Chesel ss* Deportees graveyard | Russia's Necropolis of Terror and the Gulag

Chesel ss* Deportees graveyard



Date of burial
Show Map
Komi Republic, Priluzsky district, Chesyel (non-existent)
Access outside a populated area
Private or specialised transport
On foot
Visiting Hours or Restrictions
Type of burial
Deportees’ graveyard
Current use
Cultural and/or educational purposes
Presence of memorials, etc.
Protected status
Not protected
Фотография 2007 года. Предоставлена В.М.Масальцевым
Фотография 2007 года. Предоставлена В.М.Масальцевым

The Chesel labour settlement was organised in 1930 by dekulakized peasant families, deported from Belarus and the southern parts of Russia. Among them were Catholics, including ethnic Poles. In 1940, Polish citizens deported from the newly annexed western regions of Ukraine and Belarus were sent to Chesel. There were, it seems, two graveyards: an Orthodox burial ground (not discovered) and a Catholic graveyard which lies 500 metres from Chesyel on the high bank of the Luza river. The total numbers of men, women and children buried there have not been established: the names of only ten Polish citizens who died in Chesel are known. In August 1941 the special regime was lifted and the Poles gradually departed.

In the mid-1950s the settlement ceased to exist and both graveyards were abandoned. The burial site was discovered and studied in summer 2007 by an expedition of pupils from the Letskaya secondary school (director V.M. Masaltsev). A wooden Catholic cross has survived on one of the graves with a board bearing the letters “…nski Kazimierz, 1869-1940” in Polish.

Books of Remembrance

Repentance: the Komi Republic Martyrology of the Victims of Mass Political Repression (11 vols. 1998-2016), includes entries on 65,000 individuals, from dekulakized peasant families and former Polish citizens to Soviet German forced labourers, who were deported to the area.

The Komi Book of Remembrance lists 298 individuals who were deported to Chesel with their families from 1930 onwards or who were born there (see Memorial online database).

Nature of area requiring preservation
State of burialsAreaBoundaries
burial mounds (15-20 burials) can be seen; a western grave cross has survived
about 2,500 square metres
not delineated
Administrative responsibility and ownership, informal responsibility for the site
On land under the control of the Priluzsky district administration
Sources and bibliography

[ Original texts & hyperlinks ]

Materials of the school expedition (Letskaya village, Priluzsky district, Komi republic), compiler V.M. Masaltsev – Pokayanie Foundation Archive (Syktyvkar)

“Chesel special settlement. Deportees graveyard”, Virtual Museum of the Gulag [retrieved, 27 May 2022]