How Did The Gulag Affect Society

1262 Words6 Pages

The Gulag was a government agency of forced labor camps in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Many aspects of this were very different from how the US viewed labor camps and prisons. This impacted lives in various ways. Prisoners received harsh treatment which made this environment very hard to survive in. The combination of violence, hard labor, and unsanitary conditions led to high death rates in these death camps. The camps destroyed many people’s lives and affected different ethnic groups in different ways. The Gulag destroyed the Soviet society rather than improving it, when the goal was to essentially improve the society.
“Lenin ordered mass terror against wealthy kulak peasants, White Guards, and members of the clergy who would be sent to remote concentration camps which resulted in the birth of the Gulag”. The Gulag is a system of …show more content…

The government generally failed to take into account the cost of guards, the cost of transport of prisoners across the country (especially to the remote regions many camps were located in), and the opportunity of cost of using these laborers in a coercive manner rather than the proven more efficient method of allowing them to be free workers. From the viewpoint of the Soviet government under Stalin, the Gulag was necessary to retain the Soviet Union 's power. Ultimately, specifically in this early Cold War period, the Gulag system functioned as an free source of labor to fulfill the needs of the government in terms of individualism and the penal system.
Steven Barnes’, Death and Redemption begins by explaining the push factor of the Gulag. He stresses the importance of the political views over the economic. Between Stalin 's death in 1953 and 1960, the government of the Soviet Union released thousands of prisoners from the Gulag as an effort to reverse the worst abuses of the previous two decades and revive the spirit of the

Open Document