Russian army parade.

Russlands Weg vom Gedenken zur Verleugnung

LONDON – Mein schmerzhaftestes Erlebnis in Russland war ein Besuch in Perm-36, dem einzigen von Stalins Zwangsarbeiterlagern, das erhalten geblieben ist, im Jahr 1998. Ich hielt mich damals in Perm (einer Stadt im Ural) auf, um an einem Seminar der Moskauer Schule für politische Studien teilzunehmen. Ziel dieser von der bemerkenswerten Lena Nemirowskaja gegründeten Schule war es, jungen Menschen im postkommunistischen Russland mit Demokratie, Selbstregierung und Kapitalismus bekannt zu machen.

An einem bitterkalten Märztag schloss ich mich Freunden zu einem Besuch des ehemaligen Lagers an. Anfang der 1940er Jahre als „reguläres“ Arbeitslager errichtet, wurde Perm-36 1972 in ein Konzentrationslager für politische Gefangene umgewandelt.

Die letzten Gefangenen wurden dort 1987 entlassen, drei Jahre nach dem Regierungsantritt von Michail Gorbatschow. Damals (1998) wurde es gerade von Memorial, einer von dem Physiker und Dissidenten Andrej Sacharow gegründeten Menschenrechtsorganisation, als Gulag-Museum restauriert, um die Russen an ihre totalitäre Vergangenheit zu erinnern.

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