With the dissolution of "Dalstroy" in 1957, the Soviets adopted a new labor policy altogether with regard Kolyma. While the prison population was still a part of the labor force, it mainly consisted of common criminals. The political side of it ceased to exist. To fill in the labor needs new manpower was recruited from all Soviet nationalities on a voluntary basis. Young men and women were lured to the frontier land of Kolyma with the promise of high earnings and better living. The introduction of modern technology made the cold country livable and one of the most prosperous regions in present-day Russia. Many of the new pioneers settled there, started families and made their homes in the place where slave labor was once the only productive force.
With the change of the lifestyle, the past of this northeastern Siberian territory is gradually disappearing in oblivion. The history of the land during communist area never really made the news in the world. To many Russians, Poles, Lithuanians and Latvians the word "Kolyma" may be synonymous with the horrors of Auchwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau, Tremblinka and others, yet it remains almost unknown in the West. Today, almost half a century after World War II, seldom does someone recognize the name and connect it with the gruesome past of this frozen land. Its infamy stays hidden from the outside world, because the system of Soviet secrecy would not let knowledge of it beyond the borders of the country. Its victims who lie buried in the permafrost cannot talk, and the countries of the West would rather accept Stalin's lies than the truth that occasionally slips out via few surviving men.
One dose of Stalin's "truth" was presented to the American Vice-President, Henry Wallace, when in 1944 he visited Kolyma. After the visit he left the country with the absolute conviction that "no such camps existed," in total agreement with the British philosopher, Bertrand Russell. Whatever was shown to the man who held one of the highest offices in the USA he accepted it as the truth and presented it in his book "Soviet Asia Mission."
From this book the American reader learned that the gold miners of Kolyma are "big husky young men who came out to the Far East from European Russia," and who were "pioneers of machine age, builders of cities." He was greatly impressed with Kolyma's director Nikishov and his wife Gridassova, with Magadan's cultural life and with the shops full of Russian goods.
The truth was that during his three-day stay the chiefs of Kolyma did their best to conceal the factual reality. The wooden watchtowers were pulled down, the prisoners were not allowed to leave their barracks and not even the least aspect of prison life was exposed to the American visitor. He was taken to the only farm in the region, 23 kilometers from Magadan, where well dressed and well fed girls, (police women disguised as swineherds), gave a false impression of the agricultural endeavor in that part of the country. He was also flown to the North, to the mine Berelakh, where he found the state mining to be an impressive enterprise.
The miners, according to him, were healthy and well-clad men, and more productive than their counterparts in Alaska's Fairbanks. Being served with delicious fresh fish from Kolyma River he offered his compliments to the "presiding chef of the mining camp." The deception was total and successful. The outside world got the firsthand knowledge about Kolyma from the man who deserved his trust. Who would disbelieve or dispute information from the Vice-President of the United States of America, a force for truth and justice?