Dog kennels (Barabanikha labour camp)

Guard dogs were an essential element of patrols at Gulag camps. Their pens were located outside the fenced area of camps. Ten wooden kennels have been preserved here at the Barabanikha camp.

Watch Imrich Gablech’s whole story

Guard dogs were used to keep prisoners in line, for instance on foot transports of large groups. Vasily Basovsky remembers them thus: “They specially trained the camp guard dogs against us. They couldn’t be released on people – they’d have torn them to shreds. They were savage beasts. Later, when camps were shut down and abandoned, they shot them all.”

The dogs were also deployed during attempted escapes and manhunts for prisoners that got out: “I witnessed escape cases, but some of them came back themselves. There was nowhere to escape to. There was nothing but swamps and mosquitoes all around. On occasion escapes were punished severely – they’d catch a prisoner, strip him and tie him up naked until he was bitten to death by mosquitoes and flies. It took two to three hours,” Basovsky recalls.


Chains and bowls have been preserved at some dog kennels. This bowl is of the same type normally used by prisoners during meals.


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