O mnie

Jestem jak droga polna, niczyja,  którą się mija,

Co nigdzie wiodła i wieść nie będzie, choć idzie wszędzie.

Dzieli mnie zawsze, tak jak tę drogę,
miedza od nieba,
a poco jestem pojąć nie mogę, bo mnie nie trzeba!

Nie byłem nigdy sobie, czy komu,
drogą do domu –
i dobrze życzę każdej godzinie
kiedy już minie.

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Ryszard Antolak



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The Soviet GULAG. Illustrated

Danzig Sergeyevitch Baldaev, a Soviet KGB officer who worked in the Siberian GULAG system secretly made a series of 200 drawings , outlining scenes he had witnessed during his term of office. The GULAG system was in operation until the 1980s when Gorbachev finally closed them down.

The drawings are uncomfortable and shocking. Yet also a reminder of the horrors of Stalinist Russia, lest we forget.

Conditions in the Soviet GULAG were worse than in Hitler’s camps, according to those inmates who had been in both.

When prisoners died, their bodies were dropped through holes in the ice. With the coming of spring the ice on the river melted and swept the corpses into the Arctic Ocean.


Prisoners had to live on a bowl of thin soup and 300 grams of bread a day.


The women’s barracks were searched every single night. Women were ordered to strip and guards would search for knives and drugs.


Prisoners were punished if they resisted orders, refused to work or attacked guards. Dogs were set on prisoners who disobeyed.


In the Kolyma camps in North-eastern Siberia, holes were punched into the skulls of dead prisoners before they could be buried.


Millions of women, so-called rich peasants or “kulaks” died through starvation, slave labour and illness.


All new female prisoners were required to undergo a medical examination. They were made to stand naked in front of a panel of officers. Each was examined and assigned a job in the camp. Officers selected “lover slaves” who were given domestic instead of hard labour.


Corpses of dead prisoners were placed in mass graves. These were pits blasted out of the permafrost with dynamite. Their bodies were covered in ammonia and bulldozed over.


Drawings from the Gulag By Danzig Baldaev 
© FUEL Publishing (2010) ISBN: 978-0956356246
 (© Danzig Baldaev / FUEL Publishing)

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