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Communist dairies: The Gulags

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There have been a lot talking about the concentration camps of Nazis that were established to keep communist political opponents in captivity and systematic extermination of Jews population of the German empire, Poland and rest of the word. Almost everyone is aware of the horror of the activities in those camps but certainly, Himmler’s concentration camps took away the attention of Stalin’s Gulags.

There is not dispute that ghettos were among the cruelest places where people were tortured, gassed and murdered but Gulag’s labor camps were not different.

Gulag was a communist government agency in USSR which used to control the vast network of forced labor camps in the dictatorial regime of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin.

The camps were unequivocally established on the steering of Lenin after the hostile takeover of monarchy from Russian Tsar Nicholas II. Tsar and his family were abducted by communists, tortured and murdered in a guest house. This was a planned murder. Later in 1998, 7 years after the collapse of the USSR. Tsar and his family were given a military honor burial. Let’s end this story and return to the labor camps.

The number of inmates in the camps reached its peak between 1930 to 1950 during the rule of Stalin. Most of the construction work in the interim was done by prisoners.

We’ll address the camps by the name of administrating agency Gulag as most of the English-language speakers do. The Gulags housed a wide range of inmates, from criminals to political leaders, from businessmen to scientists. NKVD was the major agency sending inmates into the camps.

Official records indicate that almost 18 million people were housed in the Gulags camps and almost 1.6 million of them perished. This has always been a dispute among historians. They deny the reliability of data and heavily rely on literary sources that come to a higher estimation.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and camp survivor linked the scattered camps to a chain of islands where people worked to death.

As of March 1940, there were 53 camps and 423 labour colonies. At the beginning of the year 1953, there were 2.4 million humans in the camps of which more than 500 thousand were political prisoners.

Joking about the Soviet government and officials could pave the way to Gulags for people. Almost half the political prisoners were kept in labor camps without a judicial trial.

Although the Gulag was officially established on April 25, 1930, the forced labor camps were being utilized by Lenin long before to keep political opponents, democrats and other people opposing the communism.

Stalin’s Soviet industrialization was fueled by forced labor. The major objectives of Gulags were the exploitation of natural resources and colonization of remote areas of Russia.

To be continued…

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