German look at the "Russian sights"

Article G. Pertsgena "Russian attractions"

August 6, 1937

Translation from German

Moscow, August 4

The program of travels and reviews of the Soviet-Russian travel bureau for foreigners - Intourist was enriched with a new number: in the middle of July the Moscow-Volga channel opened. This creates new opportunities for still insufficient water supply and to this day the not fully canalized Soviet-Russian capital. “Moscow drinks water from the Volga,” Soviet newspapers write. But it is precisely this circumstance that requires the canal to be protected from excessive blockages brought in by barges and steamers. A special fleet is required to provide transportation for 128 kilometers between the Volga and the Moscow River. Such a flotilla exists only partially, so it is difficult to say what the true transport and technical significance of the new waterway would be, which Peter the Great once thought about.

All those who were involved in the now completed construction were blessed with orders. This includes not only engineers and architects, first and foremost the names of people who, in all likelihood, have no idea about how to solve an extremely complex hydraulic problem are mentioned.

For example, the Deputy Commissioner of the Interior Berman was awarded the Order of the Red Star (because he has an even higher award - the Order of Lenin). Berman is the leader. At the same time 400 servants and functionaries of the GPU were awarded. It is necessary to think that the deputy commissioner of internal affairs is considered the head of the construction of the Moscow-Volga canal.

After he completed the construction of the White Sea-Baltic Canal in 1933, using about 500,000 people, mostly political prisoners, he was assigned to establish a connection between the Volga and the Moscow River, using the same unpaid workforce.

To this day, it is still possible to see on the green banks of the canal the camps for those arrested with barbed wire and guard patrols, in front of whom the guards of the GPU in blue hats walk, with bayonets attached.

For a long time, Intourist travelers will encounter pictures here, from which their hearts begin to ache. It is impossible not to draw attention to the detainees arrested under the watchful guard. But no one knows how many people were left without a reward for the reason that they had to lay down their heads here.


Translated: o [perativny] / translator section [ate] 2-Е [2 Main Directorate of the MGB of the USSR] PAKOVICH

Published: Secrets of the Third Reich diplomacy. 1944−1955. M .: International Foundation "Democracy", 2011. Pp. 404−405.

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