Goulag Land (French Edition)

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The book has been written in s and published in Russian in French translation is a partial one.

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Author, a Pole b. He is released under the Polish amnesty in September and after wandering through Central Asia he finally rejoins the Polish Army on February in Gizhudvan. He leaves Soviet Union in March of the same year. After a long journey through Iran and then by sea to South Africa, Sierra Leone and finally Scotland, he comes to Britain where he settles after the war. Author, a Latvian Jew, is arrested in June and sent to a concentration camp in Solikamsk, in the northern Urals, and then to one in the Kraslag, near Krasnoiark. Released at the end of the war he is exiled for ten more years in the Krasnoiarsk region.

Author , a Polish Jew, survived the Shoah joining the Bielski partisans, but was then sentenced to 5 years of internment for smuggling. Served his term in the Karlag between and , and for two more years was forced to reside in Karaganda; left the USSR for Israel and then France in Authoress ? She was sentenced to twenty-five years of exile and sent to Maisk and then Novo Vasjugan, in the Novosibirsk region.

She could return to Estonia in and emigrate to Australia where she rejoined her daughter in Her husband, arrested with her, was executed in June Author , a Zionist journalist, was arrested in Brest-Litovsk and sent to the lagpunkt Vietlossian in the Oukhta-Ijem-lag in the Komi republic.

Geography of the Gulag Archipelago

Freed after the Polish amnesty in November , he spent the war years in Soviet Central Asia the book is mostly about this period. Author, a Jew living in Palestine, while visiting Poland in was deported by the Soviets and was freed only in Authoress, a Polish Jewess b. NB The authoress is very imprecise regarding times and places more than many others ; his strongpoint is the depiction of life in deportation, which seems franker than that of many other memoirists. Her husband was sent to the Komi ASSR where he died in March ; authoress and her sons remained in Siberia until February , then came back to their village where they found their old house occupied and were able to regain it only in The book was apparently written in, or after, They were sent to the settlement of Uyma, near Archangel, and freed under the Sikorski amnesty.

They spend the remaining wartime years in a refugee camp in Isfahan in Iran, then they move to Lebanon and later Britain and the United States Deported to Vorkuta, he was freed after the amnesty of Polish citizens. Authoress, a Lithuanian Jewess was exiled to Siberia with her husband. They spent 16 years in a special settlement, being freed only in Accused of collaborationism for having been a cleaning woman for the SS was sentenced to five years of internment. Served her term in the Tagillag between and , and for three more years was forced to reside in Ukraine.

In he escaped from Hungary to the Great Britain. Author, a German communist, was arrested in GDR as a spy. Deported in the camp of Vorkuta, he participated in the revolt of Author, an Austrian Jewess, had escaped to Estonia in He was released soon but in August was arrested again, sentenced to 25 years in GULag, and sent to the Vorkuta camp. He remained there until he was freed under the Khrushchev amnesty of September , and then went back to Riga. He mentions a strike in June , repressed with deadly force by the KGB.

His book is partly based on his own diaries and letters of the time. Authoress, an AK member, is arrested in Wilno in September Sentenced to ten years, serves his term in the Ukhtalag and then in a spetslag in Kazakhstan called Balkhach. She is repatriated to Poland only in December Author, a Polish Jewish medical officer, was imprisoned in Kozielsk and then in the camp of Griazovets, near Vologda. Author, a Romanian Jew, was arrested in and spent eight years in camps in the region of Magadan.

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Author , a Polish diplomat, is arrested in January and sentenced to five years. He serves his sentence in various camps in Ukraine and Russia coming back to Poland only in late In he settles in Szczecin and in he leaves for the West. Author , a Pole from Wilno, was an economist and a student of Eastern European and Soviet matters and became a prisoner of war in September He survived the execution at Katyn, being taken away at a railway station near the forest to be interrogated in the Lubianka prison in Moscow. The book has been translated also in Russian in She is freed under the Polish amnesty in ; in November of that year she reaches the Polish army camp in Tatischevo, then moves to Semipalatinsk where, in , works in an orphanage for Polish children which is evacuated with the Polish army to Uzbekistan and then to Iran in August She then went on to Teheran, Damascus, Baghdad and finally Jerusalem, where he came in She arrived in England, working initially in resettlement camps for the Poles, and retired in In she had been sentenced to ten years of hard labor; she serves her time in Camp 72 in Vorkuta, is freed in August , and allowed to emigrate to Denmark in October Part of the book pp.

