What & Where: Mask of Sorrow

In the far eastern port town of Magadan, on Russia’s Pacific coast, lies a sculptural tribute to the victims of Stalin’s brutal regime. From the 1930s to ’50s Magadan was a major transit centre, where prisoners boarded barges to travel the ‘Road of Bones’ to the Gulag labour camps. There the inmates – often jailed for political dissent – were forced to mine for gold … Continue reading What & Where: Mask of Sorrow

What & Where: Salaspils Memorial

What: Salaspils Memorial Ensemble Where: Salaspils, near Riga, Latvia Just 18km south of the Latvian capital of Riga lies the ancient town of Salaspils. After the Nazi invasion of the country in 1941, the town gained notoriety as the location of Stalag-350-s, a camp housing Soviet prisoners of war, and the largest civilian German concentration camp in the Baltic states. On 31 October 1967 a memorial … Continue reading What & Where: Salaspils Memorial

A Soviet Art Face-Off

60 years ago this month Nikita Khrushchev took over as leader of the Soviet Union. Stalin’s death on 5 March 1953 had unleashed a fierce power struggle amongst his deputies in the Politburo. The coup d’état that brought Khrushchev to power was at the expense of his main rival, Lavrentiy Beria, who was executed for treason in December. Khrushchev’s fighting spirit would lead him into … Continue reading A Soviet Art Face-Off