The prison on Devil's island: the ruthless blade "dry guillotine"

The prison on Devil's island: the ruthless blade "dry guillotine"

Categories: History | Society | World

French Guiana is called "dry guillotine" — tropical climate, abundance of deadly creatures and a wide range of fevers, greatly reduced the life of the colonists "Paradise". Therefore, these godforsaken French possession in the nineteenth century was used as a prison and a prison on Devil's island was the most terrible of her place.

The prison on Devil's island: the ruthless blade "dry guillotine"

Devil's island or île Du Diablo is the largest of three Islands located 13 kilometers from the coast of French Guiana. From the sea, this piece of land, covered with lush tropical greenery, it seems the garden of Eden, but in the depths of the island is a prison, which, without exaggeration, was a branch of the Underworld.

The first of its prison population prison took in 1852. But to collect their deadly harvest it started long before that, in the process of construction. The operations were conducted by the convicts, whom no one is spared. Mortality among the prisoners employed in the construction was 97%, which was a record even for a mainland prison.

The prison on Devil's island: the ruthless blade "dry guillotine"

The waters around île-Du-Diablo teeming with sharks, so dead and wounded guard of convicts without ceremonies were thrown into the sea from a cliff. Also got rid of the dead and, later, throughout the history of the island, when the cemetery no longer cope with the load.

The prison on Devil's island: the ruthless blade "dry guillotine"

The researchers calculated that in the century a relatively small prison on the island took about 50 thousand lives. Of course, this figure is very approximate, as the administration of the island of the Devil knew how to keep secrets of his establishment.

The prison on Devil's island: the ruthless blade "dry guillotine"

Most cameras in the prison were single. The average area of such premises was 3 square meters. The architecture of the prison buildings were very peculiar — in chambers had no roof and it is replaced by lightweight awnings. This was done in order to provide ventilation and to rid the dungeons from the stench.

The prison on Devil's island: the ruthless blade "dry guillotine"

But in fact, this decision led to the fact that the prisoners were cooked on a merciless sun, whose rays easily penetrate through the winter storms have torn tents, floating around waist-deep in water during tropical downpours. Particularly annoyed to prisoners of the Horde of insects and parasites, which could not be used.

Work as a warden in French Guiana also not too different from the death penalty. Convicts were guarding notorious scoundrels, which the French government wanted to keep as far away from the metropolis.

The prison on Devil's island: the ruthless blade "dry guillotine"

Protection is constantly taunted prisoners — they were regularly beaten, doused with sewage, poisoned dogs and starved. Prisoners were fed once in 2-3 days and to ignore its prescribed by law, the meal was quite oblique view, or not sufficiently bent in front of the warden of the back.

The prison on Devil's island: the ruthless blade "dry guillotine"

The average life expectancy in French "resort" was 5 years old. Even if a person managed to survive in these conditions, for the gates of the prison he returned a helpless cripple malaria and many other no less dangerous tropical diseases.

The prison on Devil's island: the ruthless blade "dry guillotine"

But after the liberation of the people could not return to dear to Brittany or Provence. By law, after serving time in the island prison, ex-con was obliged to spend many years on the mainland French Guiana. This was done in order to develop farming in the colony, but in fact finished off those who miraculously survived in the chambers of Devil's island.

The prison on Devil's island: the ruthless blade "dry guillotine"

This continued for a hundred years, after which it was decided to eliminate the terrible prison. It was rumored that the remaining prisoners on the island do not even bother to ship to the mainland — they just kicked the kick to the jungle, where they died happily free.

After the prison was closed, the island stood in ruins, visited by only seabirds and rare curios. In the second half of the XX century there were investors who wanted to transform the île-Du-Diablo into a luxury resort, hotels, swimming pools, tennis courts and a casino.

The prison on Devil's island: the ruthless blade "dry guillotine"

Fortunately, there were public organizations, not committed this blasphemy and the ruins of the prison has been preserved as a reminder of the countless victims of the colonial authorities. Today, the island is open to the public and annually receives up to 50 thousand tourists from different countries of the world.

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