Yur-Shor settlement [C]** Vorkutlag burial ground | Russia's Necropolis of Terror and the Gulag

Yur-Shor settlement [C]** Vorkutlag burial ground



Date of burial
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Komi Republic, Vorkuta urban district, Yur-Shor settlement
Access outside a populated area
Private or specialised transport
On foot
2 kms from the settlement on the road to the Severny settlement
Visiting Hours or Restrictions
Type of burial
Camp (prison) burial ground
Current use
Cultural and/or educational purposes
Ceremonial events
Presence of memorials, etc.
Protected status
Not protected
Фотография 2007 года. Фотограф З.Богумил
Фотография 2007 года. Фотограф З.Богумил

From 1944 until the mid-1950s prisoners of Vorkutlag (Rechlag) and free workers at mine No. 29 of the Vorkuta Coal Trust were buried in the cemetery next to Yur-Shor settlement, which is today within the city limits. Burials were made in individual graves and marked with numbered boards. 53 prisoners who died during the camp uprising on 1 August 1953 are buried there: 12 in a common grave, the rest in individual graves.

After the camp was disbanded in 1954 inhabitants of the settlement were buried there. In 1976 the cemetery was closed when the Northern Ring Road was built and burials dating from 1944-1948 were lost. There are 85 graves in the area that remains; one is a common grave. The first memorials appeared in the mid-1950s and were devoted to those who died when the Vorkuta camp uprising was suppressed. In particular, there was a monument to the Estonians (spring 1956). In the early 1960s former political prisoner Kostavicius put up a memorial to all who died during the uprising, a wooden pillar with the year “1953” on its cement foundation.

After 1989 various memorials appeared at the Yur-Shor cemetery: a cross in memory of Ukrainians, victims of Communist terror (1990); a commemorative cross to those who died during the Vorkuta Uprising (1992); a memorial to the Lithuanians and all citizens of Lithuania who died in the Vorkuta camps (1994); a memorial to German prisoners of war and German citizens who died as prisoners of Rechlag (1995); and a memorial to representatives of the Slavic nations who were victims of Stalinist terror (2010). Using archival documents, researchers from the Vorkuta Memorial society have identified the graves of 41 prisoners killed on 1 August 1953 and placed wooden crosses with their names on the graves.

DateNature of ceremoniesOrganiser or responsible personParticipantsFrequency
1 Aug.
Day in Commemoration of the Victims of the 1953 Vorkuta Uprising
Vorkuta City administration, Vorkuta Memorial Society
City officials, Memorial Society members, relatives of the victims, clergy, schoolchildren from Vorkuta
Annual event
Nature of area requiring preservation
State of burialsAreaBoundaries
85 burials, burial mounds and wooden crosses have been preserved
0.75 hectares
memorial area is defined in the locality
Administrative responsibility and ownership, informal responsibility for the site
On land under the control of the Vorkuta urban district administration. The Vorkuta Memorial Society looks after and cares for the memorial area. Vorkuta schoolchildren, under the direction of teacher I.V. Vitman, take part in caring for the cemetery, looking after the graves and restoring the history of the burials.
Sources and bibliography

[ original texts and hyperlinks ]

Archive of the Pokayanie (Repentance) foundation, Syktyvkar

V.P. Kozlov (ed), The history of the Stalinist Gulag, late 1920s to mid-1950s: A collection of documents in seven volumes, Vol. 6, “Uprisings, rebellions and strikes by prisoners”, Moscow, 2004

R. Racėnas, Memorials in places where the inhabitants of Lithuania were imprisoned or exiled, 1940-1958 [Racėnas R. Paminklai lietuvos gyventoju tremties ir kalinimo vietose. 1940-1958], Vilnius, 2005 (in Russian, English and Lithuanian; 116 pp)


Reply from the Komi Republic Ministry of Culture (No 06-17-1230 of 30 April 2014) to a formal enquiry by RIC Memorial (St Petersburg)