... or the StB chief investigator who spoke.
Biography of the fighter pilot, air ace and third commander of the Czechoslovak wing.
"... From there, from the gold mine, comes a procession of human ghosts. These people were forced to work hard, almost like animals. But the animals would rebel or die. These would survive. They turned into skeletons. No one will understand how they could survive? skins and bones, without exaggeration. These former people, physically absolutely destroyed, are no longer useful in the gold mine. Their productivity is zero ... ... that's why they are destined for road maintenance ... "
We went to the old-fashioned railway station in a column under the escort, gripped on both sides by a cordon of militia, soldiers and internal security in three rows, followed by wolfhounds. A long transport was sent, guarded by armed guards. I saw telephone wires running over the wagons, connecting the stations in two or three cars.
The first winter was the worst. We were not used to such frosts at all, nor were we ready. In addition, we were constantly exhausted and hungry. It was the worst then. Ten to twelve people died every day. And we never found out what happened to them. Heart failure from frost? Gallbladder failure, liver from bad food? Poison? Stroke? ... The man was sitting, suddenly falling over and it was over. Or he just didn't wake up in the morning. Did he fall right at the meal ...
In the winter of 1942, they announced that the Czechoslovaks would be released. We were able to enlist in the Czechoslovak unit forming in Buzuluk. But they also offered us Soviet citizenship so that we could stay in Kolyma as free people or join the Red Army. Of course, everyone went to our army without exception.
This land once belonged to the Yukagirs, Yakuts, Even and their reindeer. The gold-bearing Kolyma that someone cursed. More than the snow-capped peaks of the majestic mountains, the clear water of the Kolyma rivers and the magical beauty of the taiga, the world knows the fates of the people who experienced hell on earth in Kolyma. It is a godforsaken end of the world, where there is no distance for a hundred kilometers and a week's delay means nothing at all. Cursed Kolyma, the golden heart of Russia ...