Author, an Hungarian POW, is sentenced to twenty years of forced labour. He is released in and handed over to the Hungarian secret police, then escapes from Hungary in Author, a Polish Jewish medical doctor, was caught while trying to cross the Polish-Romanian frontier and sentenced to five years of hard labour in January He then goes to Leningrad, Dniepropetrovsk and reaches Moscow in December He leaves Moscow for Tashkent in May ; arrested again in January , he escapes again after a fake execution and moves to Aktyubinsk.

Stays for a while in a DP camp in Germany then leaves for Venezuela. His son Stuart Urban, a British filmmaker, recently realized an minutes-long documentary movie about his father who passed away in Author, a Latvian, was sentenced to ten years. He served his time in the Vorkuta labor camp, probably starting in In February he was arrested and sentenced to eight years of imprisonment. Served four years in the Sevurallag before being liberated presumably as a Polish citizen and sent back to Poland from where he emigrated to Israel and then presumably to Canada to rejoin his sister.

She escapes from there on May and ends up in the prison of Proskurov; when the prison is evacuated because of the German advance, she is freed after surviving a massacre of political prisoners. She then spends war years in Warsaw and escapes to Western Germany and then England, but there is very little in the book about this part of her life. After the amnesty for Polish citizens she left for Shimkent and then Alma-Ata, where she rejoined her husband. Here they both refused Soviet passports, coming back in to Poland, which they will leave in Authoress , her remembrances were translated from Yiddish into English by his nephew Henry Welch left Lodz in for Bialystok and then Pinsk in Western Belarus.

Arrested in June she was deported to Nieczuga, a posielok in the oblast of Archangel. Released after 14 months she moved to Central Asia where she spent the following years, first in a kolkhoz in Kirghizistan, then in another named Zhyd Khen Chek in southern Kazakhstan, near to the town of Turkestan, finally in Leninabad today Khujand in Tajikistan. In she left Leninabad for Lodz from where she emigrated to a DP camp in Germany and then to Israel in and finally Canada He relates of escaping from German-occupied Warsaw, being arrested while crossing the Lithuanian frontier and sentenced to twelve years of hard labour in the camp of Sucha Bezwodna.

Amnestied he reaches the Polish army in Buzuluk, perhaps in November He is however not very precise regarding times and places. Author escaped from Warsaw to Soviet-occupied Grodno in December , but during the summer of was arrested. Sentenced to five years and then deported to the Ukhtalag and freed under the Polish amnesty. He says nothing about what happened after leaving the lager. Browsing Topic Location Date Explore site. Memoir literature : Individual testimonies. Wesley Adamczyk, When God looked the other way: an odyssey of war, exile and redemption, Chicago Author relates of being exiled with his mother and brothers to north-eastern Kazakhstan in May Janusz Bardach, Man is Wolf to Man.

Menachem Begin, White Nights. The story of a prisoner in Russia, Harper and Row, New York of great interest Author , a Polish Jew, was arrested in Wilno in September and sentenced to 8 years of forced labor. Adam Ben-Akiva A. Rogowski , Lost and Found. Edward Buca, Vorkuta, London Author, a member of the AK, was arrested in and sent to Vorkuta, where he participated to the strikes of Stanislaw e Zygmunt Chmielewski, Due fratelli nel Gulag.

Anne Dadlez, Journey from Innocence. East European monographs, no. Sylva Darel, A Sparrow in the Snow. New York: Stein and Day, Authoress b.

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Edward W. Horning's Mills, Ont: E. Monaco: Rocher, Author b. Dina Gabel, Behind the Ice Curtain. Holocaust diaries, v. London: Veritas Foundation, Author , a Polish Jewish doctor, is arrested in February for illegally crossing the border. Moshe Grossman, In the enchanted land. My seven years in Soviet Russia, Tel Aviv Author, a Polish Jewish writer, was imprisoned for having left his place of exile where he had likely been sent in Gryff, Author, a Polish Jew b.

London: Severn House, Rudolf M. Litvin deals expertly, in several articles, with the Tatars Such works are often more explicit, and more humane in approach, than studies of the Gulag phenomenon in its entirety. The same applies of course to memoirs, such as those by the writer L. This is of necessity a genre in decline, but the well-known accounts published earlier, notably those by E.

