Out of Solitary Confinement: The History of the Gulag.
Oleg Khlevniuk, The History of the Gulag: From Collectivization to the Great Terror. Translated by Vadim A. Staklo. 464 pp. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005. ISBN 0300092849. $45.00.
Tomas Kizny, Gulag: Life and Death inside Soviet Concentration Camps. 496 pp., illus., maps. Richmond Hill, Ont.: Firefly Books, 2004. ISBN 1552979644. $69.95.
The arrests were admittedly indiscriminate and designed to inspire terror and disorientation. Some were taken off the street. Others were surprised in their beds in late-night roundups. One man was detained simply because he had a long beard, which suggested he might be a radical Muslim cleric. Once in the detention center, the detainees were led into a special room where they were told to face the wall and assume stress positions. Guards took turns watching to make sure no one slept or lay down, for days on end if need be, until the detainees were willing to testify. The most resistant detainees were beaten while handcuffed or tied. At times, officers beat them to the point of "fanatical cruelty." One guard, particularly enjoying himself, humiliated the detainees by forcing them to dance, "cheering" up those who danced poorly with jabs from a sharply pointed stick. Another investigator smeared the detainees' heads with glue, and in winter forced them to "bathe" in a cold shower. when beatings induced death, prison-appointed medical doctors wrote up fictive medical reports. Since the detainees had not been officially charged, family members seeking information about their loved ones lined up outside the prison where the muffled cries of the beaten detainees slipped from the walls. Since most of the guards and interrogators did not know the native languages of the detained Muslims, confessions were often creatively constructed; in other words, investigators made them up. Subsequent investigations found that over one-third of the sentenced were innocent of any crime at all. Of course, this activity was not sanctioned by law. Investigators later looking into the abuses at the prison cited the articles of the Constitution that guaranteed "personal inviolability" and habeas corpus. (1)
Lest the reader mistake this account for a description of abuses in American prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Cuba, I hasten to correct that impression. This account of prison abuse derives from a Soviet investigation of People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD) and Gulag officials in Turkmenistan in 1939. I came across the records reading for this review essay in the seven-volume document collection Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga and Oleg Khlevniuk's History of the Gulag. Since, as Senator Dick Durbin knows well (and paid for with his tears) there can be no comparison in current American culture of the monstrous and singular cruelties of the Gulag with American practices against civilians identified as "enemy combatants," I rush to make this qualification. (2) The Gulag stands alone as signifier of senseless state repression, lawlessness, and cruelty.
Durbin cribbed the phrase "a Gulag of our time" from Amnesty International's 2005 report. He also quoted from Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) accounts of prisoners held in chambers of extreme heat or cold, chained naked to the floor without food and water, defecating on themselves, beaten, and forced to dance, lick their shoes and body parts, crawl and bark like dogs. (3) well after the abuses were made public, Vice President Dick Cheney denied any mistreatment of detainees at Guantanamo. He said the detainees "have been well treated, treated humanely and decently." "Occasionally there are allegations of mistreatment," he added. "But if you trace those back, in nearly every case, it turns out to come from somebody who had been inside and released to their home country and now are peddling lies about how they were treated." (4)
with his bald-faced denial of torture, Cheney could not have better illustrated how a breath of the Gulag might just emanate from Guantanamo. His performance mimicked that of Maksim Gor'kii, who several months after smiling broadly for a photo in front of the notorious Solovetskii Labor Camp, lied with sanctimony in refuting reports of Soviet camp abuses. The reports had triggered a boycott of Soviet timber products in the west, and Soviet leaders led a media counter-offensive. In an article published in Pravda on 5 March 1931, Gor'kii called convict labor "a petty, foul slander" aimed at economically isolating and weakening the USSR. "The Soviet regime," he fibbed, "does not employ convict labor even in prisons, where illiterate criminals have to study and where peasants enjoy the right to leave for their villages and families during the agricultural season" (Khlevniuk, 28-29). It seems that when a state goes to the trouble of sanctioned, systemwide torture of civilians for purposes of political control, government officials do not willingly own up to these practices. In fact, those who point out the fact of abuse are discredited as slanderers, "peddling lies" and ultimately abetting the enemy.
The bewildering fact is, despite the official denials, we know of Soviet and American abuses of prisoners precisely because investigators from the NKVD, United State Political Directorate (OGPU), FBI, and U.S. Army described the crimes in appalling detail. FBI and NKVD agents inspected prisons with cameras and notebooks in hand, recording testimonies from prisoners-turned-witnesses, noting the bruises and lacerations and vacant stares of men and women who had been doctors, civil servants, lawyers, and farmers. They beheld the blood stains on the walls. They stepped into and then quickly out of the dark, dank isolation chambers smelling of excrement and human misery. They glimpsed the battered corpses. They then wrote all this horror down for posterity. why, when government spokesmen were so adamant in their denials, did inspectors write about the abuses in the first place, and then in such magnificent detail? who among the leaders who ordered torture would then sanction an investigation into the practices and results of torture?
In the American case, the answer comes readily to hand. The United States has a free press, an open judicial apparatus, and watchdog organizations like Amnesty International and the Red Cross to look out for the rights of those unfairly treated. Abuses in the American case were and are an anomaly, and the American system of transparent governance perseveres as a democracy because of precisely these kinds of mechanisms that can locate and expose abuses to the public so as to correct them. If this answer does not suffice, other, somewhat contradictory answers justify the persistence of extreme measures in extraordinary times: America is at war, and terrorists need to be dealt with using a firm hand. According to President Bush, terrorists are "cowards," "barbarians," and "evil-doers" who hide in the shadows and aspire to world domination. (5) The secretive and desperate nature of this enemy thus justifies the suspension of laws, abroad and even at home, where Human Rights watch estimates that 50,000 people are being held indefinitely without charges. (6)
But what of the Soviet case? One cannot speak of the Soviet system as either transparent or democratic. There was, admittedly, the Moscow Society of the Red Cross, which was renamed in 1922 the Society for Aid to Political Prisoners. This society, chaired by E. P. Peshkova, Gor'kii's wife, visited prisoners and advocated for them until Nikolai Ezhov closed the organization in 1937. In 1931, when political prisoners went on a hunger strike in the Verkhne-Ural'sk political prison, they sent a list of demands to the Collegium of the Gulag of the OGPU. Their demands included judicial proceedings against abusive guards; access to more light, air, space, clothing, and bedding; the right to collective representation; an expanded library; subscriptions to foreign newspapers; monkey bars in the courtyard; better medical care; and dental prostheses. Some of these demands, including a court martial for several abusive guards, were met. (7) Unlike hunger strikers recently in Guantanamo, these hunger strikers were not force-fed. (8) The early 1930s, however, were still the good years, if one can call them that, of the Soviet penal system (Khlevniuk, 53). By the late 1930s, Soviet leaders arbitrarily arrested thousands, then hundreds of thousands and then millions of their own citizens in peacetime conditions. They tortured these prisoners soundly. Surely there is no justification for torture without war? Clearly Soviet leaders did not order investigations into abuses in order to clean up the system and make it humane?
Yet, from the inception until the end of the Gulag, Soviet officials investigated official abuse in camps and issued reports drenched in moral opprobrium. (9) The investigative commissions most often ended their reports with a list of actions aimed at ending the abuses in the prisons and camps. (10) After the reports, conditions might improve for six months or a year, or they might not. Prison wardens might be punished and become prison wards themselves, or they might stay on their jobs. Regardless of the outcome, the practice of illegal detention and abuse carried on decade after decade. In the American case, despite the headlines of 2004-5 and the public trial of the handful of army privates court-martialed for abuse at Abu Ghraib, army and CIA authorities still detain people without charges, apply physical pressure, and employ stress positions. Despite the condemnation of international human rights organizations, the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon continue to insist they have a legal right to forgo the Convention against Torture. (11) CIA rendition squads apparently continue to kidnap civilians in European countries, drug them, swathe them in diapers, and transport them thousands of miles to third countries where practices resembling torture are normalized. The methods for detention and interrogation used by investigators in Iraq and Cuba derive, reportedly, from CIA manuals issued in 1963 that envisioned not a Muslim extremist as detainee, but a Soviet agent. (12) In other words, to "Gittmoize" is a new verb applied to old practices. Abu Ghraib is business as usual, or, as Michelle Brown phrases it, "terror as usual." (13)
So why, if high-placed officials sanctioned illegal detention and torture, vehemently denying the abuse publicly, would they then order detailed investigations into abuses that continue despite official condemnation? The student of Soviet history would note that the report I describe above dates from 1939, when Stalin and Beria called a halt to the Great Purges and in turn arrested and charged thousands of NKVD officials for following orders issued in 1937 to arrest by quota in a series of broad and discriminatory categories. The general wisdom is that after ordering a mass purge, Stalin then sought to erase the evidence of his crimes by executing the assassins. The problem with this theory is that the investigations into official abuses used to sentence the 7,000-8,000 NKVD agents guilty of abuse covered nothing up but rather exposed the crimes of the Gulag in a paper trail as long as the Belomor Canal. (14)
In answering this question--why tell all, when it is so incriminating?--I found answers in an essay by Jacqueline Rose, who in turn was ruminating on Sigmund Freud. She argues that at times it becomes difficult for citizens to distinguish between the "totalitarian" or "rogue" states and one's own, which employs the same practices as the enemy in order to annihilate it. She writes:
Today the citizen is again faced with the dawning recognition--the "horror," to use Freud's term--that "the state has forbidden to the individual the practice of wrongdoing, not because it desires to abolish it, but because it desires to monopolize it, like salt and tobacco." ... A belligerent state not only breaks the law in relation to the enemy; it also violates the principles that should hold between itself and its citizens. "A belligerent state," Freud writes, "permits itself every such misdeed, every act of violence as would disgrace the individual." No surprise, then, that faced with the disclosure of such misdeeds as those at Abu Ghraib, the state will rush to return them to the citizen precisely as "individual disgrace." (15)
Rose adds that a state's denial and repression of its crimes is not only central to the urge to scapegoat, but that repression might point to a larger concern, that of projecting the crimes of the self outward. we can see this process clearly in the Stalinist regime. In 1930, A. I. Rykov, chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (SNK USSR), directed Gulag officials to conceal the fact of prison camp labor in Soviet ports, and Karl Radek ordered a media campaign in Pravda to expose labor conditions in capitalist countries and slavery in colonies of England and France (Khlevniuk, 29). Not surprisingly, the subsequent Soviet press descriptions of colonial slavery mirrored accounts of brutal exploitation in Soviet camps. For Pravda reporters, impressions of brutality and enslaved labor were close at hand. Likewise, moral outrage has fueled the bulk of western scholarship on the Gulag. Senator Durbin was driven to tears because the consensus in American newspapers was that the Gulag cannot be compared to American prisons but can only shed light on practices of totalitarian states of the extreme Right or Left. (16) Soviet leaders, some editorialists added, imprisoned and tortured their own citizens in the Gulag (as well as a fair number of foreigners), whereas American prisons abroad and Immigration and Nationalization Service detention centers at home deprive only non-U.S. citizens of rights. This argument is persuasive, if one bypasses the principles of universal human rights sanctified in the Geneva Conventions and the Helsinki Accords and upheld so vigorously by American officials during the Cold war.
Despite all the denials of the Gulag metaphor, as I read through the newly published seven-volume collection of documents Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga and then studied the daily headlines and the International Red Cross and Amnesty International reports, I grew disoriented and confused, as if someone had thrown a hood over my head and prodded me down long passages of grim detail. A queasy repetition played out across the pages of texts written in 1935 and 2005. In Soviet documents, guards suffering from "acute edginess" set dogs on prisoners, drank "voluminously," beat with sticks and rifle butts, ordered prisoners into solitary confinement stripped naked and on shortened rations. The headlines swarming from newspapers describe U.S. soldiers surprising civilians in late-night searches, detaining them in the thousands without charges, and handing them over to prison guards who set dogs on prisoners, beat and humiliated them, and forced them to strip naked and stay awake for long periods deprived of food, light, water, and medical services, all to "soften them up" for interrogation.
The whole nightmare of Iraqi society occupied and subject to a policing system leaves us with a new set of questions as we approach the history of the Gulag. why did we not come to Senator Durbin's aid? who should know better than we historians of the Soviet Union whether the headlines of the past few years resonate with chapters from the Gulag? whether we agree or not with Amnesty International's metaphor, is it not important for professional historians to weigh in? what sort of repression lingers behind the United States' continued fixation on "totalitarian empires"? why was it so easy for President Bush to openly recast the Cold war enemy into the current enemy in the war on Terror? (17) why was this grossly simplified migration of images so easy to pull off?
I fear that we sat silently on the sidelines because not far from the surface of American histories of the Soviet Union is a self-congratulatory subtext on the righteousness of the American way. whether we intend to or not, our histories of the Soviet past are often read as implicit comparisons with the U.S. government which is perceived, in direct contrast to the Soviet Union, as bound by laws and by the principles of transparent governance, universal equality, and civil rights; overseen by a watchdog free press; and fortified with a free market economy, practitioners of which, in the pursuit of profits, rarely have time to exploit or discriminate. (18) This is, however, an image of American history that few historians of the United States would recognize.
If one relinquishes the singularity of the Gulag, one can also surrender the Gulag as the emblem of a particularly Soviet repression. Perhaps it is time, in these days when moral opprobrium is ever harder to drum up, to take a giant step backward, so as to acquire perspective on the Gulag and place it more squarely in the panorama of the history of unfree and restricted labor, as well as in the context of the development of the industrial welfare state. Soviet polemicists sought to relativize the Gulag by fingering colonialism and slavery, but as I pointed out above, they did so to externalize the enslaving and colonial qualities of Soviet society. I do not wish to recycle those arguments in this essay but rather to shed light comparatively on the Gulag in order to integrate it more fully into the larger history of the Soviet Union, a line of questioning that then might help elucidate greater global developments of the 20th century. with a broader scope in our sights, we can return to the Gulag as metaphor in American society to reflect on its relevance. My hope is that by considering seriously the image of the Gulag, we might be able to curb what Freud would identify as repression of the "rogue" qualities of our own state.
The Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga documentary collection is a good place to start this re-evaluation of the Gulag. The volumes are based on the holdings of the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF). The collection is divided according to topics: Mass Repressions in the USSR (volume 1); The Penal System: Structure and Personnel (volume 2); Economics of the Gulag (volume 3); The Gulag Population: Structure, Numbers, and Living Conditions (volume 4); Special Deportees in the USSR (volume 5); Prison Uprisings, Riots, and Strikes (volume 6); and, finally, The History of the Soviet Repressive-Penal Policy and Penal System in the Holdings of the State Archive of the Russian Federation: Annotated Guide to the Files (volume 7). Each volume contains a useful introduction that elucidates the kind of materials in the collection, the reason for the selection, and the editors' interpretation of the documents. The editorial board of the collection and of the separate volumes tried to select documents, among the millions that concerned the Gulag, which told the most comprehensive story. They also tried to use documents that had not been published before. I had worked in several of these collections in GARF. Some documents I read again as familiar acquaintances. Even with this familiarity, I found the document collection a wonderful resource, as it gathers the documents into categories by topics and periods, making it easier for a researcher to locate a particular kind of document and to get the big picture.
The editors of the collection agree that the main purpose of the Gulag was terror for political control. Robert Conquest asserts that the Gulag was the isolation chamber for those who opposed or might oppose the regime. He writes, "The whole terror operation can, in fact, be understood as a conscious effort, on what were seen as Marxist grounds, to eliminate or crush all those categorized as unamenable to the new order" (Istoriia, 1: 30). The Gulag, then, is the key element of totalitarian rule, defined as "use of political repression as an 'ordinary' instrument for governing the country." (19) This is not a new interpretation of the Gulag, although I found it surprising given what follows in the seven volumes. In the first volume, we learn that most people landed in the various institutions of the Gulag administration for apolitical crimes. Even in 1937, during the "Great Terror" only 42,435 (of the 927,979 persons sentenced) were convicted of counter-revolutionary crimes. The biggest categories of convictions were for garden-variety crimes: theft (178,408), assault (172,861), hooliganism (131,027) and "official crime" on the job (121,926).20 The majority of inmates of Gulag institutions were not educated urbanites engaged in social, cultural, or political activity; people who could be seen as rivals to totalitarian rule. Instead, until the 1940s when the state passed laws immobilizing industrial workers, peasants, and rural dwellers, the majorities of the Gulag camps and settlements were made up by fleetingly educated people who were politically, culturally, and geographically marginalized. (21) These numbers portray a state that picked on the poorest and most politically disenfranchised segment of the population. If political control was the main objective, these were hardly the people to target. Despite the standard interpretation, the evidence presented in the document collection suggests it is time for a new framework for our interpretation of the Gulag.
In his History of the Gulag: From Collectivization to the Great Terror, Oleg Khlevniuk has started on this project of re-framing the Gulag. Khlevniuk has impressively absorbed the central archives of the Gulag, Party, and state and emerged with a view of the centrality of the Gulag in the history of the Soviet Union. He argues that Soviet society, in creating the Gulag, remade itself in the image of the Gulag. He writes in the last pages of his book: "The Gulag spread beyond the barbed wire. Society absorbed the criminal mindset, the reliance on violence, and the prison culture. The spread of the Gulag is a real problem--as real as the monstrous price paid by millions for the establishment and expansion of Stalinism." (22) As the values of the Gulag filtered into Soviet society, he notes, it made for an attitude of passivity, extreme intolerance, a lack of initiative, and distrust of leaders, all of which, he writes, carries over into contemporary Russian civil society.
Most have read of prisoners reluctant to leave their cells after prolonged incarceration. Khlevniuk conceptualizes Russian society as immobilized at the threshold of the prison gates: passive, distrustful, disoriented, and prone to violence. He perceives a Gulag-saturated society giving way to the rule of the vory and suki, the endlessly warring thieves and stooges of the camps, who metaphorically held up post-Soviet society at gunpoint. After 1991, they burglarized publicly owned industries and banks, embezzled the immense wealth of the Communist Party, hijacked elections, bought off elected leaders, and generally ran Russia as the suki and vory aggressively and confidently ruled the postwar labor camps in collusion with the Gulag administration. (23) we know that most of the new Russian mafia did not come from the ranks of ex-cons. (24) Rather, Khlevniuk argues, the culture of the Gulag, the habits of extreme brutality and exploitation of the strong by the weak leached into Soviet and then post-Soviet society. with this idea in mind, the fact that a former KGB official today crowns the whole edifice makes perfect sense. Khlevniuk's history, grounded in the late 1990s, reflects the vast disappointment in Russia with what had once seemed like the limitless promises of democracy and free markets.
