The State Museum of GULAG History was founded in 2001; its exhibition was first opened in 2004. The Museum’s founder, Anton Antonov-Ovseenko, a well-known historian, writer and public figure, was himself a prisoner of Stalin’s labor camps. Indoor concerts, theater performances, readings and other events are held in the museum’s rooms and a courtyard. The exposition is devoted to the history of the labor camp’s system, the paramount integral part of the soviet state machine during 1930-50s years. One of the most important exposition’s sections is the reconstruction of some details of camp’s environment.

Exclusive. Photos via the SovietEraMuseum:

Few words about Lavrentiy Beria and Gulag labor camps.

Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria (1899 – 23 December 1953) was a Soviet politician,Marshal of the Soviet Union and state security administrator, chief of the Soviet security and secret police apparatus (NKVD) under Joseph Stalin during World War II, and Deputy Premier in the postwar years (1946–1953).

Beria was the longest lived and most influential of Stalin’s secret police chiefs, wielding his most substantial influence during and after World War II. He simultaneously administered vast sections of the Soviet state and served as de facto Marshal of the Soviet Union in command of the NKVD field units responsible for anti-partisan operations on the Eastern Front during World War II, as well as for acting as barrier troops and the apprehension of thousands of “turncoats, deserters, cowards and suspected malingerers”. Beria administered the vast expansion of the Gulag labor camps and was primarily responsible for overseeing the secret defense institutions known as sharashkas, critical to the war effort.

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