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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 ?
Photographs show that the passage of time has physically leveled the surviving participants in the history of the Gulag.
Still, Klause uses numerous unpublished documents from archives in Moscow, Magadan, and elsewhere as well as contemporaneous Soviet publications about and from the Gulag (camp journals, etc.
Below I explore how the Gulag experience interpreted in tandem with a popular Lithuanian religious image brings a new note to the understanding of Christ.
Anton atraveso de sur a norte la geografia del gulag y lleva en su cuerpo las cicatrices de una de las mayores monstruosidades del siglo XX, cuando los millones de hombres y mujeres que tuvieron la suerte de no ser fusilados en los juicios sumarios y las purgas fueron obligados a trabajar hasta la muerte, congelados, con hambre y enfermos.
As noted by Blaine Harden, author of the recently published book ''Escape from Camp 14,'' the North Korean gulag has existed twice as long as did the Soviet network of labor camps created by Lenin and Stalin, and 12 times as long as Hitler's concentration camps.
She wrote before other GULAG accounts circulated illegally in manuscript form.
Then, in 2006, a friend put me in touch with Louis Hutchins, a curator of the National Parks Service who was staging the first major exhibition on the Gulag to be presented to the American public in collaboration with Russian and other agencies.
Behind the gulag walls, Janusz meets Khabarov (Mark Strong), who claims that escape is possible if they head south, using the elements to cover their tracks.
During Ermolaev's long life, his work involved a range of related academic disciplines from geology to geophysics and geochemistry and was conducted both out in the field in the far North, in a university setting, and in the GULAG prison camp system following his re-arrest in 1940.
We believe that these sufferings and torments have strengthened the power of the church as it grows with a divine power rather than with a human one," Kirill said at the Golgotha-Crucifixion Hermitage on Anzer Island, where sick gulag prisoners were sent to die.
In 1973, the first of the three volumes of The Gulag Archipelago was published in the West.
The iconic writer, who spent eight years in the Gulag prison camps before devoting his life to documenting the horrors of Soviet rule, was buried in the shadow of a chapel in a ceremony broadcast live on national television.