But perhaps it is the other way around. Soviet society, after all, constructed the Gulag, not vice versa. In place of the image of the Gulag hijacking a docile Soviet society, perhaps we can see the Gulag as one of the building blocks of Soviet society, as a piece with it. The perception, after all, of living within incarcerated space was not lost on Soviet citizens, who referred to the Gulag as the "little zone" (malaia zona) and the rest of society as the "big zone" (bol'shaia zona). Certainly, the boundary between incarceration and freedom was blurred in the Stalinist USSR. For good behavior, prisoners had the right to live outside camp gates, using their free hours to go to the baths, shop, and wander around town. OGPU reports describe inmates fraternizing freely with camp officials, even dancing with their wives. Prisoners working in important enterprises, such as the Magnitogorsk plant or the Kuznetsk mines, were better supplied than some free workers. (25) Meanwhile, collectivefarm workers, who did not have passports, lived in a state of enforced poverty and immobility, working, like prisoners, not for wages but on a system of labor days. Like some prisoners, collective farmers also starved; more lived for years along the sharp edge of hunger. (26) Like prisoners, collective farmers could not leave for work elsewhere without permission. Unlike prisoners, collective farmers, detained but not sentenced, were not working days off their time. (27) Like detainees at Guantanamo, their detention was indefinite.
I would rather envision the Gulag as located along a continuum of incarcerated space which, like the highways built with convict labor, rolled off from "regime-zone" cities, proceeded to "open" cities and towns, exited in the collective farms (where villagers without passports had no right to leave), swerved, hardly stopping, in deportee special settlements (where villagers were restricted to a 25-kilometer zone) and dead-ended, inexplicably, as Gulag-constructed highways sometimes did, at the varied zones of unfreedom of the Gulag. How did this spatial regime develop and why? Looking at the history of space allows one to see what a focus on economics, policies, and laws has obscured: a puzzling pattern of increasingly exclusive spatial practices alongside expanding legal equality.
The editors of the seven documentary volumes of Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga point to the First Five-Year Plan and the decision to embark on immediate, mass collectivization as the starting point for the incarceration epidemic that led eventually to the brutal exploitation of prisoners in large-scale industrial projects. Before 1928, Soviet leaders toyed with plans for prison labor in industry and to settle inaccessible frontiers, but these plans largely foundered. In 1924, Feliks Dzherzhinskii first schemed of settling prisoners in empty, roadless places. In 1927, the Politburo raised the possibility of using prisoners in mining for gold. Genrikh Iagoda replied that at the time this would be "difficult," and the Politburo tabled the question for the time being (Istoriia, 2: 27, 119).
But the First Five-Year Plan aroused an insatiable desire for raw materials such as timber, cotton, grain, and gold to exchange for hard currency abroad in order to buy capital goods. In 1928, People's Commissar of Justice N. M. Ianson suggested applying prisoners toward the "goal of sharply increasing timber export." Only in May 1929, however, did the Politburo decide to use prison labor for the goal of colonizing sparsely settled and economically underdeveloped territories. (28) In keeping with that decision, in June 1929, the Politburo resolved to replace the existing system of prisons with a network of labor camps. (29)
This decision to employ prisoners in hard-currency-generating operations brought leaders at the NKVD offices of the union republics and at the OGPU to an open battle for control over what promised to be lucrative endeavors. OGPU leaders won this battle in part because they exposed in investigations the horrific abuses of NKVD prisoners and exiles. (30) On 11 July 1929, the SNK SSR decreed that all prisoners with terms over three years be assigned to the OGPU. The NKVD offices in the republics received those with sentences under three years and prisoners sentenced to forced labor without guard. with the transfer of prisons from the NKVD, the OGPU opened a series of camps to add to the existing Solovetskii Camp (SLON). By the end of 1929, there were a total of five new camps and projections for more in Kazakhstan and Central Asia (Istoriia, 2: 58, 70, 76-78). The total number of inmates serving time in the camps in January 1930 was 95,064, a paltry number compared to later years. Khlevniuk and the editors of the Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga argue that the coincidence of the Politburo resolution to employ prisoners to produce for the Five-Year Plan (rather than "outside the plan") coincided with the deluge of new kulak detainees to change the course of the Soviet penal system. It placed the OGPU in charge of a vast circuit of special settlements, which, because of their failure, were eventually transformed into "an organized system of terror and exploitation of forced labor" in Gulag camps (Khlevniuk, 10).
OGPU troikas started arresting kulaks, however, only in January 1930. The new camps, the resolutions to employ them in industrial production, and the power struggle for control of them occurred a full six months before the mass arrests and deportations of kulaks. without the surpluses of labor brought on by de-kulakization, the projects sought by the Gulag administration, which demanded a massive labor force, would not have been feasible, profitable, or desirable. (31) So why were officials at the OGPU and NKVD fighting over them? Knowing what we do about the contradictory, makeshift, and hasty pace of decision-making among the top Soviet leadership, OGPU and NKVD officers could not have foreseen in May 1929 the cascade of cheap labor that would pour in with the Politburo resolution of 30 January 1930 ordering the liquidation of kulak farms and establishing quotas for kulak arrest and detention.
Even before mass actions against kulaks, another development occurred that placed the penitentiary system squarely in the center of the emerging Soviet industrial economy and welfare state. In 1928, security agencies started to establish what would become a major project of setting up and policing borders within the Soviet Union. This change restricted individual mobility and created zones of privilege and incarceration throughout the union. In 1928, for example, the Sovnarkom SSSR issued lists of places where exiles could and could not settle after exile. (32) In the same year, the Sovnarkom relinquished funds to the OGPU to carry out measures to send off "socially dangerous" elements from select Soviet cities. (33) In 1929, security forces cleansed 100,000 dangerous elements in the grain-growing belts of the Caucusus and Ukraine (Istoriia, 1: 62). As these internal borders were being established, the state started rationing basic foodstuffs in 1928-29 and instituted a multi-tiered pricing and distribution system. In establishing a ration system, the state prioritized urban over rural territory and the center over the periphery. Industrial and urban workers received ration cards, thus the right to buy necessities at the lowest rates. Eventually, the Commissariat of Supply issued four lists of cities, ranking them along a descending hierarchy from industrial to consumer production. The commissariat provided goods to industrial centers first and most generously. (34) Except for professional workers and party-state officials, most people in the countryside were left with no rations and had to fend for themselves, buying little or paying prices at commercial stores and markets that were ten times higher than the rationed rates. (35)
Like the winged shadow of a bird of prey, these measures were the first signs of the re-conception of space in the Soviet Union. The direction of these measures was to begin to set up internal zones to control the distribution of goods and populations. More measures followed which led to the notion that some zones--regime zones, military and border zones--needed to be purified, thus periodically purged, for reasons of domestic tranquillity and international security. The administrative struggle to control prison labor and the initial growth of the labor camps (the first sweeps of cities in 1928 and five new camps in 1929) coincided with the subdivision of almost all Soviet territory by the end of the First Five-Year Plan.
The First Five-Year Plan is significant in that it turned the obsolescence of private property in the Soviet Union into a mass phenomenon. These innovations--patrolling urban populations, designating some places off-limits to certain categories of citizens, and establishing hierarchies of distribution between rural and urban spaces--grew out of the vacuum of control that private property normally affords. Private property serves as a place marker; it holds territory in reserve while owners are absent and keeps the movements of populations in check. Private property also helps sort populations by income and class. Liberal theorists tend to idealize the institution of private property as a guarantor of freedom and choice, asserting that property is available to all who can pay for it. Thus opportunity, if not access, is universal. when the institution of private property is, however, combined with spatial practices such as zoning, covenants, special territorial designations, eminent domain, and preferential access to subsidized credit, as it was in the United States, then access to property can be restricted in discriminatory ways. At this point, state and private organizations work to use private property to restrict populations from some places and channel them to others.
For example, as the Great Migration was drawing large populations of African Americans from the rural South in the 1930s, the U.S. government issued secret "Residential Security Maps" for a list of over 300 American cities. The maps, which described urban territories according to the security of investment, zoned red and characterized as "dangerous" for investment all urban neighborhoods with African American populations. Getting a loan from a private bank and later from the Federal Housing Authority for a home in a red or "risky" neighborhood proved difficult or impossible. with these maps re-coding the landscape, African Americans found it increasingly difficult to move from redlined neighborhoods because, as the FHA manual instructed, once undesirable elements--ethnic minorities and especially African Americans--"invaded" neighborhoods, those neighborhoods, too, fell into the red zone and declined in value. (36) Security fears here were financial, and thus logical within the free market economy. The racial discrimination and segregation that grew out of redlining was seen, then, not as discriminatory but as sound financial practices aimed at securing one's investment in a nominally free market economy.
