Friday, June 22, 2018

McCabe visits Perm for White Nights Festival

Christopher McCabe, the consul for Political and Economic Affairs for the United States, visited the Sverdlovsk city of Perm from June 11 to June 13 to celebrate the city's White Nights Festival.

McCabe was on hand for Perm's City Day, which involved a parade down Lenin St. with city officials, including Mayor Igor Sapko.

McCabe and the citizens of Perm then gathered at a reception following the festival.

The consul spoke on working relations between the U.S. Consulate, Perm and Perm's sister city, Louisville, Kentucky. McCabe complimented Perm on how it has been able to maintain its unique historic architecture. He said that the city's newer buildings fit quite well with the more historic structures, creating an atmosphere he labeled as special.

On June 11, McCabe visited the last Russian Gulag, Perm 36, part of a prison system run by Joseph Stalin that held more than 18 million prisoners between 1920 and 1987. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the late author who spent 20 years in exile after exposing Stalin's prison systems, estimated the number of prisoners in the system was closer to 50 million. Forced labor camps in the system were used to build Soviet infrastructure, including canals and railroads.

Perm 36 was used mostly to imprison political dissidents. The building was closed in 1987 and is the only preserved Gulag.