GULAG

   The term gulag is derived from Glavnoye upravleniye ispravitel’no-trudovykh lagerei, or Chief Directorate of Corrective Labor Camps, a sector of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD). Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn described the network of forced labor camps as an “archipelago” dotting the Soviet Union. At the height of the gulag system in the early 1950s, there were 476 labor camp clusters scattered across the territory of the Soviet Union. According to Nikita Khrushchev, 17 million people passed through the camps between 1937 and 1953.
   While camps were established in the early 1920s at Solovetsky in northern Russia on the White Sea, the use of mass prison labor for economic projects was established by a Communist Party Politburo resolution of 27 June 1929. Party leader Joseph Stalin and his colleagues saw the opportunity to use imprisoned and exiled peasants on projects in the far north and Siberia. The number of prisoners grew from 179,000 in 1930 to 1.6 million in 1938, and they were employed in the building of railroads and canals (such as the Belomor Canal), in timbering in Siberia, in mining gold in the Kolyma River camps, and in building major mining and industrial centers at Norilsk and Vorkuta. During and after World War II, prison labor was engaged in building military airfields, electro-power plants, and facilities for the nuclear weapons program. Lavrenty Beria created a “nuclear gulag,” a network of camps mining uranium and building secret nuclear sites. Under a secret declaration, no prisoners were released from these camps; rather they were exiled to the Kolyma River area in northeastern Siberia.
   At the time of Stalin’s death in 1953, 2.5 million Soviet citizens were in the camps and another 2.75 million lived in enforced exile. Life in the camps during the Stalin era was Hobbsean: at least 2.5 million died of hunger and overwork in the camps between 1930 and 1953, and the real figure may be twice that. While prison labor was available as long as the Stalinist terror continued, it was by all accounts expensive and inefficient. In 1952 gulag projects used approximately 10 percent of the capital construction budget of the Soviet Union, but many projects were unfinished or abandoned. Most of the industrial and mining enterprises run by labor camps were transferred to industrial ministries in 1953 within six months of Stalin’s death. The post-Stalin leadership cancelled many of the major projects, such as the canal between the Volga and Don rivers.
   Following Stalin’s death, the Soviet Union used labor camps for criminal and political convicts. Between 1955 and 1987, 10,000– 15,000 political offenders passed through the camps, as well as thousands of religious believers who refused to conform to Soviet law. While these camps were not as brutal as those of the Stalin era, a number of political and religious dissidents died of overwork and medical problems.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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  • Gulag — (russisch Главное управление лагерей/ oder Главное управление исправительно трудовых лагерей и колоний Glawnoje uprawlenije isprawitelno trudowych lagerej i kolonij anhören?/i) – auch GULag – ist …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • gulag — GULÁG s. v. lagăr de concentrare. Trimis de siveco, 28.05.2007. Sursa: Sinonime  gulág s. n., pl. guláguri Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  GÚLAG s. n. lagăr de muncă forţată în fosta URSS. (< rus. gulag) …   Dicționar Român

  • gulag — /gu lak/, it. / gulag/ s.m., russo [acronimo di G(lavnoe ) u(pravlenie ) lag(erej ) direzione generale dei campi (di lavoro) ]. 1. [campo di lavoro coatto secondo l ordinamento sovietico]. 2. (estens.) [ambiente di lavoro chiuso e repressivo]… …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • gulag — / ˈɡulaɡ, russo ɡuˈlAk/ [vc. russa, abbr. di G(lavnoe) U(pravlenie ispravitel notrudovych) Lag(erei) «amministrazione generale dei campi di lavoro correzionale»] s. m. inv. 1. (nell ex URSS) campo di lavoro forzato, lager (ted.) 2. (est.) sistema …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • gulag — gȕlāg m <N mn āzi> DEFINICIJA pov. sustav staljinističkih kaznenih i radnih logora u kojima je likvidirano više milijuna ljudi SINTAGMA arhipelag gulag naziv za cjelinu takvih logora ETIMOLOGIJA krat., rus. Glávnoe upravlénie ispravítelno… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • gulag — (Del ruso gulag, acrón. de Glavnoe upravlenie ispravitel no trudovykh lagerei, central administrativa de los campos de trabajo correccionales). 1. m. Campo de concentración de la antigua Unión Soviética. 2. Sistema basado en el conjunto de… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Gulag — ► NOUN (the Gulag) ▪ a system of harsh labour camps maintained in the Soviet Union 1930 1955. ORIGIN Russian, from G(lavnoe) u(pravlenie ispravitel no trudovykh) lag(ere ) «Chief Administration for Corrective Labour Camps» …   English terms dictionary

  • gulag — [go͞o′läg΄, go͞o′lag΄] n. [< Russ acronym for G(lavnoe) u(pravlenie ispravitel no trudovykh) lag(erei), Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps: term popularized by The Gulag Archipelago by A. SOLZHENITSYN Aleksandr (Isayevich)] 1.… …   English World dictionary

  • gulag — ‘Campo de concentración de la antigua Unión Soviética’. Su plural es gulags (→ plural, 1h) …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

  • gulag — system of prisons and labor camps, especially for political detainees, in the former Soviet Union; rough acronym from Rus. Glavnoe upravlenie ispravitel no trudovykh lagerei Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps, set up in 1931 …   Etymology dictionary

  • gułag — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 8}}rz. mnż IIa, D. u {{/stl 8}}{{stl 7}} obóz pracy przymusowej w byłym ZSRR; także: system tych obozów : {{/stl 7}}{{stl 10}}Dziesięć lat gułagu. Miliony ludzi zginęły w gułagach. Archipelag gułagów był państwem w państwie.… …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

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