Ginzburg or V. Shalamov, have not lost their relevance. So far as is known, none of the thousands of officials, guards and so on who ran the penal system has given us his side of the story - for reasons that are obvious. Stettner's comprehensive study This synthesizes the vast amount of material previously published in the West as well as much of the post-Soviet literature. Its author has not, however, had access to the archival sources on which the latter studies are based and omits the special settlers.

He also foregoes sociological analysis of the convict population, but offers, as the title indicates, a thorough account of their conditions and the way the system worked. For this the time is not yet ripe, since we lack the detailed information still in FSB hands! Also sceptical in this regard is E. Conquest, but has encountered a cool reception from others. In Stephen Wheatcroft, for the revisionists, and Steven Rosefielde, for the traditionalists, dealt yet another round in their long drawn-out battle of statistical computations Jakobson has written a scholarly account of the way Stalin transformed the Soviet penal system, suppressing its early reformatory features 20 , while the journalist Adam Hochschild, a sensitive and thoughtful observer, has recorded impressions of a visit to the USSR in when he was able to inspect several Gulag sites and talk to former prisoners, Memorial activists and others In addition to Stettner's book just mentioned, there is an important study by S.

Karner of the fate of German prisoners of war The field is growing exponentially as new documentation becomes available. Perhaps the most significant finding relates to the categorization of prisoners - although we have to remember that in a system that was inherently arbitrary it would be misleading to expect legalistic precision, so that there are exceptions to every generalization one makes.

Several sources refer to the existence of execution camps, but these units were apparently as a rule concealed within a particular sub-system and did not comprise a category of their own. Apart from all this, there were people in jail or en route from one installation to another. We are thus really dealing with the lowermost tiers in a social hierarchy in which everyone lived under some degree of coercion.

On completing their sentence, camp inmates might well be recategorized as settlers. The exiles' lot was much harsher than that of their predecessors under the tsar. For any misdemeanour they might find themselves sent back to an ITL. Moreover, in it was ruled that settlers and that automatically meant prisoners, too should be kept in distant regions indefinitely.

On the other hand, the geographical centre of gravity of the settler population seems to have shifted southward, to less inhospitable parts of the country, in the post-war years. But just as some people were detained without being formally arrested, so others might be punished without being formally convicted. It is accordingly not easy to estimate the numbers killed or confined in various installations. The latter do not concern us here. Security officials decided where they were to be sent and, in effect, whether they survived or perished. Custodial terms could be extended at their whim.

Appeals to the judicial authorities stood no chance of being heeded unless the police concurred, for the procurators, supposedly the guardians of legality, had no independence.

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Guards were forbidden to socialize with the zeks as prisoners called themselves. This attitude alone requires one to be cautious about accepting these officials' own estimates of the size of the convict population. Zemskov has recently claimed that they had no reason either to inflate or minimize the numbers Razgon describes eloquently the cheating that went on over the allocation of jobs, rations and the like The more conscientious bureaucrats were better at recording the movement of vehicles or materials than those of human beings.

Typically, when reporting the transport of people eastward, they would pedantically note the number of railway waggons used, and so conceal the loss of prisoners en route. The original draft December included persons convicted for anti-state offences under articles in the code other than Article 58, who were not mentioned in the better-known February document signed by the security chief, Kruglov, and two other senior officials. This stated that, over the entire period since , the security organs had sentenced , individuals to death, 2 to camps and colonies? This document was not made public until the Gorbachev era, and the figures are clearly under-stated.

Wheatcroft proceeds from an assumption of about 1 million put to death in the late s, but reproduces without criticism the figures for those despatched to the Gulag Popov came up with other figures for sentences by the security authorities alone from that were higher for those sent to camps or jails 2 but lower for ordinary exiles He also gave figures for civil court sentences, but only for a few years, and These show that, during these ten years, a further 5 persons lost their liberty.

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This gives a total of 8 , to which one would need to add an estimate of those given judicial sentences over the remaining 25 peace-time and 3 war-time years. One may agree with Bacon's educated guess that between and the net intake into the camps was 8. For the whole period to Stalin's death he suggests a figure of over 18 million This estimate is by no means excessive.

