Russian army parade.

من الذكرى إلى الإنكار في روسيا

لندن ــ كانت تجربتي الأكثر إيلاماً في روسيا عندما قمت في عام 1998بزيارة معسكر العمل القسري السوفييتي Perm-36 (بيرم 36)، وهو الوحيد الذي حافظت عليه روسيا من معسكرات السخرة من عهد ستالين. كنت في بيرم، وهي مدينة تقع في منطقة جبال الأورال، للمشاركة في حلقة دراسية تنظمها مدرسة موسكو للدراسات السياسية. وكان الغرض من المدرسة، التي أسستها الرائعة لينا نيميروفسكايا، تقديم الديمقراطية، والحكم الذاتي، والرأسمالية للشباب الروس في مرحلة ما بعد الاتحاد السوفييتي.

في يوم قارس البرودة من شهر مارس/آذار، انضممت إلى بعض الأصدقاء في رحلة إلى المعسكر السابق. وكان بيرم 36 الذي بني في أوائل أربعينيات القرن الماضي كمعسكر عمل "نظامي" قد تم تحويله إلى معسكر اعتقال للسجناء السياسيين في عام 1972.

وقد أطلِق سراح آخر السجناء في عام 1987، بعد ثلاث سنوات من حكم ميخائيل جورباتشوف. والآن جرى ترميمه كمتحف لمعسكرات العمل بواسطة جماعة حقوق الإنسان "ميموريال" التي أسسها الفيزيائي المنشق أندري ساخاروف، لتذكير الروس بماضيهم الاستبدادي.

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