Day in the Life

Although the critically acclaimed prose of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich has been diminished through translation, Alexander Solzhenitsyn delivers a powerful novel which exposes the tribulations and inhumanity in Russian labor camps in the 1930s. Ivan Denisovich is a former soldier who was sentenced to ten years in a labor camp located in Siberia. As long as the temperature did not drop to negative forty-one degrees, Ivan and the other prison inmates were sent out in groups to perform tasks which mostly involved construction or heavy labor.… Read the rest here

Penal Systems of World Powers

Abladen grosser Steinbrocken am Weissmeer-Ostsee-Kanal, 1932

The organization of Soviet labor camps hoped to accomplish a number of purposes. These projects were improvements on the infrastructure of the Soviet Union and, ultimately, the economy. Considering how swiftly the Belomor was completed (“Twenty months and it must be built cheaply” –Stalin) and the lack of material resources, this success was based primarily on the re-purposing of an otherwise idle prison population. Granted, the ‘labor camp’ style of  punishment in the Russian penal system was established long before Soviet rule but the Soviets were the first to implement it on such a large and effective scale. … Read the rest here

Bibliography Interwar.doc 24.0 KB

My research project will focus mainly on the repressive political system run by Stalin in the Soviet Union from 1930 to 1950. During this era, Stalin used an oppressive political machine in order to gain control over the political sphere. Two ways which Stalin executed this tactic was through mass purges and The Gulag. The Gulag was a Soviet Union government agency which spearheaded the labor camp movements. Stalin’s purges of The Party was also a form of political control.… Read the rest here