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Death and RedemptionThe Gulag and the Shaping of Soviet Society$
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Steven A. Barnes

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151120

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151120.001.0001

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Armageddon and the Gulag, 1939–1945

Armageddon and the Gulag, 1939–1945

(p.107) Chapter 4 Armageddon and the Gulag, 1939–1945
Death and Redemption

Steven A. Barnes

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the Gulag during the Armageddon of the Great Patriotic War. It shows how the institutions, practices, and identities of the Gulag shifted in accord with the demands of total war. The war was an era of mass release on an unprecedented scale side by side with the highest mortality rates in the history of the Gulag system. After four years of brutal, exhausting warfare and a disastrous initial stage, the Soviet Union emerged from its Armageddon victorious. The early postwar period offered no indication that the Gulag would cease to be a mass social phenomenon within fifteen years. Rather, the Gulag remained a pillar in the reestablishment of the Soviet system, following the Red Army into liberated territories, so that every liberated district received its own corrective labor colony. By 1944, the camp and colony population began to grow again.

Keywords:   Great Patriotic War, Gulag, Soviet Union, prisons, mass release, corrective labor colony

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