The Gulags were called many things by the Soviet government, but when boiled down, they were essentially three things: Prison camps, labor camps, and extermination camps. Most prisoners were sent to a labor camp when their sentences were issued, but under certain conditions such as an illness that crippled a worker, work related accidents that cost limbs and organ function, or even bad behavior at work, convicts could be sent to prison camps or extermination camps. The Gulags were created to make use of convict labor to stimulate the Soviet economy and instill corrective behavior in those convicts. The economy of the Soviet Union greatly improved and the rapid industrialization and collectivization of the cities and countryside pushed the Soviets into the modern world.
Masha Gessen: Inside the Gulags of the Soviet Union
Gulags Essay - Words | Cram
At its height, the Gulag network included hundreds of labor camps that held anywhere from 2, to 10, people each. Conditions at the Gulag were brutal: Prisoners could be required to work up to 14 hours a day, often in extreme weather. Many died of starvation, disease or exhaustion—others were simply executed. The atrocities of the Gulag system have had a long-lasting impact that still permeates Russian society today. When Lenin died of a stroke in , Joseph Stalin propelled his way to power and became dictator. The Gulag was first established in , and by the Gulag system had 84 camps. Stalin viewed the camps as an efficient way to boost industrialization in the Soviet Union and access valuable natural resources such as timber, coal and other minerals.
Life In The Gulag Essay
People would relocate to put food on the table for their families, but there was not enough jobs so in return did not get paid enough. Both men and women worked long hard hours and even children worked just as hard. Child labor in the Victorian era was very common, but were very dangerous for children. They had long hard hours and some children made chemicals phosphorous which resulted in rotting teeth and death from continuous inhalation. The camps forced Jews into horrific living conditions, where they were cramped into small barracks, which left them vulnerable to infectious diseases and any other elements that made it difficult for them to survive during their time in the camps.
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.