#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The camp settlement overnight became a free city. It was waiting for change, freedom and rehabilitation.
But changes do not happen overnight, immediately after the signing of documents. And therefore, in the summer of 1953 Norilsk uprising happened, which was raised by the camp inmates who could not wait for relief. In Gorlag, where there was the most brutal regime, there were strikes and cases of mass disobedience of prisoners. The uprising was put down. But changes nevertheless came to Norilsk.
Since Norilsk was given the status of a city, in the same year new authorities appeared. For example, on October 26, 1953, at the first session of the Norilsk City Council, the department of social welfare (the forgotten word “sobbes”), the city health department and the culture department were organized. The sobbes was engaged in providing assistance and support citizens in need. The city health department united all medical institutions in Norilsk, and the culture department was in charge of theater, cinema, libraries, museums and other leisure facilities.
The first head of Norilsk-city, Mikhail Sharapov, had previously served as a criminal investigation agent, the village council chairman, in 1953, he headed the Working People’s Deputies Soviet’s city executive committee. He did not work long as the city council chairman: already in October he handed over his affairs to Anatoly Burmakin, who came from Krasnoyarsk, did not have universities diplomas either, but worked as the Norilsk head for the next ten years.
Back in 1953, the city newspaper Zapolyarnaya Pravda appeared in Norilsk, the new cinema Rodina and the first large grocery store – the future Yenisey, the largest not only in Norilsk, but in the whole region.
In the History Spot’s previous publication, we told about the vocational school No. 4 which was created in Norilsk in 1957.
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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive