Danilovskii Shelter of the Moscow Criminal Investigation Department for combating juvenile delinquency and neglect

Address: 22 Danilovskii Val Street, Moscow

Danilovskii Monastery. Photo: danilovbells.ru

The Danilovskii monastery, founded in the 13th century, was the last Moscow monastery to close in 1930. On August 28, 1928, a children’s shelter for boys and girls was opened there.

Infants and children up to 3 years old were sent to the orphanage for babies, where they rarely survived. Despite the legal abolition of the concept of "imprisonment" for minors, a children's prison called Serpukhovka was placed in the Temple of the Holy Fathers.


The shelter was originally intended to be only a temporary residence for children before they were sent to orphanages, but in fact, children may have spent up to a whole year there. During 1931-1932, more than 5,000 children were sent to the Danilovskii shelter.


Together with hungry orphans, the so-called CHSIRs (children of the repressed) were sent to the Danilovskii shelter in the second half of the 1930s. CHSIR children could have been arrested on the streets, at home, in schools, or taken directly from their older brothers and sisters. Before the new acquisitions, the number of places for children in the shelter was increased to 1,000. In 1937, the Danilovskii shelter took up to 200 children per day.


It was like a prison for children. Profile photographs and fingerprints were made for each child, and regular searches (jail "shakedowns”) were held in the Danilovskii shelter. There was a rigid division between street children and children of the repressed ("political").

The Danilovskii shelter continued its work until 1986, and after that the monastery was returned to the Orthodox Church.

Беспризорники. Фото: архив Общества «Мемориал»

Беспризорники. Фото: архив Общества «Мемориал»

Bedrooms. Photo: Memorial” archive

Bedrooms. Photo: Memorial Society Archive



Муравник Л. Я.  Даниловские колокола


Сосновский В. Л. 16 лет ГУЛАГа

Сосновский В. Л. Фото: Виртуальный музей ГУЛАГа

Сосновский В. Л. Фото: Виртуальный музей ГУЛАГа

 Муравник Л. Я.  Даниловские колокола

Danilovskiy monastery. Photo: Sedmica.RU

Danilovskii Monastery. Photo: sedmica.ru

Муравник Л. Я. Даниловские колокола

 Children were driven from the Danilovskii shelter in such cars (“voronok”). Photo: anser4.livejournal.com
"Memorial": Moscow. Sites of imprisonment. Viktor Ioels on Danilovskiy Shelter
Dariya Durneva, Anna Margolis