National Geographic : 1990 Mar
Photographs by PIERRE PERRIN SYGMA AWASTELAND of desola tion. A tangled mass of barbed wire, wire net ting, and scrap metal. A ten foot-high fence of faded wood. Nervy-looking soldiers, leather booted officers, and police dogs. This is Perm 35, tucked in the Ural Mountains some 800 miles east of Moscow. For a full day in July, from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., our team of French journalists was the first to photograph what is said to be the last Soviet labor camp for political prisoners. There were 38 then; some have since been freed. Glasnost. Beyond a door pierced by a spy hole (above), beyond other doors and iron bars, we came upon a room devoid of sunlight. When we entered, Ruslan Keten chiev, far left, and Aleksandr Goldovich declared, "You can not believe how you have human ized us with your visit, how deeply we are touched by your coming here."