Journey To Kamera, The Laboratory Of Horrors Made In The USSR

“Gas Man” from the “Generative Feelings” collection on Rarible.

The story of Kamera

Kamera, also known as Laboratory 1, was the research facility of the Soviet secret police. Presumably established in 1921, that is at the dawn of the Soviet epic, Kamera was initially led by a professor of medicine, Ignatii Kazakov, and was born with the aim of developing unconventional weapons, for the use and consumption of Soviet repression bodies, usable against opponents and rivals of the Kremlin. Supervision of the activities of Laboratory 1 would pass from Kazakov to Genrikh Yagoda by 1926, symbolizing its becoming unofficial laboratory of the secret police. Indeed, a few years later Yagoda would ascend to the leadership of the dreaded People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD). And under the auspices of the NKVD, even after the Yagoda escape, Laboratory 1 remained for the entire interwar period. The United States learned of the secret site in 1947, the year of the death of an American spy, Isaiah Oggins, who was executed there by lethal injection of a curare mixture. Prelude to the dawning Cold War between the two superpowers. With the dissolution of the NKVD in 1946, Kamera’s administration would go from chief scientist to chief scientist before returning to a single entity. And starting from 1954, until the extinction of the Soviet Union, the KGB would be in charge of supervising and financing the research in the secret laboratory.

The experiments during the Cold War

The Cold War gave an extraordinary impetus to the research conducted in the cells of Kamera, also due to the influx of hundreds, if not thousands, of Nazi scientists captured by the Soviets during the Osoavikhim operation and taken to Moscow. The Soviets, like their US counterparts — Operation Paperclipdrew on the knowledge of Nazi colleagues to accelerate and elevate the quality of their research into cognitive, chemical, biological, radiological and space weapons. And Kamera, in this feverish context of research and development of new unconventional weapons, would have lived a golden age. Kamera’s laboratories became the place to experiment with all kinds of poisons, known and potential, such as curare, mustard gas, ricin, digitoxin. Objective: to create odorless and tasteless compounds — therefore easily administered to the unsuspecting victim — and, possibly, not detectable by autopsies. Human guinea pigs, forced against their will to participate in experiments, often with a predictable outcome: death.

The victims of Kamera

The list of excellent victims who died in the Kamera laboratories is quite long, as it goes from the 1920s to the 1980s, and because in addition to them, moreover, the deaths of those murdered opponents and rivals of the Kremlin should also be reported around the Federation (and the world) with the poisons developed there. The known victims of Kamera poisons include:



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A physics student passionate about everything. Photographer and cryptoartist at, author of “The Red Ant”