Every year on 18 May museum workers all over the world celebrate their professional holiday – International Museum Day.
A museum is a temple where monuments of material and spiritual culture created at different historical stages of society development are carefully collected and preserved.
Invaluable collections of paintings, interior and household items, sculpture, coins, books, monuments of natural history – this is a centuries-old heritage, the value of which will only grow from year to year, and the wealth that belongs to humanity as a whole.
The Museum of the memory of the victims of the political repression of the village of Dolinka contains facts about the tragic fate of thousands of prisoners who suffered from the policies of the Soviet regime. It is located in Karaganda region of Kazakhstan, at a distance of about 45 km from Karaganda.
Every year, students and staff of the Academy “Bolashaq” visit the museum.
Karaganda labor camp (abbreviated as Karlag) was established in 1931. It was one of the largest camps in the USSR, its territory stretched for several hundred kilometers. People who used to live in the area were forcibly evicted. Karlag’s NKVD administration was located in the village of Dolinka, where an administrative building was erected for him, using the work of prisoners. It was a two-storey building with columns that gave it a majestic appearance.
When the camp was disbanded, the building was later used by various organizations – an agricultural technical school, a children’s sanatorium, and an industrial association. Since 2010, it has housed a museum with documents, photographs and personal belongings of inmates.
Many of the rooms in the museum realistically recreate the structure of the camp, the conditions of the prisoners, their life and activities. It is possible to get an idea of the daily routine of the repressed, their duties and the hard work they have done to accomplish all their tasks.
A separate room is dedicated to the families of the prisoners, women and children, who have also been punished. Terrible conditions, abuse, unbearable work were not able to bear everything, mortality, especially among children, was high. Not far from the museum there is Mamochkino cemetery, which became memorial. Here are buried numerous victims of repression – women and children.
Among the repressed there were many intellectuals. There were scientists, artists, historians, journalists. A laboratory was re-created where the scientists in the camp conducted their research. In one of the halls, there are works by artists who were prisoners of Carlag. A separate exposition is dedicated to people and their fates, with photographs and documents keeping the memory of the numerous repressed.
On the ground floor of the museum there is an exposition telling about the pre-investigation and investigation period of the prisoners.
The atmosphere in the men’s and women’s communal cells has been recreated. Gypsum-wax figures of prisoners condemned and broken, against the background of ascetic living conditions realistically convey the suffering of innocent people.
A visit to the museum can cause heavy feelings, as tragedies of such magnitude are unlikely to leave anyone indifferent. The realism of compositions, the environment creates a special atmosphere. Despite the emerging sadness and grief, many visitors note that the museum must necessarily go. This gives an idea of history and reminds us how important it is to prevent the recurrence of such a thing in the future.