As the American welfare state developed with the New Deal, it did not indiscriminately and equitably channel public wealth. (37) Federally subsidized highways and housing loans, tax structures, and municipal zoning bankrolled all-white residential suburbs reeling across the landscape away from a color line radiating from redlined urban centers. (38) Ghetto dwellers often paid in taxes for these suburbs, to which they had access only as hired labor. Segregated zoning then determined many other matters of everyday life: access to jobs, education, medical care, social services, and consumer goods. People who violated the zones were vulnerable to vigilante violence and arrest. As the red zones hardened in the following decades, African American incarceration rates climbed disproportionately to the rest of the population. In short, racial segregation subsidized limited-access zones of privilege in suburbs, as moat-like highways surrounded ghettos that trapped African Americans in generational poverty and incarceration. Detained in inner cities, African Americans stood by as white America became richer than ever. For them, the American Dream transformed into what Malcolm X called the "American Nightmare."
It is important to note that private property became the mechanism around which this pervasive, debilitating, and, for white majorities, very popular segregation occurred for the next five decades. Yet because space is invisible, the principles of universal citizenship, equal rights, and the supposedly indiscriminate quality of free markets remained lodged in American national mythology, despite the visible fact of racial segregation. (39) In 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the white primary and in 1948 abolished racial covenants. Brown v. Board of Education de-segregated schools in 1954. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1968 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ended legalized segregation. Despite these laws, or perhaps because of the laws, segregation continued to the end of the century. (40) with the principles of equal opportunity affirmed, re-affirmed, and re-affirmed again in law, Americans could continue to believe that those who landed in U.S. prisons and on the dole did so solely because of their own moral shortcomings.
In the Soviet Union during the First Five-Year Plan, similar processes were occurring with the development of a new welfare state that redistributed public wealth and tried to control mass rural-urban migration. In the Soviet Union, the industrialization and collectivization drives pushed private property off the map in one forceful blitz. This was the Crisis. Millions of peasants, especially those in the densely populated western territories, had lived bottled up and underemployed for decades. with no land to hold them, they spilled out uncorked. Kulaks, of course, were expelled from the villages in the millions, but many more millions sought to leave by their own volition. They went, repelled by the exploitative terms of the collective farm, and drawn by the glimmer of well-supplied cities on the horizon. (41) In the United States, the regulation of private property through zoning and access to credit managed the flow of rural African American migrants to urban ghettos. How does one manage the movement of population and labor without the controlling force of private property? In the Soviet Union, Soviet leaders accomplished this task by zoning not just urban territory, as in the United States, but all territory.
Like a wall of water broken through a dyke, 12 million people went into motion without the powerful channeling force of private property to guide, control, restrict, redirect, and curtail them. In 1917, the revolutionaries found the masses--spontaneous, rootless, and organized--to be a tremendous force. (42) Yet it was just this spontaneous and powerful force that came to be feared as the Bolshevik revolutionaries consolidated power and focused on state-building in the early 1930s. The "masses" then became millions of individuals moving about as they saw fit, seeking to satisfy their own wordless desires. Left to migrate at will, the masses posed an alarming threat. (43) But if this motion could be controlled, then the unruly mob could be shaped into an orderly and productive labor force, a tremendous asset for the industrialization effort. It is as a workforce (rabsila) that most Gulag documents refer to prisoners. Rarely in the documents are inmates characterized as "spies," "wreckers," "criminals," or other descriptors that imply a threat to society. Most frequently, they are simply rabsila. The term is an abbreviation of work force, rabochaia sila, but also can be read as "slave force." Of course, in Marxist ideology the two terms flow together.
When the end of private property opened up endless territory, apparently free for the taking and setting in motion a rabsila in need of direction, a few visionaries materialized from the depths of the OGPU bureaucracy to chart out a pathbreaking role for the penal system in the Soviet industrialization drive. In January 1930, Fedor Eikhmans, a decorated and well-regarded security officer, wrote a report in which he argued that the Soviet Union had miles of hard-to-reach, scarcely settled frontier. The frontier overflowed with treasures: coal, copper, timber, furs, fish, gold, gas, lead, oil, silver. Conjuring a version of Frederick Jackson Turner's frontier thesis, Eikhmans wrote that the first labor camp, Solovetskii (USLON, which he had directed from 1924-28), had single-handedly developed the entire Murmansk frontier. The camp had built miles of roads and railroads, fashioning a whole economic infrastructure out of naked tundra. "USLON has played a notable role in the fishing industry of the Karelo-Murmansk region," Eikhmans wrote, "... USLON is also introducing a series of industries: a leather factory, outfitted with the latest technology, a fur-processing factory, a shoe factory, a uniform-sewing factory, a saw mill, a brick factory, a shipbuilding wharf, its own fleet of boats, a network of trading enterprises, a model state farm, an arboretum.... All of this together greatly increases the goods exchange capacity of the region." Eikhmans added that the camp had contributed to civilizing this northern frontier by contributing to local state and soviet organizations, as well as to research at local and regional institutes and academies (Istoriia, 2: 77). Most important, the camp had settled the region by supplying it with a labor force: "In the background of the economic activities of USLON," Eikhmans noted, "there is great significance in the fact that in participating in all major economic activities of the province, USLON liberates local governmental organizations from the complicated, expensive, and partly unfeasible goal of selecting and transporting a labor force [rabsila], for which in the peripheries there is dire need. This work prepares contingents for colonization of the region" (ibid.).
Eikhmans elaborated on plans for new camps that had been underway since July 1929. These camps would develop virgin territories in the same way that Solovetskii had fashioned Murmansk into an industrial center. Each new location he paired up with resources: Vaigach Island (lead and silver mines), Kazakhstan (copper), Far East (coal), and so on. He noted: "All these objectives are located on distant peripheries in deeply inaccessible, under- or unpopulated regions. Populating and exploiting these regions for economic goals is so difficult and complicated that any civilian organization, as strong as it may be, would find it very difficult to accomplish these tasks, not counting the unavoidably high expenses for such an endeavor. Therefore in accomplishing these tasks it is self-evident to use the OGPU's camps, its far-flung apparatus built on self-reliant, military discipline with economic flexibility and with its experience of overcoming obstacles, arising from a harsh environment." (44)
Iagoda, then deputy OGPU chairman, carried Eikhman's vision farther. In a memo from April 1930, he argued that prisons and labor camps were a vestige of the bourgeois past. A much speedier and more humane way to settle the North, he wrote, was to select groups of 1,500 inmates to establish settlements where they would build their own homes and raise their own produce and livestock while working in the non-agricultural season in mines and logging operations. women, too, could go and be allowed to marry. Since most of the prisoners were agrarian types who pined for the soil, he reasoned, they would not run away from the settlements and there would be no need for a guard. The settlements would become the outposts for a Soviet manifest destiny. "In a few years," Iagoda fantasized, "from these settlements there will emerge proletarian mining towns" (Istoriia, 2: 80). For Iagoda, it was only a matter of finding some frontiersmen to do the job. A week later, he sent out the call to Chekists "who," as everyone knew, "had proven to be enthusiasts for all kind of innovation." The memo sought volunteers to lead groups of inmates in establishing self-reliant frontier communities (ibid., 81-82).
Eikhmans himself met Iagoda's challenge to start up a colony in the polar North. wasting no time, Eikhmans emerges in the documents a few months later, on 17 July, standing on the bridge of a steamship plowing across the white Sea. He had with him 100 prisoners, a handful of guards, and a few chemists and geologists to start a mining settlement on Vaigach Island. Under "the red fingers of dawn," the ship landed on the shores of Varnek Bay. Tomas Kizny's poignant collection of photos and essays, Gulag: Life and Death inside the Soviet Concentration Camps, describes the short history of this experiment in polar expedition married to penal rehabilitation. Like Alaskan prospectors, the settler-convicts, swaddled in native fur, relied initially on the indigenous Nenets of the island and shipments from across the frozen sea. Reportedly, Eikhmans ran a humane settlement, along the lines Iagoda laid out in his memo. Prisoners were not guarded. They worked an eight-hour day in the mines. After work, they were free to wander about and purchase cheese, sausage, chocolate, and clothing at the expedition shop. Prisoners fraternized with the guards and professionals. They formed clubs, wrote a wall newspaper, took literacy classes, and set up a musical troupe. They also founded a museum of natural history in Varnek. When prisoners went out to the tundra, they were issued guns to fend off the polar bears. In Varnek, in fact, the chief function of guards and guns seems to have been in the confrontation not with prisoners but with nature. In one photograph, a Chekist stands in a classic trophy-hunting pose with a foot on the belly of a felled white dolphin. In another picture, Eikhmans' wife skis within sight of the settlement followed by an armed guard, there to protect her from bears (216, 217, 221).
In Varnek, the division between guard and prisoner faded considerably. In a photo of hired workers, prisoners, and Nenets, there is no way of telling who did the guarding and who was guarded. In 1931, Eikhmans even married (bravely? defiantly?) a prisoner, Galina Nikolaeva, the daughter of a tsarist officer who had taken part in several Arctic expeditions. Eikhmans assigned Galina's father, the convict Emel'ian Nikolaev, to the job of first officer of the steamship Malygin, which carried precious supplies to the settlement. The Gulag camp also worked to improve the lives of the Nenets. Eikhmans imported 900 reindeer to the island to set up a reindeer-breeding collective farm. He also established a native council of Vaigach Island. The Nenets often showed up in the settlement to trade furs for supplies and medical care (185-87, 191).
