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Today we are going to one of the historical sites of the Soviet Union, namely to the Akmol Labour Camp for Wives of Traitors of the Motherland, the Russian abbreviation is ALZhIR. This horrific place, located in Malinovka 35 km from the city of Astana holds many secrets, pain and sorrow. It was that very place that wives of so called traitors in the authorities’ judgement were exiled during the war.

Alzhir camp in Malinovka

The ALZhIR camp was a part of the GULAG, the Chief Administration of corrective labor camps and detention sites. This truly terrible and harsh place took away a large number of lives and crippled an even greater number of human destinies. The living conditions were unbearable, constant cold and exhausting work did their part. However, even in this place the prisoners managed to keep sane, set up their houses with straw, arrange amateur-talent groups, and left crumbs of bread and in order to prevent the planted trees from the damage by hares.

Alzhir memorial

It is worth noting the role of the Kazakh people who lived nearby. They would support the prisoners and throw them kurt (lumps of dried cottage cheese) that was mistaken for rocks by the guards.

Now in the premises of the former camp there is a museum complex that allows tourists to immerse into the pivots of the past and watch a documentary about the events that happened there.

 

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