Novospasskii Concentration Camp

Address: Moscow, Krestianskaya Square 10

From April 1919 until 1923, the Novospasskii Monastery functioned as a concentration camp.

Novospasskii Concentration Camp, Moscow

Novospasskii Concentration Camp in Moscow. Photo:

Novospasskii is a typical example of a concentration camp that was organized on the grounds of a monastery and exploited preexisting administrative and economic facilities. Numerous workshops were organized within the monastery, including sewing, laundry, carpentry, painting, pargeting, filing, and handicraft workshops. Also, various cultural and educational projects, such as a choir, were established.

The number of prisoners who lived permanently in the camp ranged from 300-400 people. In addition to political prisoners, many foreign citizens were imprisoned there. They were either prisoners of war or employees of foreign companies who had not managed to flee the country after the revolution.

The monastic brotherhood “In the Name of the Transfiguration of the Lord” continued its mission alongside the concentration camp. Monks played an important role in protecting the cultural values of the monastery. In 1921, comrade Kalinin received several letters with requests to dismantle the concentration camp.

It remains unclear what role the monastic community played in its demise, but the concentration camp was soon abolished. In the second half of the 1920s, the Novospasskii Ispravdom, a corrective labor home for women, was transferred there.