It is hard to imagine Iagoda as an idealist, a man looking to make a better world and inspiring others to that mission. Nevertheless, Iagoda's imagined Chekist, as well as this rendering of Fedor Eikmans, materializes in the broad brush strokes of Frederick Jackson Turner's idealized frontiersman: "That coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and inquisitiveness, that practical, inventive turn of mind, quick to find expedients; that masterful grasp of material things, lacking in the artistic but powerful to effect great ends; that restless, nervous energy; that dominant individualism working for good and for evil." (45) Perhaps Eikhmans's settlement could have been the model for the Gulag: a Turnerian vision of free, self-reliant, and dynamic settlers who, in conquering the frontier, forged "proletarian mining towns." (46) In the vast Soviet Union, this scene could have played out endlessly: plentiful, untapped land, continuously receding before the resourcefulness of OGPU frontiersmen, who, at the brutal but vital juncture of savagery and civilization, temper convicts into proletarian citizens. (47) It is important not to overlook the idealism even in institutions as awful as the Gulag, for ideals can have a self-blinding agency. Sadly, this humane vision of self-reliant convict settlements was carried out, causing a great deal of suffering.
Eikhmans's polar expedition started in 1930 just as hundreds of thousands of kulaks were shipped north and east to labor colonies, special settlements, or Gulag camps. (48) De-kulakization channeled a tremendous labor force to the northern regions, where horizon-less forests and craggy earth awaited logging and mining. One could imagine that the deported kulaks could have tackled the frontier with the same character-enlarging, nation-building successes of the American west. Yet, like Turner's vision in American history, Eikhmans's and Iagoda's projections stumbled into the Frontier Antithesis. As in the United States, the settling of the Soviet frontier attracted the concentration of capital in large industrial projects and enabled powerful government bureaucracies to gain control of vast sections of territory. The territory was then farmed out to large enterprises, which sought quick, extractive short-term gains over long-term development. (49) Not surprisingly, the drive to settle the frontier while generating maximum profits inspired careless and wasteful agricultural practices and the desecration of the environment. (50) Plentiful free land also did not produce free laborers with an attachment to the land, as Iagoda and Turner had dreamed. (51) Instead, labor turned over quickly and moved on from abandoned farms, mines, and logging concerns as soon as they had lost their profitability. In a manner similar to the way Khlevniuk describes the Gulag mindset that permeated post-Soviet society, Richard Hofstadter in his American frontier antithesis sums up the "frequent ruthlessness of the frontier mind" which inspired a "crudeness and disorder" and "the readiness to commit and the willingness to tolerate violence." (52)
The story of the expansion of the Soviet frontier, like that of the American frontier, narrates the movement of state bureaucracies alongside new spatial practices. (53) In the Soviet case, this transformation occurred rapidly and with astonishing violence. In 1930, the Soviet government declared war on the peasantry. The enemy combatants of the war were kulaks, lodged in special settlements. The story of the kulak special settlements is one long tale of woe. Dropped in the inhospitable climate and terrain of the frontier with few supplies, the kulak exiles suffered, starved, died of illnesses, or fled. The fifth volume of Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga narrates this story in detail, again supplied by horrified Soviet officials as well as by exiles. The deportees grew so despondent that in July 1931, the Politburo passed a resolution that promised that kulaks would have their rights reinstated, including the right to vote, in five years. The OGPU ordered this document posted in conspicuous locations throughout camps "with the aim of increasing the productivity of labor, bringing down the number of escapees and expressions of dissatisfaction, etc." (54) Intentionally, the Politburo leaders did not mention in their resolution the right to leave the place of exile, for that was not their intention. This minor resolution passed in the midst of a crisis is significant. The paradoxical category--full civil rights but immobilized--became the moniker of not just special settlers but the majority of Soviet citizens in the coming years.
Despite the decree, keeping all kulaks in starving settlements proved impossible. Of the 1.8 million people deported in 1930 and 1931, only 1.3 million were in the settlements to be counted in January 1932. (55) Many of these people died, but many also slipped away from the settlements. Deported kulaks and disgruntled villagers made their way to cities, where their anonymity protected them. with the great famine, even more hayseeds came like locusts eating everything in their path. As urban dwellers rushed to protect their stocks of food by setting up closed distribution networks, the Politburo did its part by passing two important laws designed to control the flow of goods and populations. (56) The two laws, in turn, manufactured a new incarceration epidemic by criminalizing need, mobility, and desire. On 7 August 1932, the Central Committee passed a decree "on the defense of state property." The law, targeting "the rural front," established draconian punishments for even minor theft of socialist property, especially from collective farms. (57) Local officials apparently also used the law to purge collective farms of unwilling or resistant workers. (58) Between August 1932 and July 1933, approximately 223,000 people were convicted of theft of socialist property. This law became the Gulag's bread and butter, supplying the largest contingents of inmates/rabsila for the rest of the Gulag's sordid history. (59)
The second important law, passed in November 1932, established a unified passport system to "relieve cities of superfluous elements." Like the previous law, passportization focused on controlling goods as well as populations. 60 The passport regime classified space in terms of privileged "regime zones," less-privileged "non-regime" zones, and the vast stretches of countryside where few passports were issued. As hungry peasants flooded better-stocked cities, passports and zones filled in the vacuum left with the loss of the channeling force of private property. (61) Passports delineated privileged territory off-limits for all but the elect. Passport checks and renewals sorted populations, periodically zoning out undesirable elements. In so doing, passports divided Soviet citizenry between mobile and immobilized citizens with several significant consequences. Denial of passports held people on collective farms, which were taxed heavily and supplied very poorly. Rural space received a third, or less, of consumer goods and food, while closed cities became fortresses of acute privilege. (62) Passport controls braked the tremendous population explosions of the major Soviet industrial centers, where wages were better and goods and services were relatively plentiful. (63) Passports, in fact, replaced Moscow's medieval wall with a masonry of paperwork: identity cards, registration and work certificates, stamps, and seals. Security forces exiled people who did not pass the higher bar necessary for urban citizenship. In 1933, GPU officer Vsevolod Balytskyi, fresh from a major cleansing operation in the western Ukrainian borderlands, took charge of the committee to distribute passports. The task force also monitored the entrances of Moscow and Leningrad and shipped off passport-refuseniks. Not surprisingly, local officials issued passports whimsically, often based on anti-rural, anti-bourgeois, and antisemitic attitudes of the time. People were denied passports because they were "not ours," "alien," or "former" people. In Moscow, the largest category of refuseniks were kulaks and criminals on the lam. (64) In sum, 603,613 people were found to be in violation of the passport regime from January 1933 to August 1934. Of this number, 175,627 were exiled and 3,596 were sentenced (Istoriia, 1: 170-71).
The exiles went to frontier settlements--in the full bloom of the Great Famine. A nightmarish reversal of Eikhmans's Vaigach settlement played out when a boatload of 6,000 "lumpen" elements were dropped on the island of Nazino without food or supplies on 19 May 1933 in the midst of a snowstorm. The city dwellers had been swept up from train stations and off the streets and had only lightweight clothes and no bedding. Four to five days passed before sacks of flour arrived on the island. By that time, the gravediggers were already burying the hundreds who died immediately, and marauding gangs had fashioned their own food supply from the bodies of their victims. An investigator wrote, "Cannibalism happened at first in remote corners of the island and then wherever there was an opportunity." The gangs also took the food shipments as their own booty and terrorized fellow deportees, beating, commanding, and killing. They frightened free civilians, too. Doctors sent to treat the sick refused to leave their tents. Panicked guards began beating and executing settlers (Khlevniuk, 64-65). As news spread of the tragedy, the whole Lord of the Flies scenario on Nazino shocked Soviet leaders, especially as they learned that among the murdered deportees were members of the Komsomol, the Party, and good workers who had been mistakenly caught in the passport dragnet (ibid., 67). Yet another series of investigations followed. A few guards were convicted of abuse of office and appeared on the other side of the barbed wire. (65)
Most important, the Nazino tragedy discredited Iagoda's notion of flourishing, self-sufficient, penal settlements on the frontier. Instead of selfreliant, the settlers became emaciated dependents or victims of violence. Instead of producing, the settlers died or marauded. Instead of establishing civilization in the wilderness, the settlements descended into savagery. In August, Iagoda ordered the OGPU to stop sending individuals to labor settlements and instead to sentence them to camps. (66) By March 1933, however, the camps were overflowing with prisoners. More than 800,000 inmates were packed into prisons and camps that had a capacity for 200,000 (Istoriia, 1: 67). On 8 May, the Central Committee sent out a circular demanding that prison wardens shed 400,000 inmates in two months. As obediently as officials in the security and judicial branches had arrested and sentenced, officials in the penal branches amnestied and liberated. (67) In two months time, 363,000 prisoners walked free.
The pattern of mass, indiscriminate arrest and then mass, indiscriminate amnesties, reversing the charges for arrest, shadows the history of the Gulag. (68) How do we make sense of this schizophrenic activity? Senseless? Yes, of course. Yet perhaps not wholly futile. Mass amnesties served the purpose of sloughing off emaciated invalids from the camp population. The mass amnesty in the spring of 1933 occurred after 142,000 new prisoners arrived in the winter of 1933, mostly from famished regions. (69) Inmates who ate but could not work drained the Gulag economy and tilted the books into the red, which was a problem for Gulag officials who justified their existence based on the camps' self-supporting status. (70) Mass arrests and amnesties also served another purpose by zoning incarcerated space outside the Gulag.