We know from Popov's list that in the civil courts and the security authorities respectively passed custodial sentences on 3 plus individuals. These figures apparently do not include that proportion of repatriates and repressed ethnic minorities who, as actual or potential security threats, landed up in camps as distinct from settlements. The official statistics do not neatly list the influx into the system as individuals were sentenced and the efflux through deaths, releases and so on. Others, more sceptically disposed, think they may cover deaths not registered as such, whether deliberately contrived or not.

Such problems of interpretation could be settled only by examining at first hand the data submitted by individual sub-divisions and camp complexes, on which the First Special Department's totals were presumably based. Unfortunately such material, if it still exists, has not yet been made available.

There was a slight decline 2,3 per cent between January and , but then expansion continued more rapidly, so that when the Germans invaded the camps alone held 1 persons, an increase of 77,6 per cent on January These new entrants probably numbered about 4 million, although Zemskov acknowledges less than 1 million , over of whom entered in This is still a dark era in the history of the Gulag, as of other aspects of Soviet life, although the murk is slowly clearing in regard to, say, the post-war famine.

One cannot really expect precise recordkeeping of deaths by officials who, as Stettner reminds us, systematically mutilated the corpses of deceased prisoners in order to prevent inmates escaping by feigning death The arithmetic of this computation is not beyond reproach Here he gave annual figures for ITL deaths to only as in column 1 of Table 1.

They probably exclude prisoners in transit, inmates of filtration camps and other categories as yet unascertained. From these figures the mortality rate can be reckoned as in column 2 they are a little different if one takes the annual average of inmates, but this increases the margin of error. Dugin has put the death rate in and at Wheatcroft offers a maximum and minimum range col. Rosefielde claims to have shown that the figures advanced by Zemskov and associates are internally inconsistent, although it is hard to accept his methodology He apparently adheres to an earlier estimate of an average camp mortality rate of 10 per cent per annum, and holds that 2.


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The debate could be resolved only if we had new information from the papers of subordinate Gulag organs. The Tatarstan local archives contain data on the number sent to camps in certain years, but not about the losses within them It is clear that some regions, like Kolyma, were worse than others, and that political offenders were treated more harshly than common-law offenders.

The source is not identified or dated, but its location in TsGAOR now GARF suggests that it is from the security services' report cited by number only, without provenance in fn. We need to be careful about taking the official categories at face value. Some of those not indicted under Article 58 committed offences that were indirectly the result of the regime's repressive policies and would not normally be considered criminal, as when peasant women stole stalks of grain from the collective fields to feed their starving children Zemskov and associates, who seek to minimize the number of political as against common-law offenders, claim that over the twenty years omitting only about 8.

In short, the nature of the charge in an accused's record is not a reliable guide as to the reason why he or she was repressed, and should not be taken too seriously by researchers. They should rather proceed from the assumption, difficult as it may be for outsiders to grasp, that the documentation in an individual case is fraudulent unless proved otherwise.

Stalin's USSR was a society in which the criminals at the top determined who should be deemed guilty of what, and the job of court and police officials was to identify them, so filling their quotas. Some, to their credit, resisted - and paid the penalty. Of all the criteria employed age, gender, class and so on that for ethnic allegiance is of greatest interest to the non-specialist.

In the early years these were predominantly Russians or other eastern Slavs - and by social origin peasants.

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Nation-wide the first wave is thought to have numbered at least 1. It is now clear that, since local officials were given little advance warning of the influx, even the most benign of them could do little to alleviate the newcomers' lot. Deported from their native regions en masse and in great haste, without proper provision for the journey, many died en route. In alone such deportees arrived in the Urals. All this prompted a revolt, hitherto unknown to historians, which was brutally suppressed This is a characteristic line for a post-Soviet historian to take.

So, too, is a reluctance even to estimate what the mortality rate may have been. According to Zemskov and others, a remarkably large number of exiled peasants managed to escape, evade recapture, and reach home, where they were often made unwelcome by fellow villagers who had meanwhile taken over their property The first such group appears to have been Poles living on the western frontier, who were moved to Kazakhstan Another comprised Karelian Finns and Finns generally.

The regime took the threat of Fenno-Ugrian nationalism seriously or pretended to do so and this served as the rationale for the severe repression meted out inter alia to the Mari Cheremis people on the Volga At the other end of the country, in the Soviet Far East, no less than Koreans were rounded up and deported to Central Asia.

