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system of forced-labor prison camps in the USSR, from the Russian acronym [GULag] for the Main Directorate of Corrective Labor Camps, a department of the Soviet secret policesecret police,
policing organization operating in secrecy for the political purposes of its government, often with terroristic procedures. The Nature of a Secret Police
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 (originally the Cheka; subsequently the GPU, OGPU, NKVD, MVD, and finally the KGB). The Gulag was first established under Vladimir LeninLenin, Vladimir Ilyich
, 1870–1924, Russian revolutionary, the founder of Bolshevism and the major force behind the Revolution of Oct., 1917. Early Life
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 during the early Bolshevik years (c.1920). The vast penal network, which ultimately included 476 camp complexes, functioned throughout Russia, many in the wastes of Siberia and the Soviet Far East. The system reached its peak after 1928 under Joseph StalinStalin, Joseph Vissarionovich
, 1879–1953, Soviet Communist leader and head of the USSR from the death of V. I. Lenin (1924) until his own death, b. Gori, Georgia.
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, who used it to maintain the Soviet state by keeping its populace in a state of terror. Gulag deaths of both political prisoners and common criminals from overwork, starvation, and other forms of maltreatment are estimated to have been in the millions during Stalin's years in power.

Perhaps the best known of the Gulag camp complexes was Kolyma, an area in the Far East about six times the size of France that contained more than 100 camps. About three million are thought to have died there from its establishment in 1931 to 1953, the year of Stalin's death. The Gulag scheme was adapted into the infamous concentration campconcentration camp,
a detention site outside the normal prison system created for military or political purposes to confine, terrorize, and, in some cases, kill civilians.
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 system used during World War II, especially as Nazi death factories. The Soviet system was publicized in the writings of Aleksandr SolzhenitsynSolzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isayevich
, 1918–2008, Russian writer widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential authors of the 20th cent., b. Kislovodsk.

Solzhenitsyn grew up in Rostov-na-Donu, where he studied physics and mathematics at Rostov State Univ.
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, particularly in his book The Gulag Archipelago (1973, tr. 1974). Millions were released from the Gulag under Nikita KhrushchevKhrushchev, Nikita Sergeyevich
, 1894–1971, Soviet Communist leader, premier of the USSR (1958–64), and first secretary of the Communist party of the Soviet Union (1953–64).
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, and the system was finally abolished by Mikhail GorbachevGorbachev, Mikhail Sergeyevich
, 1931–, Soviet political leader. Born in the agricultural region of Stavropol, Gorbachev studied law at Moscow State Univ., where in 1953 he married a philosophy student, Raisa Maksimovna Titorenko (1932?–99).
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See A. Shifrin, The First Guidebook to Prisons and Concentration Camps of the Soviet Union (tr. 1980), A. Applebaum, Gulag: A History (2003) and Gulag Voices (2011) ; N. Adler, The Gulag Survivor (2004); F. V. Mochulsky, Gulag Boss (tr. 2010); A. Solzhenitsyn, ed., Voices from the Gulag (tr. 2010).


(formerly) the central administrative department of the Soviet security service, established in 1930, responsible for maintaining prisons and forced labour camps
References in periodicals archive ?
Dans un second temps, le goulag semble evoquer la mise en pratique de l'ideologie communiste en ex-URSS.
La promotion de l'Archipel du Goulag de Soljenitsyne se doublait de la formation extensive d'un archipel de bases militaires et de centrales de << conseillers >> en maintien de l'ordre democratique.
L'URSS n'incarnait plus l'espoir messianique d'un nouveau monde, mais il devient de plus en plus associe aux termes de goulag, brutalites, invasions.
I am likewise deeply grateful to Alain Blum and Marta Craveri, scientific directors of the project "Archives sonores: Memoires europeennes du Goulag," without which this research would have been impossible.
Le goulag americain designe ici des prisons isolees et eloignees du regard des citoyens, comme pouvaient l'etre les camps de prisonniers sovietiques en Siberie.
Wine si le texte ne traite pas directement de l'holocauste nucleaire, historique d'Hiroshima/Nagasaki, on peut toutefois regretter que ces noms ne soient pas mentionnes une seule fois, alors que ceux de Auschwitz et de Goulag le sont.
En Michoacan, decretos sobre educacion que huelen a camisas negras del fascismo; en el Estado de Mexico leyes todavia en vigor, que huelen a Archipielago Goulag que convierten a quien critica al gobernador en reo condenado a seis anos de prision.
Amnesty, Criminality, and Public Response in 1953," in Dilemmas of De-Stalinization, 21-40; Marc Elie, "Les politiques a l'egard des liberes du Goulag amnisties et rehabilites dans la region de Novosibirsk, 1953-1960," Cahiers du monde russe 47, 1-2 (2006): 327-84; Denis Kozlov, "Naming the Social Evil: The Readers of Novyi mir and Vladimir Dudintsev's Not by Bread Alone, 1956-59 and Beyond," in Dilemmas of De-Stalinization, 80-98.
Les goulags et camps d'extermination ont montre la limite d'une civilisation, ebranlant tous ses fondements jusqu'au plan religieux, ebranlement cristallise autour de la question de l'existence d'un Dieu apres Auschwitz.
Orthodox and Catholic priests, Protestant ministers, were killed in the Goulags.
His evenhandedness thus stands out in comparison with the intellectuals who combated capitalist imperialism (represented by the United States) in all its forms all while defending the dialectical forces for "Peace" and "Progress" (represented by the Soviet Union and its satellites), and so vilified all (in particular David Rousset and Margaret Beuber-Neumann) who spoke out against Stalin's goulags and deportations (Todorov, Memoire 105-24, 161-72).
Ce sont aussi des revoltes contre l'autoritarisme et cette terrible transformation de l'utopie communiste en une dictature implacable qui a etouffe dans les goulags les reves d'autonomie du sujet.