Interview with former gynecologist in N-240 Ivdel 1959 Anna Petrovna Taranova on 9 August 2008


© NGO "INTERNET CENTER of the Dyatlov group tragedy", 2008. The text of the conversation between "Center for Civil Investigation of the Dyatlov Pass tragedy" (NAVIG, ALATAO), with former gynecologist at N-240 Ivdel in 1959 Anna Petrovna Taranova on 9 August 2008 about Dyatlov Pass case on 9 August 2008, Yekaterinburg
The text is based on a video of the conversation. Copyright for the sound recording and this text have: CENTER for civil investigation of Dyatlov Pass tragedy and Taranova A.P. The text is recorded and edited by NAVIG.

* Clicking on an image will bring up the original photo

ТАП: ....till year 62..
НАВИГ: Till year 62?
ТАП: In 62, Yosif Davydovich left. After the disarmament we were all certified doctors.
НАВИГ: Certified, does this mean a person liable for military service?
ТАП: And we were all militarily liable for up to 50 years, and then there were cuts and the straps were taken from our shoulder and he left.
НАВИГ: To Sverdlovsk?
ТАП: Yes, to Sverdlovsk and there worked to doctor of medical sciences, to professor. Unfortunately, he died. He was a very bright man...
НАВИГ: Yes, we know about that. In the letter she (Solter - ed. note) wrote about it. What year is this photo?

Dyatlov Pass: Yosif Davydovich Prudkov

  1. Pelageya Ivanovna Solter - nurse
  2. Yosif Davydovich Prudkov - surgeon

TAP: This? This is the clinic.
NAVIG: Civil or? Did you work in the clinic in the zone?
TAP: Same clinic. After I graduated from the institute, I was distributed there, since I wanted to be an obstetrician, in a women's unit, I wouldn't have come by myself to Ivdel. And there was a women's camp and a hospital where all women were sent, convicted girls. In each zone there were men and women behind barbed wire, but somehow managed to meet. And I worked in this maternity hospital, and then a year later I was transferred to the central hospital for civilians, officers, and their families, soldiers, employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. We had 5 departments, a hospital ...
NAVIG: Did you go to the zone?
TAP: I went to the zone the first year I worked ...
NAVIG: What year is that?
TAP: 49-50. And in 57 I went to Tashkent for specialization. Until 1957 she worked in the men's zone
NAVIG: And was there a morgue there?
TAP: This is a completely different colony than Ivdel.
NAVIG: I.e. not in Ivdel?
NAVIG: Was there an institute N-240, of some sort?
TAP: First it was Ivdellag. I came to Ivdellag, then N-240, then the US, then...
NAVIG: We are interested in N-240, since it is written in the reports that "in the quarters of N-240..."
TAP: Of course there was a morgue in the Zone, because there performed autopsies there. No civilian employee was allowed to enter the zone. We had our own morgue on the territory of the hospital, the buildings occupy a large area, mess room kitchen surgical department, therapy.
NAVIG: So what can you tell us about 1959 when Dyatlov group was brought from the pass?
TAP: There was a rumor that some students left without permission, somewhere something. But all this is a hearsay...
NAVIG: Without permission?
TAP: This is what they were saying.
NAVIG: But they had a route book...
TAP: Or they did not register in Ivdel
NAVIG: Yes. They did not register in Ivdel, were they supposed to?
TAP: But the people in Ivdel didn't know anything about such group...
NAVIG: But they met there with military personnel. They accepted them well. Maybe it was a military unit. I even have a photo. Yudin was saying...
TAP: And who is Yudin?
NAVIG: Yudin is the 10th student. He went with them to the 2nd North. He said that they knew them there, e.g. there is no official registration.
TAP: Well, there was a rumor that some students from Sverdlovsk were missing. Later
NAVIG: This was in February?

