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Something Horrid Happened To Soviet People In 1933, And We Didn't Know Until 2002

NOVEMBER 12, 2015  —  By Tim Unkenholz  
Tim Unkenholz

Tim Unkenholz

Writer and stand up comedian in NY. Check out my monthly comedy show Roomie Raiders at the Creek and The Cave! @timunken

Although they were our trusted allies during World War II, we shouldn't forget the punishment that the Soviet Union inflicted on its own people back in the day. One atrocity stands above the rest as an unforgivable experiment in human suffering. It's known as the Nazino Affair.

In 1933, Stalin allowed the deportation of 6,000 of his people to an obscure island in Western Siberia (now known as "Cannibal Island") with no food or supplies. Four thousand of the prisoners died there, and the few who survived only did so by resorting to cannibalism.

Seven years before World War II, Stalin's Joint State Political Directorate came up with a plan that would remove thousands of "undesired" individuals from Russian cities and drop them into the Siberian tundra.

Many of these people were poor, homeless, and handicapped. Basically, anyone who Stalin deemed unfit when it came to creating the image of a model country was cast out.

The point of the mission was for them to "colonize" the previously uninhabited expanses of the country's territory, but there was a reason why no one lived in these frozen hellscapes in the first place.

Originally, six thousand people were forced to float down the river to Nazino Island. By the time they reached their distination, 27 people had already died from starvation.

They were only given moldy bread as sustenance.

The first night they arrived, 300 prisoners died in a snowstorm. They were only provided with one pile of moldy flour, and when a huge fight broke out, guards fired into the crowd.

The guards were a miserable lot themselves.

It didn't take long for the hungry prisoners to begin feeding off the bodies of the fallen. Some even actively hunted sick, wounded people. When they killed them, they often consumed their flesh raw.

Many tried to escape the island on makeshift rafts, but there was nothing downstream except for more miserable wastelands. Most either drowned or froze to death.

Sometimes, people made rafts to lure weaker individuals toward them. When they got close enough, the stronger parties killed them for food.

Amazingly, the Soviet Union decided to send 1,200 more people to Nazino. It is said that the newcomers were ripped from their boats and eaten by hordes of cannibals as soon they arrived.

Around 4,000 of the original 6,000 prisoners died on Nazino Island. The Communists buried any documentation of the event and killed those who attempted to speak about it. The Soviet report on what happened in this frozen wasteland didn't get published until 2002.