Yesterday, July 21, in the Kaliningrad region, the Amber Day was held for the first time - a professional holiday for everyone involved in the extraction, processing, manufacture of amber products, and the creation of works of art. This event was marked by the laying of commemorative stone tiles in the courtyard of the Wrangel tower in Kaliningrad. No more celebrations were held in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.
Noteworthy is the date chosen for the new holiday - July 21. It was suggested to the officials, according to TASS, by the staff of the Amber Museum: on July 21, 1947, by decree of the Soviet government, they created a single complex for the extraction and processing of amber "Combine No. 9". On this day, the amber industry was actually founded in the Kaliningrad region.
In fact, it was on this day that the next island of the GULAG Archipelago was founded - Palmnikenlag, whose prisoners (and there were from one and a half to two and a half thousand people in different years) created quarries with the workshops of the Kaliningrad Amber Combine, and in fact - the current village Amber. Convicts and "free-spirits" of the Stalinist system drained the Walter quarry, built workshops, and established unique mining and production. Old residents of Yantarny can still remember where the barracks were in the village. There are no more traces of these buildings and of the slaves huddled there.
“How many people died in Palmnikenlag, in which cities of the former USSR their last addresses are scattered, we will not know for a long time. And for a long time they will tell us that the day of the founding of the Stalinist camp is a holiday...”- writes Kaliningrad blogger Pyotr Startsev.
Today, commercial amber mining is carried out by the only in Russia and the world's largest industrial enterprise, the Kaliningrad Amber Combine, located in the village of Yantarny. According to experts, there are 116 thousand tons, or about 90% of the world's reserves of this valuable mineral, which is 50 million years old.