Gulag Report


Camps in the area of Magadan

Magadan Berlag

A Ukrainian witness from Gribenko was transferred from Vanino Bay to Magadan Berlag in 1950, where he remained until his release in 1960. The witness stated that in the summer of 1954 a large group of foreign prisoners, perhaps as many as 2000, were brought to Magadan prison. This group included three Americans. When asked how he knew they were Americans, he replied that it was common knowledge, and everyone knew it. The Americans were in regular prison garb, but upon arrival at the Berlag were ordered to remove their prison numbers from, their shirts and hats. While working as a medic in the camp, he was asked to examine one of the Americans for tropical skin ulcers. Due to the color of the man's skin and the thickness of his lips, the witness thinks this American was a Mulatto. When asked if he had ta < with the individual, the witness stated that he had not because it was strictly forbidden. He went on to say that the three prisoners were young, all had brown hair, and all appeared to be in good health.

Mokhoplit Village

On 29 March, an interview was conducted with a Russian living in Yekaterinburg, who spent from 1952-1970 in various Gulags to include Kolomna, lndigirka, and Chukhotka. He claimed to have seen an American citizen in 1956/57 in the Magadan Oblast, at Mokhoplit village, in the Tentiskiy gold mine region. This US citizen, Azat Tigranovich Petrosian, born in Armenia in the 1920s, and somehow wound up in a Nazi POW camp that was liberated by the Soviets. The Soviets refused to repatriate him, and sent him to the Gulag. The source did not know Petrosian's eventual fate.

Myaundzna (near Susuman)

On 12 August 1996, a witness living in Moscow delivered a written response to the Radio Liberty program, 'Americans in the Gulag,' being played on Radio Liberty/Voice of America. She had worked at the Directorate of the PTU (Professional Technical Academy) Energostroy for the electricity generating station in Myaundzna, Magadan Oblast, from 1955-63, then in Magadan until 1965, when she moved to Moscow. The witness's letter, told of a Rudolf Martinovich Benush (1 917-1995) who allegedly served as a U.S.. Army Captain during the Nuremberg Trials. The witness worked with Benush, who was referred to as the American spy, "either in derision, or in reference to the article under which he was convicted' (Article 58), when he was a 'trustee' .Prisoner in the Myaundzha camp in Magadan Oblast near Susuman in 1955, until his release in 1956. The camp had 3,000 prisoners, mostly Baltic and Ukrainian nationalists. Benush spent the majority of his remaining years in Magadan.

unidentified hospital

A Japanese witness saw and spoke for about 20 minutes with an American in room #2, first hospital medical section, at a hospital in Magadan. A hospital attendant named Nikolai told him the American was a captain who had crashed in the vicinity of Kamchaatka.

During the conversation, the American stated l cannot accept the sentence of being a spy. The sentence of I 5 years based on item 6 of artial 58 is unjust,' or words to that effect. He appeared to be about 28 years old, with blond hair and blue eyes.