Sunday, September 14, 2014

Risk Taking Researcher - Juliana R.

Risk Taking Researcher
Pages 106 to 133

I researched about the time period of the book One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

From 1920 to 1950, the Soviet labor camps housed political prisoners and criminals of the Soviet Union. The Gulag, which is an abbreviation which in english means ''Chief Administration of Corrective Labour Camps”, was in charge of the labor. Gulag imprisoned millions of people. A Soviete decree first inaugurated a forced-labor camps in 1919. The foundation of Gulag happened in 1930. 

This forced labour was used in order to achieve economic goals and to rapid industrialisation. The prisoners had to work hard in unsafe circumstances, unhygienic conditions, and very cold climates for a very long time with a minium amount of rest. Most of the prisoners were able to keep up with all the work, yet many were too sick, hungry, and injured from the intense work and were not able to complete the labour. Plus, some prisoners even died of starvation because if they didn't work well, they would get less food as a punishment. 

Prisoners had to work for fourteen hours in a single day. Some of the prisnoer's jobs were  forestry work with saws and axes, mining ore by hand where often they suffered painful and fatal diseases from inhalation of ore dust. They also had to dig at frozen ground with primitive pickaxes for construction of defensive lines, creating railroads, and creating large canals like the workers in Belbaltlag, which is a Gulag camp where the prisoners would work on building the White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal. With all this hard work in freezing temperatures, it was hard to sustain themselves with such little food. 

Prisoners working hard for the whole day.

Dinner table of a Soviet prisoner. 


Developers, Wikipedia. "Forced Labor in the Soviet Union." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 09 Sept. 2014. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. <>.

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Gulag (labour Camps, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. <>.

Center for History and New Media. "Gulag: Soviet Forced Labor Camps and the Struggle for Freedom." Gulag: Soviet Forced Labor Camps and the Struggle for Freedom. George Mason University., 2014. Web. 13 Sept. 2014. <>.

Socialist Worker. "Trotskyists in Stalin's Concentration Camps." International Socialist Organization, 11 Sept. 2014. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. <>.

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