Gulag Report


Camps in the area of Komi


A Ukrainian witness in Topol-3 near Dneprpetrovsk stated that he was interned in Inta Camp #6 from 1 949 through 1955. During that time, the camp held many foreigners of various nationalities. In 1952, a man who claimed to be an American, referred to as Leonid Teryashchenko (a pseudonym) was transferred to Inta. Teryashenko's real name was never disclosed. His prisoner number had an additional slash and digit following the usual letter and three-digit sequence of the other prisoners. The witness frequently talked to Teryashchenko, who told the witness that he was imprisoned for political reasons. The witness described Teryashchenko as an athletic man, approximately 30-33 years old, with a large frame who had been a boxer. According to the witness, Teryashchenko, to avoid further torture, committed suicide sometime in late 1953 or early 1954. Teryashchenko overpowered one of the guards, took his weapon, and shot himself in, the mouth. He was buried in a common grave in the camp (exact location unknown).


A Polish witness recalled meeting two Americans in Camp #3 in Inta in 1954. They worked in his brigade, which was led by Wladyslaw Szyszko. He related that while they were building a bridge one of the Americans jumped into the Kosju river and drowned. A Russian witness claimed that from 1956 until 1975, the KGB maintained a facility on the shore of the river lnta. In 1965, people were brought to lnta from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, where they were imprisoned and killed, and their records burned in the boiler room in the eastern suburb on Shakhtnaya Street. More than 1000 people ended up in lnta prison, both American soldiers and officers. The witness claims that this information can be confirmed by Petr Ivanovich Kuznetsov, who worked as a driver for the MVD for twenty years. (He lives on Mir Street in Inta.)


A Polish witness reported two Americans in a camp in 1949-1950.

Inta Minlag

A Russian witness indicated that she had spent four years in the Inta "Minlag" camp complex (1952-1956). During that time, she heard reports of two American flyers in the Inta camp complex in the early 1950s, although she did not see them herself. Some of the women who worked in the central hospital there said that there warp, a lot of foreigners in the camp, including two American pilots. According to these reports, the two men had either been shot down or forced down over Germany after having strayed over Soviet-occupied territory. One of the two was white,, while the other had black skin (chernokozhiy). The witness said that these women told her that they had been imprisoned since 1946.


A Lithuanian witness claimed to have met an American major or colonel on February 15-16, 1950, The American, who had been captured in the Ukraine during WWII, was seen on two occasions before being sent into exile.

Pechora Koschwa

A German POW reportedly had direct contact with an U.S. Air Force captain (5'11 ", 23 yrs old, reddish hair) until 5 Jan 50. The American was supposed, sentenced to 10 yrs for his part in an altercation in a Moscow restaurant at the end of WWII. The American spoke broken German.


A witness met and spoke with a group of eleven American prisoners in December 1946, at Vorkuta. Ail were flyers, one was black, and they included both officers and enlisted men. They were kept in a small barracks separate from the rest of the camp and surrounded by barbed wire. The witness claims these may have been part of a group of American pilots coerced into staying in the Soviet Union after WWII, These pilots had regularly flown missions against Nazi targets, and had used airfields in the Soviet Union.

Repatriated American John Noble reported that shortly after his arrival at Camp #3 he had spoken with a Yugoslavian national who told him that several months before, an American Navy Reconnaissance plane had been downed by the Soviets over the Baltic Sea and that eight of the ten crew members had survived. The survivors were being held in the Vorkuta area. However, they were told the official Soviet statement declaring them dead had been accepted by the United States government. This effectively doomed their chances of ever returning to America. Noble was never able to identify the survivors by name. However, he. heard repeatedly from other inmates who were transferred from one camp to another that Americans were held in the same camps from which the transferees had come.

A German witness reported meeting U.S. Air Force member Bob (last name unknown), in July 1951. Bob had been stationed in Berlin as a U.S. Air Force bombardier. While visiting his girlfriend in the Soviet sector in I or 1949, he was arrested and sent to Vorkuta. He previously lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and spoke only English. Bob was 30-35 years old, 5'8', and had dark hair.

A source who had been imprisoned in Vorkuta reported meeting an American with the last name "Cox,' whose physical description matched that of a West Point cadet named Richard Alvin Cox, who mysteriously disappeared from the U.S. Military Academy on, 14 January 1950.

A Lithuanian witness in Vinius stated that while a prisoner in a camp in Vorkuta, he had met a U.S. WWII pilot named John who was also being held prisoner.

A woman from Kiev reported that during interviews she had conducted with witnesses from Soviet camps, some claimed to have seen American pilots shot down in Korea while imprisoned at Vorkuta and Berlag.

The son of a Soviet engineer stationed at Vorkuta stated that of the several thousand persons in in that camp complex, there were two black American soldiers, an American major, and several British citizens, as well as 'other Europeans.'

Vorkuta Camp #6

A German witness reported that he met a U.S. Major Schwartz from 1951 until 1952. Schwartz #6 had been stationed in Frankfurt, Germany, and was kidnaped by Soviet Security police in. Kassel. West Germany, in 1949. The American, last seen by the witness in 1952, spoke Russian and English.

Vorkuta Camp #9

An Austrian journalist imprisoned in various camps from 1948 until 1954, claimed to have observed a naturalized American. Colonel Brandenfels, in Vorkuta in 1951. (Brandenfels was reportedly the name he used before becoming an American citizen.) The American had been stationed in Berlin after WWII and was picked up in a bar in the Soviet zone.

