Butara is a gold field-more
precisely, a place where gold could be panned by separating it
from the sand. Malnourished prisoners worked there year round.
In the winter months when it was too cold to pan, they dug the
permafrost 12 hours a day. In the warmer months (the panning
season), they worked 16 hours. Despite their weakened condition,
the prisoners tried to respond to the constant orders of "Move!
Move!" from the guards. Failure to meet one's quota meant
reduction in food rations, whether or not the inmate was sick
or physically too weak to comply with orders.
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