Russian Gulag Essay

2815 Words12 Pages
The Gulags of the Soviet Union have been compared to the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, but in reality they were worse. The Gulags were isolated prison camps peppered across Siberia. Death, torture, and disease raged within their walls, while endless work went on outside. Gulag personnel were cruel and unfeeling, using terrible punishment methods and playing senseless games that cost prisoners their lives. Political enemies of the Bolshevik party made up a significant portion of the prisoner population, with most sent to the infamous camp system Kolyma. Liberation was painfully slow, but by 1960, all of the Gulags were gone.
The Gulags were called many things by the Soviet government, but when boiled down, they were essentially
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In addition to this, in the mindset of the day, if someone was suspected of anti-Bolshevik activities, they were automatically guilty. The investigator would look for anything he could find that could possibly make the person guilty at all. Sometimes the investigator would take up a random piece of literature, say it was bad, and have the suspect shipped off, even if the “incriminating” evidence was something as benign as the children’s story Goodnight Moon. The investigator would not be the one to tell the suspect what he was even accused of; he would just take the “evidence” and people would soon kidnap the suspect and toss him in a cattle car to Siberia, which was cramped with a mass of other convicts. When the prisoners reached the Gulag, an official there would take everyone’s valuables and toss the convicts into cramped cells. The interrogation could start at any time. For some the interrogations were that day, and for others it never came and their lives were lived out in the dirty cells. When and if the interrogator got a confession out of someone, a prison sentence was read out and the convict was sent off to the actual Gulag. Interrogation was possibly the most terrifying part of the early Gulag prison term. The interrogator could be anyone with any type of personality, but he or she always had a myriad of torture methods to extract
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