The list of prisoners of the Perm-36 camp numbered 514 people, eight of whom served a sentence at this camp twice on different charges, so the total number of prisoners in this camp came to 522 people for the entire period of its operation from 13 July 1972 to 28 December 1987. 985 people in total served sentences at all three Perm political camps, ten of them twice. In these camps, as was also the practice previously in the Mordovian camps, prisoners were often moved from one camp to another, and then to a third, or returned to the original one. This could be done several times, so the same prisoners can be found on the lists of several camps. This makes it difficult to analyze the list of prisoners for each camp separately.
What were these people imprisoned for? In all three Perm camps, 370 prisoners (eight of them twice) were sentenced on charges of anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda, sometimes on other charges, but anti-Soviet agitation was the main charge that determined the measure of punishment.
216 prisoners were sentenced on charges of nationalism – they were usually accused of treason and anti-Soviet activity or participation in an anti-Soviet organization. Some sentences included participation in carrying out acts of terrorism or anti-Soviet agitation, but the main charge determining the measure of punishment was treason. They were all anti-Soviet to a greater extent than members of the first group, as they were sentenced on charges of carrying out an active struggle against the Soviet regime, or having the intention to do so.
The majority of them – 180 prisoners – came with the first convoy from Mordovia, and for the remaining 20 years that the Perm political camps operated, only 36 prisoners joined them, the majority of them also transferred from Mordovia, who were not included in the first Mordovian convoy.
Treason was also the main charge for prisoners sentenced for attempts to flee, or who had fled but then returned or been forcibly returned. To 25 of these prisoners in the first convoy, another 58 newly sentenced prisoners were added. Ten of them were also charged with anti-Soviet agitation, but of course all of them were anti-Soviet. Fleeing the USSR was their method of struggle.
The 49 collaborators sent in 1972 from the Mordovian political camps to the Perm camps had another 87 people added to them during the years of the camps’ operation. Collaborators began to be found and charged immediately after the occupied territories were liberated. At the same time, after the end of the war, those found responsible for murder and torture were executed – they were hanged or shot, and so-called “accomplices”, who sometimes even included the cleaners and stable keepers of occupied institutions, were given lengthy prison sentences.
The amnesty of 1955 freed the vast majority of collaborators. Only “punishers” were left in prison, sentenced “for murder and torture of Soviet citizens” and who had avoided execution since it was abolished in 1947. The amnesty also left “murder and torture” as the only grounds for sentencing collaborators on criminal charges. Courts deemed that all collaborators sentenced after 1955 were punishers. There is a large amount of evidence that many charges against village police officers were invented, who did not take part in any punitive acts and confessed to crimes under threat of execution.
Collaborators played a special role in the political camps. They were almost all allies of camp administrations in the battle with political prisoners. Almost all of them were informants. They broke down the solidarity of political prisoners through rumors, gossip and informing, violated their rights, tormented them and sometimes even brutally beat them.
46 prisoners were sentenced on charges of treason or revealing state or military secrets, 28 on other articles from the section of particularly dangerous crimes against the state: from individual acts of terrorism and diversions to “counter-revolutionary sabotage”. Specific charges against the remaining prisoners have not yet been established.
Details on the case of each prisoner of the Perm political camps can be found in the Database of our museum.