how the invaders have built in the Russian concentration camp for Russian

the Historians call this the first concentration camp in the Soviet Russia and the world’s only place of detention of this kind, of the buildings which have survived since the beginning of the twentieth century. In 2018, the history of the concentration camp on the island of Mudyug its centenary.

What’s the island

Mudyug is sandy marshy island with a total area of nearly 32 km2, it is located 60 km from Arkhangelsk in Dvinskoy the lip of the White sea. The vegetation of the middle part of the Mudyug – shrubs and coniferous forest. During Soviet times, the island belonged to the defense, but earlier in 1918 – 1919 (a little over a year) there was Mudyugsky concentration camp. Its construction is partly preserved until now.

History camp

mostly historical information about how did this concentration camp and about the conditions of today can be gleaned from the book of doctor of historical Sciences Pavel Golub “White terror in Russia (1918 – 1920)”, released in 2006, and from the book “Soviet Intervention in the North of the 1918 – 1920”, published in 1939, the Arkhangelsk regional Committee of the CPSU(b). In the book, in particular, include memories of Paul Rasskazova, journalist at Tips – the Deputy chief of the Commission by order of nationalized torggata. Stories he was in Modtgage as a prisoner.

As Paul writes Golub, concentration camp on Mudyug island was created in the second half of August 1918, the Entente troops, who seized power in Arkhangelsk. City jail soon became overcrowded arrested by the Bolsheviks and simply suspected of sympathizing with the Soviet power. The invaders adopted the decision on creation on a remote island concentration camp, which lasted until the fall of 1919, until the moment when the part of the prisoners staged an escape from the island Mudyug.

the conditions of detention of prisoners

Very soon after the camp Mudyug became known as the “island of death”. They used to frighten small children. The Stories Paul wrote that with the arrival of a party of prisoners on the island there were already buildings intended for seasonal work for the transportation and storage of goods – wooden hut for the workers, wooden warehouses, a substantial two-storey house for the bosses. Wooden hut where lived the first batch of prisoners (134 people) had a length of about 20 meters and 12 meters wide, the bunk was a double. In one of the passages of the structure were 3 of the furnace. The commandant of the island was a French officer, was transferred prisoners at Mudyug French soldiers.

Stories reported on a very meager food rations allocated to prisoners, they were starving and soon began to eat all that at least resembled edible, digging in the mud, pour guards in French. For the slightest offense was the death penalty (according to the news Agency “Dvina-inform”, for one-year-old history of Mudurlugu it killed more than 300 inmates). A tenth of the prisoners were former tsarist officers who served Soviet power and they had the right not to work, was appointed “team leaders” to care for others. The majority of concentration camp prisoners from the party Rasskazova once served as a private in the red Army, among the prisoners were also more than 20 sailors.

hard labor (felling, excavation work on clearing the land for future camp), plus more than scarcity of food sapped the prisoners and contributed to the emergence of a number of diseases. In the bath they didn’t take, linens were not changed and were not given soap. Prisoners Mudurlugu tried to organize themselves, set up your asset for negotiations with the administration, but these attempts were thwarted under the threat of execution. Officers among the prisoners were moved to a separate barrack where conditions were somewhat better. Among them emerged a “nominee”, who often taunted inmates still more than foreigners, the guards.

With the onset of autumn the situation of the prisoners deteriorated as many of them had no warm clothes and winter shoes. After escaping from the island by boat three prisoners in October 1918, the camp regime even tougher. One of the most brutal types of punishment has been planting in the cooler – the frozen earthen pit, after staying in which many prisoners had frostbitten feet or froze to death. In the camp infirmary in extreme cold too, it was subzero temperatures.

Why it was closed

As he wrote in his book Paul Golub, the situation of prisoners in Mudurlugu began to deteriorate by the summer of 1919 – on the island raged scurvy and typhoid, the last epidemic of the disease spread to the Arkhangelsk prison, where from time to time brought prisoners from Mudyug. The population of Arkhangelsk was agitated with the danger of mass infection in the city in early September of that year there was a strike, which was attended by hundreds of workers of different enterprises in Arkhangelsk.

By the time Mudurlugu already changed its status to a concentration camp made exiled convict prison, and it has disposed of Russian rulers of the Northern region. White officers as supervisors showed such cruelty to the prisoner, and that in mid-September, those rebelled EN masse. More than 50 prisoners under the fire of machine guns managed to escape from the island on fishing boats. Survived of which only 32 people to reach Arkhangelsk village of Pinega. The suppression of the uprising and for the edification of the remaining prisoners at Mudyug shot 24 prisoners. The camp immediately was transferred urgently to the Kola Peninsula, where he lasted until the beginning of 1920.

… the territory of the former Mudurlugu tried to make the Museum’s reserve since the end of the 20-ies of XX century. However, today it is completely abandoned, and the remaining wooden camp buildings to rot.

what does the Creator of “Chanel No 5”

the study of Russian servicewould the BBC describes one of the invaders, an employee of the French military intelligence Ernest Bo, the curator Mudurlugu. Mentions it in his memoirs, Paul Stories (as an officer, contempt refers to prisoners). Bo was born in Moscow into a family of French perfumer, fought in the First world.

After participating in the allied military intervention in Russia, the troops of the Entente, Ernest Beaux at the end of 1919 and settled in France, engaged in the perfume business. Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich (Novels) brought him to Coco Chanel. There is a legend that she was the one chosen from the suggested Bo spirits only, which received then the name “Chanel No. 5” and gained worldwide fame.

Nicholas Syromyatnikov

© Russian Seven

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