Museum exhibit /Greetings card
Self-made greetings-card. 1948. Camp Section No.2, VorkutLag (Komi ASSR). It was made by Vladimir Vlasovich Ignatov (1918-?), a political prisoner, as a present for Elena Vladimirovna Markova (née Ivanova, born 1923). On the back there is a poem by V.V. Ignatov. In May, 1943, the latter was sentenced to 10 years corrective labour. He served his sentence in VorkutLag. E.V. Markova was sentences in May, 1944, to 15 years’ hard labour. From 1944 to 1955 she served her sentence in VorkutLag. From 1947 to 1949 they were both in Camp Section No.2, working in the mines. E.V. Markova sent the cards she had received from her friends in the camps, to her mother, V.M. Koribut-Dashkevich in letters that she wrote to her. When E.M. Markova returned from Vorkuta to Moscow in 1960, the cards were kept in the family collection. In 2007, E.M. Markova gave 24 self-made cards that she had received in the camps to the A. Sakharov Museum and Social Centre. 
Creator of collectionE.V. Markova (née Ivanova)
Date of acquisition2007
Date and place of creation1948, Camp Section No.2, VorkutLag (Komi ASSR)
Size10,3 х 14,8 cm
Description of exhibitA sheet of thick paper in postcard format. The drawing is done horizontally and is in water-colours. In the centre there is a village scene in winter surrounded by a circle. Under the drawing is an inscription: "S Novym godom!" [“Happy New Year!”], done in colours. On the back is the text of a poem written in black ink: "1949-i/ Gde-to tam, gde zhizn' v svoikh pravakh / Kruzhitsia iunost' novogodnei elki - / V Moskve v Krymu i na Kuril'skikh ostrovakh / I na dalekikh severnykh zimovkah/ Mogu li ia na zhizn' svoiu roptat' / Mne darit zhizn' bogatye podarki / I vprave ia po-svoemu vstrechat' / Moi Novyi god na Zapoliar;i / Moia Zvezda gorit sredi ognei / Na nashem bednom karnavale / I ia kruzhus' vkrug elochki svoei / I p'ian, khotia mne ne nalivali". [“1949/Somewhere there, where life is, and has every right to be,/ the youth of a New Year Tree whirls around - / In Moscow, the Crimea and the distant Kurile Islands, / and in distant Northern winter camps. / Can I grumble at my life / which gives me so many generous presents / And have I the right to see in /my New Year in the Polar Regions. / My Star shines amongst the fires (that burn) for our impoverished carnival/ And I whirl around my New Year tree/ I am drunk, although I have no drink."]
State of preservationThe paper has become dark and the edges torn. The are a number of grease-stains on the card and the bottom left-hand corner has been torn off.
Detailed annotationHome-made New Year’s card. 1948. Camp Section No.2 of the VorkutLag
(Komi ASSR). It was made by Vladimir Vlasovich Ignatov (1918-?), a political prisoner as a present for his fellow camp inmate, Elena Vladimirovna Markova (née Ivanova; born 1923). On the back of the card there is a poem by V.V. Ignatov, dedicated to the imminent year 1949. On 06.05.1943, V.V. Ignatov was sentenced according to article 58-1b (“High treason by a serviceman”) to 10 years in a Corrective Labour Camp. He served his sentence in VorkutLag. In May, 1944, E.V. Markova was sentenced to 15 years’ hard labour. From 1944-1950 she served her time in VorkutLag. Ye.V. Markova was employed in general work in the mine. V.V. Ignatov worked alongside her. The both wrote poetry. E.V. Markova organized an illegal literature group, to which she invited the camp poet “Vovich” (that is the name she gave to V.V. Ignatov).
In her memoir, "Zhili-byli v XX veke" [“Once Upon a Time in the 20th Century”], E.V. Markova tells how they used to exchange letters which included their poetry: “The poems were sent (or carried by hand) from the Men’s Zone to the Women’s Zone. I used to read them and I usually replied in verse (my verses from this period were lost, since Vovich was far more careful than me and immediately burned them); and then the verses were often given to civilians <...> and were then taken out of the Zone and sent to my mother’s address”.
E.V. Markova was released in November 1953. After she returned from Vorkuta to Moscow in 1960, the cards were kept in the family archive. At the beginning of the 1990s, E.V. Markova gave about 40 poems composed in the camp by V.V. Ignatov to the Vorkuta Inter-regional Local History Museum and to the Museum "Tvorchestvo i byt Gulaga" [“Creativity and Everyday Life in the Gulag”, which is part of the International “Memorial” Society. In 2007 she gave 24 camp-made cards to the A. Sakharov Museum and Social Centre.
PersonsIgnatov Vladimir Vlasovich, Made the card; author of the poem
PersonsMarkova (nee Ivanova) Elena Vladimirovna, addressee, owner, creator of the collection
Web page?Yes
Museum exhibit /Greetings card