Solidarité Ukraine
INED Éditions. Sound Archives, European Memories of the Gulag

Three resettler villages.
First day in the resettler village

“Then we set off with horses from the narrow-gauge railway to the village. The village was about half a kilometre, a kilometre away. We each carried our own stuff. They took us to a house built the way they are in Siberia, of logs, typical as we later saw. It was divided into four rooms, a corridor and four small rooms. They put five families of us in that house. The first night, we could not lie down or stretch out, there were only the walls and nothing else. The house only had plank partitions to separate it a bit. We lay down as best we could on our bags and got attacked by the bed-bugs. When the bugs attacked we got up and saw they were everywhere on our arms, they were biting everywhere and we did not know where to put ourselves. Everyone was hungry after the journey and no one had had a hot meal. The next morning we all placed stones outside and those who had saucepans or buckets began to cook something to eat, something hot. Those who had something; there was no shop. The first night, when we got into the house, we barricaded the front door.

We thought, you never know, there were strangers around; the local people carried knives because they had been told we were bandits. We shut ourselves in, barricaded on the inside so the local people would not get into the house where we were spending the night. That’s how we moved in.”