Norilsk future determined in 1935
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Norilsk future determined in 1935

July 02, 2020

For more than 20 years, from 1935 to 1956, Norillag prisoners performed heavy physical work at the mining enterprises of the Norilsk Combine, excavation work on the construction of roads, copper and mechanical plants and Norilsk itself.

The first builders of the city and the plant arrived on the merchant Gadalov’s two-deck steamboat Falcon, renamed Spartak on July 1. The first head of the Norilsk construction site Vladimir Matveev, the Mospromtrans survey team, led by the engineer Kudryavtsev, and the first batch of the Norilsk Forced Labor Camp prisoners were sent for the construction. The wheeled boat was accompanied by barges with workers and cargo.

Melting ice floes still lay on the bank in Dudinka on July 1. Vessels could not approach the bank, since there were no berths, so part of the cargo was first loaded onto boats.

Vladimir Matveyev and his family stopped in the Dudinsky radio station hut, where he wrote the order that from July 1 he would assume the duties of the NKVD (USSR People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs) Norilskstroy head.

Workers were placed in huts, barns, attics. A week later, the first builders were sent on foot along the tundra to Norilsk.

Text: Varvara Sosnovskaya, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

July 02, 2020

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