From 1932 onwards Bamlag, the Baikal-Amur camp complex, was administered from Svobodny (lit. “Freetown”). By the beginning of 1933 it held 31,000 prisoners and on 1 January 1938 the total number of inmates reached 201,000. During the Great Terror (1937-1938) executed Bamlag prisoners were buried in the town cemetery. The total number has not been established nor is it known whether they were shot there or elsewhere and then brought to the cemetery for burial. No one was buried there in later years.
In March 2012, after a fire at the cemetery, numerous human remains were found. Some of the skulls bore bullet holes. These remains were gathered together and reburied at the camp cemetery in Svobodny, on a hill next to the memorial to the “Innocent victims of Bamlag”. Staff at the town cemetery say that skulls with bullet holes are to be found in various parts of the grounds. The area where the executed were buried does not have a separate monument.
The Book of Remembrance for the Amur Region consists of 11 volumes, published between 2001 and 2015.
Six volumes offer biographical notes on 17,000 victims of arrest, imprisonment and execution. Two volumes provide brief entries on 7,269 “forced settlers” in the Region (1920s-1950s).
Three further volumes cover: Women in the Amur Region; the Tragedy of the Kosmodemyanovka village; and the History of Political Repression in the Novoalexandrovka village.
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Have not survived
Lecture-exhibition “The Amur Region in the years of political repression”, website of the Amur Region State archive
I. Belozyorov, “The unburied”, Amurskaya Pravda, 4 May 2012 [retrieved, 27 May 2022]
Archpriest Savva (Kristinin), “The Great Terror in the Amur Region”, Orthodox Alexeyevsk website [retrieved, 27 May 2022]; article by same in Orthodox Alexeyevsk newspaper (30 October 2012)