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TAP: It was winter. Then there was a rumor that after some event, they were found under a thick layer of snow
NAVIG: 50 cm.
TAP: And then the upper layer froze
ALATAO: Covered with crust?
TAP: And then... and we had a bright sunny day, it was Sabbatarian.
NAVIG: April, May? There were two finds: the first were found in February, the second four, in the creek found on May 5.
TAP: I am talking about the second group. .... The whole hospital went out and someone said that they were brought to the morgue. And we sent a few people to invesigate
NAVIG: By car?
TAP: How were they brought and when - I don't know
NAVIG: In the morgue of the hospital that is not in the zone?
TAP: No. In ours. That belonged to teh zone.
NAVIG: And they say that these were the hikers?
TAP: They said that they are students...
NAVIG: Students that went hiking? And how many did they say they were?
TAP: No. I think, a few people ........Not the whole group, a few.
NAVIG: And about the first ones, did you hear anything?
TAP: No. Absolutely not. There was such a talk that the military took part in the search. There was one now deceased - Sidorov, he took part in the searches, probed, etc. And on this day, probably May, it was warm, or was it the end of April...
NAVIG: Autopsy was in May 9, it says it in the report. They conducted it in Ivdel (report).
TAP: Could be May 9. (May 9th in 1959 was Saturday - ed. note)

Dyatlov Pass: Calendar May 1959

TAP: You remember that at that time on May 9 it was not so celebrated as in the last years.
NAVIG: They were brought earlier, the autopsy was on the 9th.
TAP: No, I'm talking about the Sunday after the Sabbatarian
NAVIG: I.e. it was Sunday?
TAP: Sunday. We all worked, with brooms. During the month of April, not all at once, but in parts. Autopsy, people said something about an autopsy. Students were brought. Who was operating ... there were some people walking around, coming out in surgical gowns. We then had several doctors: let's go find out ... but it was off limits.
NAVIG: Wait, what do you mean off limits? Was it restricted?
TAP: We tried... several people went to scout, but we were told that this is a forensic medical examination ... I know myself that they didn't allow outsiders. It was not allowed, so we did not pay attention. We continued to work. I only know that it was not Prudkov who was operating. That I am sure of.
NAVIG: She (Solter - ed. note) says the same thing that they did not perform the autopsy. She says that they washed them, changed their clothes, they were for some reason dirty, then they were laid in coffins and sent to the airfield. She says that you were there too ...
TAP: No. She is mistaken.
NAVIG: No, it might be that I just don't remember...
NAVIG: And do you correspond with her?
TAP: She wrote to me... But I called on Victor's birthday to congratulate.
NAVIG: (Reads Solter letter to Yuri Yudin) "Besides Prudkov Yosiph Davidovich, no one else, maybe someone was called but we were not aware of this! The dead were examined, dressed in new clothes, laid in coffins, board up and taken to Sverdlovsk..."
TAP: Is this the second group? Winter or spring?
NAVIG: She won't remember now...
NAVIG: Further down she writes: "3 question! At first were brought 3x! 2 girls and one guy!!! Their faces were like those of the dead. I think I wrote you that one of the girls had her hair burned on one side, on one arm, one arm had the sleeve slightly burned and the fire slightly caught on one foot, but on these two the clothes were normal, only dirty, they all crawled, but of course they were also soiled !! After these were found another 3, what date I do not remember, and after that were brought 3 more. "

