News Release

Published on Friday, February 20, 2009

A piece of Russian history and political repression is coming to the La Crosse area in March when Western Technical College hosts the “Gulag – History of a Camp” exhibit presented by the Midwest Institute and Gulag Museum at Perm-36.

The exhibit, which is sponsored by Western’s Diversity Taskforce, will be on display March 5-25 in the college’s library, second floor of the Academic Resource Center, 400 7th St. N., La Crosse. An opening presentation and reception will be held Thursday, March 5, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Library.

Admission to the exhibit and the reception is free and open to the public. Library hours are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Friday from 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; and Saturday from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

The Gulag Museum at Perm-36 preserves, documents, and interprets a Gulag camp built under Joseph Stalin in 1946 near the city of Perm in Russia. Known as Perm-36, the camp served initially as a regular timber production labor camp built under the leadership of Joseph Stalin. Later, the camp became a particularly isolated and severe facility for high government officials. In 1972, it served as the primary facility in the country for persons charged with political crimes. Many of the Soviet Union’s prominent dissidents, including Vladimir Bukovsky, Sergei Kovalev and Anatoly Marchenko, served their sentences there. This camp remained open until 1987, when President Mikhail Gorbachev declared it closed as part of Glasnost, making it the last of over 12,000 labor camps to close its doors.

For information about additional programs and services at Western, call 608.785.9200 or visit the Web site at