Norilsk residents sent felt boots, sugar and meat to mainland
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Norilsk residents sent felt boots, sugar and meat to mainland

October 04, 2021

Back in the 1930s, the need arose for a regular postal service. A postal and parcel expedition was organized in Norilsk.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. In Dudinka, a forwarding point was organized, where correspondence and parcels were accumulated. The staff included a freight forwarder who accompanied mail from Norilsk to Dudinka and back, as well as two registrars and the head of the post office. All of them were prisoners of the Norillag.

In 1939, the Norilsk post office received a small room where correspondence and parcels were stored and processed. Customers were also received there. In fact, letters and parcels were the only way to communicate with the mainland.

At the same time, a separate postal and parcel expedition was organized to serve the prisoners of the Norilsk camp. It reported to the head of the camp administration regime department.

In 1944, the Norilsk post office informed the residents of the village that the USSR People’s Commissariat of Communications permitted the reception of private telegrams and wire transfers to all points of the Soviet Union that had been liberated from the occupation.

By the end of the 1950s, when Norilsk became not a camp but a city, there were 16 post offices operating in it.

In 1960, there was a parcel boom in Norilsk: more than 50 tons of parcels with various goods and products – from felt boots to butter, sugar and meat – were sent from the prosperous northern city. So the Norilsk people tried to help their relatives on the mainland, where the supply was much worse. That boom worried local authorities, and the executive committee of the city council decided to prohibit such shipments, obliging post officers to check all parcels.

And in 1974, at 33 Komsomolskaya street, on the lake Utinoe’s shore, the central city House of Communications was opened – a huge building with comfortable spacious halls on the ground floor. The hall for long-distance telephone and telegraph communication was open around the clock. On the opening day, the first visitor was handed a souvenir and allowed to speak long distance for an hour free of charge.

In the last issue of the History spot photo project, we talked about the fact that the memorial to the Heroes of War and Labor, where the Eternal Flame burned, initially looked a little different than it does now.

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Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

October 04, 2021

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