The cemetery of the Belbaltlag infirmary is located on the east bank of the White Sea canal, 5 kms southeast of the 8th lock settlement. Prisoners who built the canal in 1931-1933 lie buried here. Their exact number is unknown.
The cemetery was discovered in August 2003 by researcher Yury Dmitriev from Petrozavodsk. From 5 June until 27 September 2004, he directed a group of volunteers who determined the boundaries of the cemetery and worked to tidy and clear it. More than 800 graves were discovered. Sixteen were opened and wooden Orthodox crosses were placed over them. Approximately 6 hectares of woodland were cleared, three bridges were laid across the stream, two clearings were prepared for the installation of monuments and confessional memorials, two commemorative plaques and iron crosses (Catholic and Orthodox) were prepared.
A path to the cemetery was cut and cleared. 220 metres of the approach road from the old Gabselgsky postal road were cleared of bushes and stones.
Information, where it exists, about the identity and fate of Belbaltlag’s inmates is to be found in Books of Remembrance for the regions from which they came. A quick way to find any recorded links is to consult Memorial’s “Victims of Political Terror” database with its 3 million entries, or that of the “Open List”. Both may be accessed and searched online.
|Nature of ceremonies
|Organiser or responsible person
Commemorative masses, Excursions
From time to time
|State of burials
Subsidence over burials. More than 800 graves discovered
Approximately 9.8 hectares
A. Ukkone, “Each one cries, ‘Remember me also!’” Izvestiya, 18 September 2003
“Defining the boundary of the infirmary burials in the woods near the 8th lock of the White Sea Canal, preparing approach roads and tidying the graveyard”, Their Names Restored website