Russian gulags were labor camps that were founded from the 1920’s to the 1950’s by Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps for political prisoners and criminals of the Soviet Union. The term “GULAG” is an acronym for the Soviet bureaucratic institution, Glavnoe Upravlenie ispravitel’no-trudovykh LAGerei (Main Administration of Corrective Labor Camps), that operated the Soviet system of forced labor camps in the Stalin era After Stalin’s death in 1953, Soviet authorities began to dismantle the camps. The Gulag system finally ended in 1957. The Gulag gained international notoriety in 1973 with the publication of the Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, a study of the Soviet prison camp system.
Today, the word Gulag is used to describe any prison system considered to be unjust. Gulags consisted of many hundred of camps with the average camp holding 2,000 to 10,000 prisoner. These camps were known as “corrective labor colonies” in which prisoners felled timber, labored on construction jobs including building canals, railroads, or worked in mines. Conditions were very extreme in the camp 10 percent of inmates died from the conditions alone while another 10 percent died from starvation.
Some of the affects that Russian gulags had on Soviet society and it’s daily life would be Citations:
Rupp, Richard E. “Gulag.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2012. Web. 6 Sept. 2012.
“The Gulag.” The Gulag. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Sept. 2012. http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/gula.html “The Gulag.” The Gulag. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Sept. 2012. http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/gula.html