Cultural institutions construction during wartime was forbidden
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Cultural institutions construction during wartime was forbidden

December 10, 2021

On October 8, 1942, an interesting historical document was signed in Norilsk - a temporary instruction on the design of industrial enterprises in wartime.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. On one hand, it significantly simplified the work of builders in difficult wartime conditions, and on the other hand, it complicated the further operation of the buildings.

For example, during construction, they allowed deviations from sanitary, fire-prevention and other norms, and to hand over objects in parts. At the same time, the construction of asphalt sidewalks, internal and external plastering of premises and buildings was prohibited.

Moreover, it was ordered ‘to exclude from the construction plans the plant office, schools, clubs, cinema and other cultural and social institutions’, and to build only low-rise residential buildings with stove heating.

It’s interesting that on the same day at a meeting of the combine’s assets, the deputy people’s commissar of internal affairs Avraamy Zavenyagin (and in the past – the director of the combine’s construction) spoke, who said completely opposite things:

“Some workers at the Norilsk combine have a misconception: they tend to interpret some things as excess, comfort, as things that should not be done during the war. I was told recently that there was a meeting where they said that spending money on plaster during the war is comfort. Completely wrong. This approach is in fact a lack of culture: it seems to be cheaper, but leads to high costs. Any sloppiness, clutter, imperfections cause high costs. We are building a city, but we need to build it faster. By the end of the next year there will be a serious settlement with good houses, a number of first-class streets…”

Apparently, thanks to this point of view of the authoritative Zavenyagin during the war, despite the prohibitions, the DITR was handed over – the House of Engineering and Technical Workers, the most beautiful building of the 1940s in Norilsk, the Dynamo stadium was built, and a small gym was equipped. There was also a ski base, a shooting range and a boat station.

In the last issue of the History Spot photo project, we told why electric locomotives did not take root in the Arctic.

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Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

December 10, 2021

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