The status of ex-con placed citizens in legal limbo. Once a person was amnestied, he or she regained full civil rights but with restricted mobility. Some freed convicts had no right to leave their place of imprisonment. Others were barred from returning to their former homes and had no means to find jobs and homes in a new place (Istoriia, 3: 324). Very few ex-cons had the right to go to regime zones. At the same time, it was hard to attract cadres to work in the camps. Promises of higher pay and long holidays failed to entice enough guards and civilian staff to work on the Gulag-frontier (ibid., 2: 43). Most people who worked in the camps had only a grammar-school education and no party membership, which means they had few options for career advancement or choices of places to live. (71) For OGPU/NKVD staff, assignments to a job in a labor camp spelled a demotion, or worse, a way station before their own incarceration (ibid., 43-44). As a consequence, Gulag administrators welcomed ex-cons as a valuable labor force. Freed convicts became prison guards, hired laborers, officials in the new towns near the camps. Indeed, they represented the hardened, tattooed pioneers of the Soviet frontier. At the beginning of the 1930s, for example, over 100,000 prisoners worked on the white Sea-Baltic Canal, but all of 37 OGPU workers were on the payroll. Rather than paid staff, prisoners performed most of the administrative, security, bookkeeping, and technical work for the massive construction project (ibid., 43). In 1937, I. I. Pliner, vice-director of the Gulag, testified at a party meeting that up to 60 percent of Gulag camp guards were former prisoners or exiles (ibid., 45). Some of these ex-cons-turned-prison-guards succeeded astronomically. N. A. Frenkel' was sentenced in 1924 for swindling and contraband. He was sent to the Solovetskii Labor Camp, where he led a production division and proved a productive worker. Upon release, Frenkel' went into service for the OGPU and from 1931 to 1933 served as one of the directors of the white Sea-Baltic Canal, for which he received the Order of Lenin. Frenkel' rose to become chief of Bamlag in 1933. (72)
Ex-cons working as guards. Ex-guards laboring as prisoners. One can see how the Gulag evades a fixed boundary between free and unfree. It is also difficult precisely to delineate victim from aggressor. Guards threatened prisoners. Prisoners menaced guards. A search of the Temnikovskii NKVD camp barracks in July 1939 turned up 111 axes, 11 crowbars, 38 saws, 110 hammers, 828 knives, 52 razors, 34 handmade grenades, 7 dumbbells, 2 passports, and 12,983 rubles (Khlevniuk, 216). A report of December 1939 described robberies, knifings, open resistance, and threats to camp guards and administrators in Karlag in Kazakhstan. A 1937 memo reports guards so frightened of prisoners that they walked around at night with their guns drawn (ibid., 121). A 1941 report lists prisoners attacking guards with sledgehammers and knives and rushing en masse at the barbed wire (ibid., 257). Clearly some prisoners were not to be messed with. Investigators complained that prisoners apprehended for violence received only slight punishment. A prisoner called Kopka, who pulled a knife on several administrators and guards, was even promoted (ibid., 233-34). A 1939 report notes that such oversights happened because prisoners as supervisors, deputy supervisors, and team leaders were in charge of the camps rather than the camp bosses: they are "the masters of the situation and capable of pursuing their own policy because of a lack of control on the part of the civilian staff" (ibid.). A 1934 document describes prisoners as supervisors with the power to isolate other prisoners and deprive them of rations (ibid., 103). Prisoners also robbed, punished, and executed prisoners. The distressing fact is that many of the tormenters in the Gulag were themselves victims of the Gulag.
Already by the 1930s, one sees the model that matured fully in the postwar period; prisoners established group solidarity and monopolized positions in the camp administration in order to renounce physical labor, channel food and goods in their direction, and live parasitically off the laboring camp population. (73) Vladimir Kozlov divides the camp population into "positive" and "criminal" elements, and he argues it was the criminals who took over (Istoriia, 6: 67). This division explains the brutality within the camps as caused by "criminals," and leaves the image of the victimized and innocent Gulag inmate intact. It would not have taken a criminal mind, however, to figure out how to manipulate the hierarchies of access and distribution inside the Gulag; they reflected similar spatial and distribution hierarchies of Soviet society on the outside. Much like the passport regime, the camps were divided into a series of zones. Control of camp populations was regulated by periodically checking zones and the passage of prisoners from zone to zone. (74) As prisoners passed higher bars for good behavior and usefulness, they progressed into more privileged camp zones. Prisoners lived under three distinct "regimes." In the most restrictive regimen, they had no right to leave the camp or to choose their work. In the most lenient zones, prisoners had the right to leave the camp and could choose permanent work in factories or enterprises outside the camp or in the camp administration. (75) The zones on the outside not only mirrored those of the Gulag, but the continuum of incarcerated space worked to channel the flow of consumers away from privileged zones, detain rabsila on collective farms, and incarcerate "undesirable elements" in undesirable locations with labor shortages on the Soviet frontier.
Hierarchies of space and distribution, however, were not part of the Plan. The first socialist society promised equal opportunity and access to all. In 1935, rationing ended and stores opened to everyone, regardless of job, residency, or connections. Correspondingly, in 1936, a constitution for the first time in Russian history guaranteed civil liberties and rights to all citizens regardless of social origin, class, ethnicity, and religion. Alongside universal citizenship, the socialist utopian vision entailed building cities and urban-style rural centers that eradicated the difference between the (prosperous) city and the (backward) village. with socialism, both town and country would serve up stocked stores, abundant jobs, medical services, education, and opportunity to all citizens. Of course, this goal continually slipped out of reach with the expenditures demanded by first the industrialization drive, then world war II, and later the Cold war. Instead of a fusion of town and country, a vast chasm emerged. Closed Soviet cities received the lion's share of government subsidies, were best served educationally and culturally, and lay at the center of transportation and distribution hubs. On the flip side of privilege lay the goods-starved towns, collective-farm villages, and the considerable territories of the Gulag administration--special settlements and camps.
For an important minority of Soviet citizens dwelling in closed cities and traveling between the city and their dachas, however, the differences between town and country had indeed been eradicated. For these people and those seeking desperately to join them, there were a great many reasons to believe that communism approached around the bend; at least for those who worked hard, joined the necessary organizations and attended the requisite meetings--at least, for the deserving. In this way, zoned space paired with inclusive laws propped up the fiction of equality, social mobility, and the achievements of socialism. (76) As the vision of a social utopia (for everyone) was transformed into the reality of individual utopia (for the elect), zoned space bolstered a narrative of morality and virtue. For, if, as Soviet laws promised, everyone was equal and had an equal chance, those who failed did so because of their own shortcomings, shortcomings often attributed to "political backwardness." Not coincidentally, "political backwardness" became a descriptive term for people with ties to the (zoned-off) countryside. (77) Since the zones were invisible and the laws visibly published, it was hard to prove one's discrimination. Those who complained about the inequities revealed instead their ignorance of Soviet laws and thus their lack of political enlightenment. Lack of political enlightenment justified the denial of their right to be among the deserving.
The "permanent purge" of Stalinist society has most often been explained as part of a desire to inspire fear and suppress dissent. However, a narrative of morality and virtue, of deserving one's place, also propelled the boundless thirst for purge. If, for instance, you had a passport in a regime zone city, you cherished that document and jealously guarded your privileged position on the top of the consumer hierarchy. You probably resented the long lines of sunburned villagers in front of your neighborhood stores. (78) You might, as Iagoda did in 1935, come to despise the homeless wretches who padded the sidewalks, especially those along the Arbat where the foreign diplomats lived: a sight "intolerable for our socialist capital." You might be convinced, as Iagoda was, that these beggars were professionals, who rented patheticlooking children and changed out of their rags at the end of the day (Istoriia, 1: 257). You might be happy they were swept away with the latest check of passports. You might even turn in a neighbor or relative for a passport violation. (79) we know that rural migrants ran up against a wall of popular and official discrimination in Soviet cities. Urban-dwellers who themselves might be only a generation removed from the village jeered at rural migrants and hounded them out of jobs, housing, rations, and lines in stores. (80)
The centripetal force to the center was at least as powerful as the force repelling Soviet citizens from the shadow of the Gulag. A person without a regime-zone passport would go to great lengths--join the Party, kowtow to the boss, work extra subbotniki--to get one. (81) In the 1938 blockbuster Volga, Volga, every waking thought of Comrade Byvalov, who was shelved in the muddy, cow-belching town of Melkoretchensk, fixated on the telegram beckoning him to Moscow. Byvalov, like most everyone else in town (and likely the majority of provincial filmgoers) wished to board that broken-down barge and float to the pristine, well-stocked, and orderly paradise of Moscow. If it is true that modern society thrives on the production of desire, one starts to see how the creation of incarcerating zones in the Soviet Union produced a great deal of it. Desire, in turn, induced conformity, obedience, loyalty, and the belief that you, too, could reach your individual corner of socialism once you got your hands on that propiska. The existence of utopian zones of privilege and the legal right for anyone to reside there--if one should pass the bar of acceptability, loyalty, and usefulness--worked to dispel the doubts inspired by the less-than-utopian reality of everyday life in the provinces.
