“Baltic Memory of the Gulag” Receives 2019 Baumanis Award

Jul 8, 2019

The AABS Board is pleased to announce that Stepan Cernousek of the Gulag.cz Association has been awarded the 2019 Baumanis Grant for Creative Projects. His project, “Baltic Memory of the Gulag,” aims to create an online virtual museum dedicated to the Baltic experience of the Gulag.

The goal of the project is to add a special Baltic section to the already existing Gulag.Online virtual museum. This virtual museum is a unique tool that introduces the history of the Soviet repressions to a broader public – it includes and combines results of expeditions to abandoned Gulag camps, 3D models and panoramic pictures of camps and prisoners’ items, interactive maps for all the main Gulag administrations, and stories of people who went through the Soviet repressions. Right now, the virtual museum includes testimonies and stories of Czechs, Slovaks, Polish, and Hungarians. Adding a Baltic section to the exhibit will extend the scope of the virtual museum and expose visitors from all around the world to the topic of Baltic history during the Soviet period.

Stepan Cernousek, author of the project, “Baltic Memory of the Gulag”

The Baltic section of the virtual museum will consist of three parts – Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian. Each part will feature stories of three people who were victims of the Soviet deportations in 1941 or 1949. These stories will be chosen to cover all the main types of Soviet repressions (e.g., deportations, executions, the Gulag, etc.). The stories will be showcased through a story map, which is a creative tool showing the personal story on an interactive map. Every story will be accompanied by archival documents, photographs, and a recorded testimony (if available). The stories will also be connected with 3D models of personal items or Gulag artifacts.

The Soviet occupation and deportations of people from the three Baltic states are important and determining moments in the histories of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. This project helps to put these histories into a broader context. The Baltic section of the Gulag.Online museum will compare the Baltic experiences of Soviet repression and will also place them into the context of other Central and Eastern European countries. The project will help to show that Soviet repressions were not only a chapter in the history of one country but that it was a human tragedy of a worldwide scope that affected almost all European nations.

The project aims to conclude in 2020.

AABS received 16 strong applications for the 2019 Baumanis Grant for Creative Projects and wishes to thank all who applied. We also wish Stepan Cernousek success for his project and look forward to its completion.