Ivanovskii Concentration Camp

Address: Moscow, 2 Ivanovskii Lane

The Ivanovskii Monastery was closed in 1918 and from 1919 the Ivanovskii Concentration Camp (Ivanovskii Ispravdom Solyanka) began functioning on its territory. According to the sources, the Ivanovskii Concentration Camp could hold up to 400 prisoners at a time in the 1920s.

Former Ivanovskii Concentration Camp. Photo: Memorial Society Photo Archive

Former Ivanovskii Concentration Camp. Photo: Memorial Society Photo Archive

The Ivanovskii Concentration Camp was administered by the NKVD's Main Directorate of Forced Labor. Prisoners worked in tailoring, shoemaking, and carpentry workshops and produced drawers. They also worked in a bindery and printing house, which the concentration camp had evidently inherited from the monastery. According to reports, treatment of the prisoners was “close to abuse.”

After 1923, the Ivanovskii Concentration Camp changed its name to Moscow Ispravdom (“Corrective Labor Home”). In 1925, a factory labor colony with a corrective labor home was opened there. Among the inmates were also prisoners of war, the majority of whom were Poles, but there were also Lithuanians, Brits, Serbs, Greeks, and Hungarians. The Cathedral of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist and the Elizabethan Church continued their services until 1926.

In 1926, the last remaining nuns were evicted and the Moscow (Ivanovskii) Ispravdom was transformed into EKSPOGI (Eksperimentalno-penitentsiarnoye otdeleniye Gosudarstvennogo instituta po izucheniyu prestupnika i prestupnosti)–the Experimental Penitentiary Department of the State Institute for the Study of Crime and Criminals.

Prisoners were sent to EKSPOGI for educational purposes. Employees of the institute conducted special interrogations and inquiries with prisoners. These measures were supposed to help develop prisons' cultural and educational programs, identify the reasons for criminal behavior, and establish the principles of forced labor.

Map of the Ivanovskii Concentration Camp. Photo: Memorial Society Photo Archive

Map of the Ivanovskii Concentration Camp. Photo: Memorial Society Photo Archive

Some of the monastery's buildings have not been returned to the Russian Orthodox Church and remain the property of the Interior Ministry.