At the same time, zoned space criminalized desire and the mobility necessary to satisfy it. The majority of citizens did not possess passports, and this made them especially vulnerable before the law. If caught in the wrong place, they could be picked up and sent home or into exile; repeat offenders were sentenced to the Gulag. In 1935 alone, 1.3 million were caught violating the passport regime; 90,000 were sentenced. (82) In 1935, 87 percent of those in the Gulag were from the hungry and passport-less countryside. Those without registration were picked up in sweeps of closed cities, and they padded the ranks of Gulag camps and special settlements. (83) An acute sign of the criminalization of desire was the ban on forming lines in front of stores in major cities in 1939-40.84 with this law, police turned to spatial-profiling. without asking for documents, they hauled off people dressed in tattered sheepskin. Yet arrests did not wholly stem the tide. The centripetal force into Soviet industrial centers was powerful, and the zones could be quite porous. (85) Individuals who were zoned out violated the boundaries in thousands of ways. People slipped into cities in search of goods and undocumented labor. They bribed their way into apartment buildings or falsified documents. Former kulaks walked away from deportee settlements and into industrial centers with forged proletarian roots. (86) In fact, in 1937, the NKVD reported that 600,000 deported kulaks were missing from the settlements (Istoriia, 1: 73). with so many criminals on the lam, zoned space justified the next purge--to finally carry out the lasting cleansing "nakonets, raz i navsegda," as Iagoda put it. "Once and for all" (ibid., 269).
The Great Terror was thus largely motion in the same direction. The previous attempts to check and purify zones ensured that a great many people had a criminal record. (87) The search to rout out these people hiding in Soviet institutions and in regime zones brought on the new incarceration epidemic of 1937-38. The first order to arrest in July 1937 fixated on familiar categories: hiding kulaks, anti-Soviet elements in the villages, and escaped special settlers and inmates (Istoriia, 1: 268-69). This category netted the most victims in 1937-38: 767,000 arrested, of whom 387,000 were shot. In 1935, the passport regime had been applied to zones bordering Poland and Finland (ibid., 262). The cleansings of these territories led to a heightened awareness of nationalist saboteurs. (88) The Great Terror continued this hunt for nationalist saboteurs outside border zones. In short, the evidence points to the fact that the majority of convictions during the Great Terror were, as before and after, for relatively banal crimes: theft, passport violations, hooliganism. (89) The real anomaly of 1937-38 was the arrest of political, military, and cultural elites including large numbers of urbanites. with their regime passports and propiski, these people had been relatively untouchable. Perhaps the fascination with this period is that tremendous fall from a state of regimezone grace, as exemplified in the classic Gulag memoirs of Evgeniia Ginzburg and Nadezhda Mandel'shtam.
There is also another difference that gives the Great Terror its reputation. Of the 1.34 million convicted, 681,000, or nearly half, were executed (Khlevniuk, 165). Despite the exterminatory language of "liquidating kulaks as a class" and cleansing Soviet cities "once and for all," Soviet purges generally did not result in Nazi-like methods of systemic extermination and sterilization. In his June 1937 order, Iagoda was talking about purifying not the genetic nation or the body politic but rather specific zones for security reasons. (90) Proposing to exterminate these persons arrested for theft, passport violations, and running from the settlements would be akin to suggesting that judges in the American "war on Crime" sentence "three strikes" recidivists to capital punishment, rather than merely locking them away for 25 years to life. Mass execution, however, was the course Iagoda's NKVD took in 1937-38. Khlevniuk argues that NKVD officers executed en masse at that time because their prisons were horribly overcrowded. Yet this explanation does not wholly suffice. why execute in 1937-38, when during previous and later incarceration epidemics, Soviet leaders turned to mass amnesties?
The search for elusive "enemies of the Revolution" had long justified heightened security in the Soviet Union. The Great Terror, following the population and distribution upheavals of the first two Five-Year Plans, represented the zenith of that anxiety and perhaps the reason for mass executions. As inside the Gulag, partitioning space on the outside into zones and monitoring them became the method to accomplish the order, control, and filtering that security priorities required. I do not mean to argue that terror was solely a product of zoned space. The political anxieties that drove the continual domestic wars against enemy elements set the pace for each campaign. Yet, even during the Great Terror, political enemies of the Revolution were not the majority convicted. The technologies of zoning space for security reasons--passport checks, sweeps of cities and border zones for illegal migrants, draconian sentencing for minor crimes--produced the millions of mundane convictions that populated the Gulag. (91)
The wartime epidemics also continued in the same direction; purging zones, filtering populations, immobilizing and channeling labor. Under pressure from industry to supply ever more convict labor to meet wartime demands, Stalin ruled that prison labor in Soviet centers was, well, improper: "It's acceptable to use the Gulag in some remote corners, but in the machine industry, in the cities, where criminals work side by side with non-criminals, I really don't know. I'd say it's very irrational and not quite appropriate." (92) Instead of moving prisoners into cities, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet ruled in the summer of 1940 to incarcerate civilian laborers at their jobs with a law making it illegal for laborers to leave their place of employment without permission. (93) Later that summer, the Presidium passed a second law to discipline malcontents imprisoned on the job. These laws inspired yet another incarceration epidemic. Between 1940 and 1956, the year the law immobilizing labor was repealed, 11 million people were sentenced for leaving their place of employment without permission (Istoriia, 1: 76-77). The August 1940 law for stealing or hooliganism at the workplace produced 140,000 convictions. In December 1941, whole segments of industry were placed under military law. Leaving a job in these industries was akin to desertion from the army and was punished with five to eight years. (94)
In keeping with other shadowy categories of incarceration, many of these people did not serve much time in the Gulag. Following the established pattern, mass amnesties soon followed this latest round of mass incarceration. Instead, convictions tied the offenders to onerous jobs, with garnished wages, to labor brigades, or to the army. Under an NKVD and Procurator SSSR directive of 29 May 1942, several categories of prisoners were given formal freedom, but with the restriction to remain in the camp, hired as "free" labor. Thirty thousand people who had short sentences for leaving their jobs without permission were freed from camps but attached to military industrial enterprises. Seventy thousand people sentenced for stealing at the workplace were released directly into the Red Army (Istoriia, 3: 314). Another 115,000 former convicts were attached until the end of the war to various industrial branches. During world war II in general, 1.8 million citizens were sentenced, and 2.9 million were freed (ibid., 4: 36).
In the immediate postwar years, the Gulag swelled to its largest dimensions on record with POws, alleged collaborators, and nationalist partisans from western Ukraine and the Baltics. During this time, the Gulag, which never functioned like a well-ordered police state in the first place, became ever more unruly. At times, camps exploded in open rebellion. Kozlov argues that as prisoners gradually took over more and more of the day-to-day management of the camps, they prioritized not production but the acquisition of goods and services for their own use (Istoriia, 2: 59). As a consequence, the Gulag failed to pay out. Freely hired workers, Soviet leaders discovered, cost less than maintaining, feeding, and supplying convict labor in camps. Gulag administrators had long argued for contracts like any entrepreneur, contending that they could do the job more cheaply and efficiently than competitors. When Soviet leaders figured out that Gulag labor, though unpaid, was very expensive, Gulag administrators no longer had a leg to stand on. Perhaps it is comforting to learn that the corrupting quality of big business and the pursuit of windfall profits via government contracts is not unique to the American domestic and international frontier. Flagrant misappropriation of funds, nepotism, waste, lack of oversight, false reporting (tufta), rampant disregard for the environment, and shoddy, ineffective work also trailed most Gulag contracts.
Like its founding, the end of the Gulag points disturbingly to the dispensability of human labor in industrial processes. Once the huge factories, dams, and roads were built so that machines could replace muscles and once the mines and the markets for the minerals dried up, then the crippled bodies, the lined, worn faces, the broken souls were tossed back up to a society that had little use for them. (95) As with the end of slavery in other parts of the world, the end of Gulag labor had more to do with economics than morality.
My aspiration in this essay has been to release the history of the Gulag from solitary confinement. By placing the Gulag along a continuum of disciplinary practices that contributed to the development of a legally bounded welfare state, we might better explain the multitude of Soviet subjectivities--the high levels of loyalty and contentment alongside cynicism and rebellion. (96)
We know that the consciousness of living in privileged zones made Soviet officialdom and city dwellers anxious. In reaction, they policed their borders of privilege, and stood at the ready to "unmask" imposters in their midst. (97) Perhaps we will find that those who lived or sought to live in privileged space saw the justice and equality of their system, believed in it, and conformed to its demands, and these feelings might elucidate the popular support behind the periodic purges. For those confined in collective farms and special settlements, detained but not sentenced, there was no day of release, no sought-after rehabilitation. Theirs became a negative utopia punctuated by resentment, resignation, and resistance, which often overtook feelings of loyalty and belonging. (98) Perhaps we will find that from these ranks of the hereditary underclass originates the evidence we have of widespread resistance: the perpetual grumbling of the NKVD svodki (summaries of the popular mood), the signed and anonymous complaints passed to party bosses, the sit-down strikes, verbal and physical assaults on managers, and the cases of outright, hardly containable rebellion on the frontiers of the union. (99)
It is extremely uncomfortable to live in a fortress of privilege that emanates images of consumptive utopia but is surrounded by famished desire. It provokes anxiety: the sense of living under siege, consumed by envious glares, aware that there are millions waiting to take your place. Living in this fortress, one becomes party to all the necessary technologies of incarcerating space: heightened security alerts, guard posts, document checks, spatial-profiling, patrols along internal and external borders, vigilante community policing. This hunger to locate and isolate the enemy within and abroad can consume a society. No zone is impermeable enough, no prison system large enough, no foreign policy tough enough, no cul-de-sac deep enough, no homeowners' association watchful enough--to feel safe.