This proportion was relatively modest by comparison with the fate of Poles and others in the territories annexed in September , in accordance with the terms of the Nazi-Soviet pact.

Parsadanova, the first Russian scholar to study this tragic episode, stated that 1. Wheatcroft states that 1. Whether this was Stalin's intention is unclear. Ukrainian and Belarusian deportees also seem to have fared better than Poles, but their lot was far from pleasant. They were distrusted and a proportion of them, as yet undetermined, ended their days in the Gulag. The same was true of inhabitants of northern Bukovina and Moldova Bessarabia , seized from Romania in Emigre sources put the minimum number at 34 , plus 10 Estonians and 15 Latvians How many were shot or sent to camps he does not say.

The figures for Baltic camp inmates on 1 January was , and four years later , but much happened in the interim and the post-war influx had yet to begin An amnesty was granted 12 August , at which time, according to official data, there were Polish citizens in the country, of whom 31, 1 per cent were in prison, camp or exile and Beria's figure for deaths in is only and not credible.

According to Chebrikov , they numbered , although other sources suggest that there were more than 1 million of them. According to a study the original target figure was in the region of , but was then raised to - and then over-fulfilled! One wonders whether the proportion was comparable among the other Oriental groups. The chief groups were those just mentioned from the western territories, for there was considerable resistance here to the reimposition of Soviet rule. By 1 January there were 75 Baits in camps and 20 in colonies. To this figure must be added about two-thirds as many in settlements, for the latter are known to have held Baits two years later.

They were located mainly in Siberia. About 28 per cent of these Baltic settlers were children, most of them born in captivity Curiously, there were still 36 Poles from the first batch deported in , or their descendants. But the Stalinist regime was itself culpable in failing to distinguish properly between active enemies of the system - traitors or war criminals who had perpetrated massacres in the occupied areas - and the great mass of Soviet citizens who had fallen under German rule. These included Red Army soldiers captured by the enemy and civilians deported as Ostarbeiter.

Only 4 per cent of Soviet prisoners of war joined units formed under Axis auspices. As regards their subsequent fate, Yakovlev's data are preferable to Zemskov's. Some 1 men were returned to the armed forces, of whom most were placed in a reserve under the Defence ministry and were employed on mine clearance or construction work - later some were sent on to the Gulag a new detail!

Those whose lives were spared became forced labourers. Yakovlev shows that it was often the local authorities who pressed for harsher measures to be taken against the unfortunate repatriates, whose situation deteriorated after Not until were some men amnestied or had their sentences reduced.

This was presumably because the latter, if they survived, were expected to return one day to their homelands. Rations in Soviet camps were on a par with those of civilians outside the wire. Vilensky's collection of material by and about women prisoners How far this modifies the picture we already have of physical conditions in the Gulag or victims' survival strategies cannot be considered here. Another subject that deserves extended treatment elsewhere is the contribution which forced labour made to the USSR's economic growth in the s and to post-war reconstruction.

It was clearly greater in some sectors e. There has been some discussion as to the relative importance of economic motivations in establishing and maintaining the Gulag, as distinct from the aim of bolstering the regime's security by ridding Soviet society of elements deemed undesirable. To my mind this is not a very propitious avenue of inquiry. Certainly, the location of camps and settlements was dictated by economic considerations, and the officials who ran them were, as pointed out above, primarily concerned with boosting output.

This does not mean that the machine functioned efficiently, and we should not forget the few brave, honest officials who tried to mitigate the victims' lot or even refused to carry out inhuman orders. It gathered force after , notably among certain non-Russian groups as well as hardened criminals. We need to integrate all these approaches and to place the knowledge gained since , which is mainly about administrative matters and the various cohorts within the custodial population, in a perspective inspired by humanistic thinking and respect for judicial norms.

A juridical approach is the most promising, but moral considerations cannot be excluded. Whether they should determine the direction of scholarly research is perhaps a matter of opinion. It is not reprehensible for investigators to have a passionate desire to uncover historical truths and see justice done. Whether this is practicable is another question. Public apology by prominent sinners seems to have become a fashionable practice, and is to be welcomed as an acceptable substitute for legal proceedings that for some reason cannot be held.

There is neither any judicial mechanism capable of dealing with such matters nor a widespread public demand for retribution. At the other extreme we have the brash ex-camp commandant of Ozerlag, Yevstigneev, who claims that all his actions were legal and for the good of his captives


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