Vorkuta Coal Mine #1

A Polish witness arrived at Vorkuta C Mine #1 in 1950. Other prisoners showed him an American colonel, who looked about 60 years old, was quite tall, broad shouldered, and was a pale man. He wore a quilted jacket and did not converse with other prisoners. After some time the colonel was summoned by the camp's administration, received his gold ring and watch back, and was lead out to Vorkuta.

Vorkuta Coal Mine #1

A Polish witness claimed to have met an American pilot in the summer of 1946. They couldn't understand each other but the witness was able to understand that the pilot "fell down" from a plane. He was tall (1 80 cm high), fine-figured, dark-skinned, and of oval face. He looked to be robust. The witness saw him in the camp only for a few days, and didn't know what became of the American.

Vorkuta Coal Mine #1

A Polish source who was at this camp in 1954 heard that an American colonel downed over East Mine #1 Germany (near Berlin) was among a group of prisoners brought that year.

Vorkuta Coal Mine #6

A Polish witness recalled that an American came to the camp in about June 1953. The other prisoners told the witness that the American was a pilot from a spy plane downed by the Soviets. The American was about 40 years old, over 1 80 cm high, of oval face, had a shaved head, and wore a quilted jacket (like everybody else). His Russian was very poor. The witness saw him while the Polish prisoners were being prepared for release.

Vorkuta Coal Mine #6

In 1954 this Polish witness came into contact with an American and had a short conversation with him. (in as much. as the source's poor English permitted the American couldn't speak Russian). The American stated that he was a colonel in the U.S. Army, captured in Vienna by Soviet agents. He looked about 40 years old, of medium height, 'thickset, with dark or auburn hair. The witness left the camp in 1953 and didn't know what happened to the American.

Vorkuta Coal Mine #7

A Polish witness reported that he met an American colonel, kidnaped in Berlin. The American recounted that he had been sent first to Moscow (Lubyanka prison). He was originally sentenced to death, but the sentence was somehow commuted to 25 years. He was sent to Vorkuta and worked in Coal Mine #7, where the source first met, him. The witness met a second time in prison in Taishet (between May and June l), while being moved from Taishet to Krasnoyarsk. The American told the witness that after the uprising in Coal Mine #7 in Vorkuta in 1953. He had been sentenced to death (because of his participation in the uprising) once again, but had - once again - had the sentenced commuted to 10 years in a camp somewhere in Irkutsk District. The American was of average height, had blond hair, and was about 45 years old.

Vorkuta Mine #9

A German witness met a U.S. Navy ensign named Sobeloff [Sobelev?], reportedly captured in China in 1948, when, Communist forces took control of the country. Sobeloff claimed to have been the captain of US vessel at the time of His capture. He was Russian, by birth, but a U.S. citizen. He was last seen at Mine #9 at Vorkuta in November 1955.

Coal Mine #11

A Polish witness was moved from Coal Mine #9-10 to Coal Mine #11 in Vorkuta. While at Coal Mine #11, he came into close contact with an American officer named Langier, who had been captured by the Soviets somewhere in Eastern Asia and sentenced for espionage. Langier worked at the baths. He spoke Polish a little, and claimed he had some Polish friends in the USA. The source believed Langier was from Alabama. He was tall, fair-haired and very friendly. Langier sometimes shared food with the source. He also helped him transfer backto Coal Mine #9-10 (Langier had a good relationship with camp doctor). When the witness was released in 1954, the camp at Coal Mine #11 didn't exist, and he supposed that Langier had been moved somewhere else earlier. [There are 39 servicemembers missing from WWII with the last name of Lang, Lange, or Langer.]

Vorkuta Coal Mine #16

A Polish witness remembered a young American (20-25 years old), thin, medium sized, from 1951 or 1952, who spoke Russian and worked at the baths. The witness believed he had been captured in Germany. The witness also heard rumors about an American plane downed over Latvia near the town of Limbava, and that the crew was imprisoned in one of the camps.

Vorkuta Coal Mine #40

A Polish witness recalled that in early September of 1951 or 1952 after some kind of Russian-American incident in Berlin a large number of Germans were brought to Vorkuta. They came mostly from Berlin (from East and West as well) and about 20 persons wound up in camp at Coal Mine #40. One German from this group was about 45 years old, a doctor and disabled soldier who had platinum plate implanted in his skull. He related that during a rail trip to Vorkuta he had met in the carriage an American major who had been captured in Berlin in the street near the East-West border. He believed there were a total of three Americans in this transport and that at a transfer point they were directed to other coal mines in Vorkuta.

Vorkuta Pit #40

Austrian witnesses reportedly met an American who immigrated to the U.S. as a child. Bizet was his adopted name. The Soviets referred to him by his birth name, Wasiljevski. He was supposedly taken prisoner by the Soviets in 1945 in Korea where he was serving with the U.S. Navy. The Soviets reportedly did not recognize him as a U.S. citizen.

Vorkuta Transit Camp #58

A former German POW claimed to have had direct contact with an Army or Air Force colonel (5'11 ", dark blond) during the week of 21-25 August 1949. The U.S. colonel spoke perfect German, claimed to have been dropped behind German lines during WWII for the purposes of espionage, and was captured in East Germany.

Vorkuta Distribution Camp #61

A former German POW reported direct contact with a U.S.major (5'9", blue-grey eyes, mustache, slim build) who claimed he had been kidnaped in 1945 while the Americans were still Camp at the Elbe River. He was sentenced by the Russians to 25 years for espionage. He wore an American uniform.