Gulag

Soviet Labor Camps between 1917 and 1986

The Inside look of what Gulag truly was.

And fate made everybody equal

Outside the limits of the law

Son of a kulak or Red commander

Son of a priest or commissar...


Here classes were all equalized,

All men were brothers, camp mates all,

Branded as traitors everyone...

-Alexander Tvardovsky,

"By Right of Memory"

Gulag by Anne AppleBaum

Author Thesis

"This is a history of the Gulag. By that, I mean that this is a history of the Soviet concentration camps: their origins in the Bolshevik Revolution, their development into a major part of the Soviet economy, their dismantling after Stalin's death. This is also a book about the legacy of Gulag: without question, the regimes and rituals found in the Soviet political and criminal prison camps of the 1970's 1980's evolved directly out of those created in an earlier era, and for that reason I felt that they belonged in the same volume."
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Important Vocabulary

Katorga- Forced Labor

Severnye Lagery Osobogo Naznacheniya- (SLON) "Northern camps of Special Significance"

Ekonomicheskaya kommercheskaya chast- Economic-Commercial Department

Kommersant- A Merchant with Large Hands whose Goal is to make a Profit

Kontslager- A Concentration Camp

Lagpunkts- Smaller Camp Units

Trudosposobnost- "Work Capability"

Kulaks- Wealthy Peasants

Gleaners- Peasant Women who picked up leftover Grain to Survive

Glavnoe Upravlenie Lagerei- (GULAG) Main Camp Administration [later to be a label for the entire system.]

Ispravitelno-trudovye lagerya- (ITL) "Corrective-Labor Camps" term for camps, Kontslager no longer used after April, 1930

Belomorkanal or Belomor- White Sea Canal

Zeks- Prisoners

Konzentrationslager- German word for Concentration Camp

Vernichtungslager- Not really "Labor Camps" but rather Death Factories

Interest of Gulag

I was originally interested in the book Gulag honestly by the cover, the cover seemed to me as a serious but overall interesting topic. I was so distracted by this and skimming the introduction that I completely overlooked the length of this book. Though as I was reading the introduction and getting further into the book , Gulag and everything that happened in the Soviet Union sparked my attention and led me to being consumed with curiosity over Gulag and the Soviet Labor Camps.