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TAP: If she participated in these events in the winter, then the rumor would of course start, that the first ones were brought, and so on. My memory is good. I remember the hospital's registry book. They were all calling me: "Anna Petrovna, you remember the patient such-and-that ..". Therefore, if in February she (Solter P.I. - ed. note) participated in this, it would be known that they brought the first group...
NAVIG: Maybe the first group was not cut open, they were undamaged
TAP: I don't know
NAVIG: Because the second group had injuries
TAP: Well, maybe. Then they said that there were some tests or ... why weren't they in the tent?
NAVIG: How was the mood in Ivdel? Did the military arrive? Did you see something?
TAP: No. I always worked from morning till late at night ... And V.I. Prudkova, what is she saying?
NAVIG: She said that her husband did not tell her anything in particular, some autopsies were done, and others in Sverdlovsk
TAP: We worked together with him for several years in one department, he was the Head of the department.
NAVIG: And after year 59 did you work with him? He didn't say anything?
TAP: No. We worked together with him from 52 to 62
NAVIG: There in Ivdel?
TAP: In Ivdel. In the doctors room, our chairs were like here is mine, and here is his. E.g. I assisted him, he assisted me in the more complex surgeries. And we had very good relation and if he wanted to share something he wouldn't hesitate. There were no such attempts.
NAVIG: Maybe he was was not allowed?
TAP: Who knows.
NAVIG: Non-disclosure and all.
TAP: I do not know. May be.
NAVIG: Among the workers of the N-240 who worked in the zone? ... Because, if there was autopsy, it was probably in the morgue of the zone.
TAP: No, what are you saying?
NAVIG: But she (Solter - ed. note) says that here they only inspected.
TAP: Trying put all this together: here they were examined and then taken to another morgue? Why?
NAVIG: So it turns out that there more people brought from the pass. We are trying to make this clear. They brought one group of people, but performed autopsy on another ... Why does she say that they were re-dressed, although the examination should be complete (from the state they were brought - ed. note)
TAP: Of course. In clothes.
NAVIG: It says in the reports: the corpse is dressed in this-and-that...
TAP: No, in documents is not all written
NAVIG: Yes, in the documents says N-240
TAP: Who was in charge?
NAVIG: Vozrozhdenny is deceased, Laptev from Severouralsk,Ganz - he seems to have come from Sverdlovsk.They were assisted by Korotaev Vladimir Ivanovich. He says "I was an orderly. The morgue was surrounded by the military and no one was allowed, etc."
TAP: If he says that this is certainly not in the zone. No one will enter the zone.
NAVIG: But Korotaev was a prosecutor (investigator), he had the right to get there.
TAP: And this the winter or summer?
NAVIG: No this was the group from May. They had head injuries.
TAP: Well then it was in our morgue. If the N-240 is written, then this is not necessarily to be the morgue in the zone. The zone has their own morgue pathologist for prisoners.
NAVIG: They had pathologist? Because Prudkova V.I. says that there wasn't any and they themselves performed the autopsy.

- 4 -

TAP: Yes, Ivdel did not have pathologist. And if autopsy needed to be performed on somebody, all the organs, samples, are sent for a histological examination. This is the law. To Sverdlovsk. The same was done in our morgue.
NAVIG: And for a chemical-biological (testing - ed. note) were they sent?
TAP: We usually sent to histology.
NAVIG: Yes, there is such expertise
TAP: When the material is sent, it is necessary e.g. a piece of liver, it is always indicated where the sample is taken from.
NAVIG: If the sample is of a skin, where is it from? Derma this is skin.
TAP: Yes, skin. If there is an area some how different form the rest. And all this is written down...
NAVIG: Well, there was a hemorrhage in the derma
TAP: And in what area?
NAVIG: It doesn't say.
TAP: Usually should say. A section of skin size so-and-so from such-and-such area (of the body - ed. note), from the head from the hand...
NAVIG: Then it's writtem some where else. When the test was taken, it was written there.
TAP: For sure
NAVIG: And here are only numbers
TAP: Maybe it is like: a preparation of the liver, number 1. i.e. they know that number 1 is the liver...
NAVIG: No, the liver was written down, but not the skin. And the examination was conducted by Ganz. Did you know Ganz?
TAP: First time I hear.
NAVIG: Nobody knows him. I asked so many people, and no one has heard of Ganz.
TAP: Here is where we should look (Yekaterinburg - ed. note). In the archives. Do you have any documents?
NAVIG: There is a file in the archive, but they don't show it anybody. Do you have any document about who worked in the zone?
TAP: Sharonin...
NAVIG: Sharonin died
TAP: Yes
NAVIG: Pronozova, does hse live in Ivdel?
TAP: Yes, she is alive
NAVIG: But we can't go to her, she is too far. Maybe on the phone
TAP: I have her number.
NAVIG: This is excellent, but maybe she did not work in the zone, but same as you?
TAP: In the zone. She was the Head nurse in surgery. Maybe N.N. Sharonina can remember something?
NAVIG: And where does she live?
TAP: In Ivdel. She still works.
NAVIG: And where is Pronozova here?
TAP: Here I am pointing at her.

Dyatlov Pass: Alexandra Ivanovna Pronozova

  1. Yosif Davydovich Prudkov - surgeon
  2. Alexandra Ivanovna Pronozova - head nurse, war veteran
  3. Evgeniy Ivanovich Tzaskin
  4. Anna Petrovna Taranova

NAVIG: Well, that's all for now. Thank you, Anna Petrovna, for your very interesting story.

End of conversation.


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