Returning to the Amnesty International debate, the Gulag is a space to which people attach meaning. In this rhetorical space, American culture does have something to learn from the history of the Gulag. I have tried to suggest in this essay how a more critical approach to the American history of spatial practices (in zoning territory domestically and conquering the frontier at home and abroad) can inform our understanding of the Gulag and Soviet history in general. In reverse fashion, a less singular approach to the Gulag could also shed light on American penal and spatial practices. As critics of Amnesty International have pointed out, the scale of American penal practices pales before the 3.7 million who passed through the Gulag between 1934 and 1940. There are, after all, a mere 250 prisoners in Guantanamo, a trifling 30,000 detained in Iraq, and a couple of million held domestically in American prisons. (100) Yet, in a troubling way American society appeared particularly unmoved by the headlines about U.S. soldiers engaged in routinized torture of civilians in Iraq, 90 percent of whom army officials admit were later released without charges. Are we anesthetized to our violent practices abroad because we have become used to incarceration epidemics and incarcerating space at home? Is the domestic installation of wartime technologies and surveillance acceptable because we have become accustomed, as Soviet citizens did during the permanent purge, to wars with no opening salvo and no closing treaty--the Cold war, the war on Drugs, the war on Crime, the war on Terror, Operation Hold the Line, Operation Gate Keeper, Operation Desert Storm? Perhaps we need to disarm the borders of our national histories so as to shine a torch comparatively into the dark corners of repression, where the totalitarian qualities of our own society lurk, before the scale of violence ascends to truly Gulag dimensions.
I am grateful for the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council for the Society of Learning, and to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), for research support. I greatly benefited from discussions of versions of this article with Jennifer Klein and Francine Hirsch at the Council of European Studies annual conference in Chicago in 2006. I wish to thank especially Marjoleine Kars, Jochen Hellbeck, Michael David-Fox, Lynne Viola, and David Shearer for their constructive criticisms and helpful comments.
(1) S. V. Mironenko and Nicolas werth, eds., Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 1: Massovye repressii v SSSR (Moscow: Rosspen, 2004): 340-59.
(2) On 14 June 2005, Senator Dick Durbin from Illinois denounced Guantanamo as the "Gulag of our times" on the Senate floor. His speech was followed by a rush of demands that Durbin apologize for his "attacks on America's military." Durbin withdrew his comments in a tearful address a few weeks later.
(3) Durbin quoted the following from the FBI report: "On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food, or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold.... On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor" (Dan Balz, "Durbin Defends Guantanamo Comments," Washington Post, 17 June 2005).
(4) "Cheney Offended by Amnesty International Report," Associated Press, 31 May 2005.
(5) See the transcript of President George w. Bush's 2005 Veteran's Day Speech, New York Times, 11 November 2005.
(6) Before 11 September, there were 20,000 people in U.S. prisons held without charges. See Human Rights watch, Locked Away: Immigration Detainees in Jail in the U.S. (New York: Human Rights watch, 1998); and Reed Brody, The Road to Abu Ghraib (New York: Human Rights watch, June 2004), as cited in Michelle Brown, "'Setting the Conditions' for Abu Ghraib: The Prison Nation Abroad," American Quarterly 57, 3 (2005): 985.
(7) For a list of documents generated by these organizations, see S. V. Mironenko, V. A. Kozlov, and A. V. Dobrovskaia, eds., Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 7: Sovetskaia repressivno-karatel'naia politika i penetentsiarnaia sistema v materialakh Gosudarstvennogo arkhiva Rossiiskoi Federatsii
(Moscow: Rosspen, 2005), 337-41. For the list of demands and the OGPU commission's response, see Khlevniuk, History of the Gulag, 48-53.
(8) In January 2006, military officials at the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay broke a wave of hunger strikes by force-feeding detainees while they were strapped into "restraint chairs" for hours at a time (Tim Golden, "U.S. Should Close Prison in Cuba, U.N. Panel Says," New York Times, 20 May 2006: A1).
(9) Among many examples, see "Raport osoboupolnomochennogo pri Kollegii OGPU V. D. Del'dmana zamestiteliu predsedatelia OGPU G. G. Iagode o rezul'tatakh proverki anonimnogo zaiavleniia o narusheniiakh zakonnosti v Arkhangel'skom otdelenii Upravleniia severnykh lagerei osobogo naznacheniia," no later than 16 December 1929; "Raport byvshego nachal'nika 3-go otdeleniia spetsial'nogo otdela OGPU I. G. Filippova zamestiteliu predsedatelia OGPU G. G. Iagode o polozhenii v Solovetskikh lageriakh," no earlier than 6 May 1930, as reproduced in N. I. Vladimirtsev and N. V. Petrov, eds., Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 2: Karatel'naia sistema: Struktura i kadri (Moscow: Rosspen, 2004), 71-76, 84-86; "Iz otcheta Komissii OGPU po obsledovaniiu rezhima i byta zakliuchennykh Solovetskikh lagerei," no earlier than 20 April 1930; "Iz informatsionnogo obzora No. 1 nachal'nika ULAG L. I. Kogana," 6 November 1930; "Iz stenogrammy vystupleniia zamestitelia narkoma iustitsii A. Ia. Vishinskogo," 13 January 1933; "Prikaz NKVD SSR no. 0072 'o bor'be s faktami izdevatel'skogo otnosheniia k zakliuchennym v ispravitel'no-trudovykh lageriakh, tiur'makh i koloniiakh NKVD,' " 17 February 1936, as reproduced in A. B. Bezborodov and V. M. Khrustalev, eds., Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 4: Naselenie Gulaga, chislennost' i usloviia soderzhaniia (Moscow: Rosspen, 2004), 139-46, 147-49, 150-53, 156-57; "Materialy i perepiska ob otmene po protestu prokurora SSSR A. Ia. Vyshinskogo tsirkuliara nachal'nika Otdela trudovykh kolonii NKVD SSSR Perepelkina ot 23 iiulia 1935 za 886503, protivorechashchego deistvuiushchemu zakonodatel'stvu," as cited in Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 7: 44. A substantial part of the evidence of life in camps and special settlements in Khlevniuk's book derives from this type of whistle-blowing report (History of the Gulag, 101, 111, 123, 78-79, 79-80).
(10) "Iz otcheta Komissii OGPU po obsledovaniiu rezhima i byta zakliuchennykh lagerei," no later than April 1930, as reproduced in Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 4: 139-46.
(11) Golden, "U.S. Should Close Prison in Cuba, U.N. Panel Says."
(12) See Mark Danner, "The Logic of Torture," New York Review of Books, 10 June 2004: 70-74. Danner claims the abusive interrogation of prisoners abroad derives from the 1963 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) manual KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation, especially the chapter "The Coercive Counterintelligence Interrogation of Resistant Sources." A later version of the manual describes the need to create a "debility-dependence-dread state."
(13) Michelle Brown, " 'Setting the Conditions' for Abu Ghraib," 973-97.
(14) The Abu Ghraib scandal, too, has generated voluminous records--over 15,000 pages of documents (ibid., 975).
(15) Jacqueline Rose, "In Our Present-Day white Christian Culture," London Review of Books, 8 July 2004.
(16) The Washington Post editorial page argued, "Its [the Gulag's] modern equivalent is not Guantanamo Bay, but the prisons of Cuba, where Amnesty itself says a new generation of prisoners of conscience reside; or the labor camps of North Korea, which were set up on Stalinist lines; or China's laogai , the true size of which isn't even known; or, until recently, the prisons of Saddam Hussein's Iraq" (" 'American Gulag,' " Washington Post, 26 May 2005: A26). For more opinions in the same vein, see James C. Robbins, "Got Gulag?" National Review Online, 9 June 2005; and numerous newspaper reports, including Jonathan Gurwitz, "Guantanamo's Gulag Label Is a Gross Exaggeration," San Antonio Express-News, 15 June 2005: 7B; Barton Hinkle, "Guantnamo [sic] Apologists, Critics Have Both Gone Off the Deep End," Richmond Times Dispatch, 27 May 2005: A13. The editors of Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga compare the totalitarian nature of the Gulag to that of Iran, as well as to Latin American and Asian military dictatorships (Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 1: 46).
(17) In his Veteran's Day speech of 2005, Bush said the contemporary enemy was similar to the Cold war enemy of his father's generation. This enemy, too, is ideologically fanatic, seeking to dominate the world, working in concert with other ideologues across the globe, and bent on annihilating American freedom and prosperity. See the transcript in New York Times, 11 November 2005.
(18) Martin Malia noted, "western observers in talking about Communist Russia were almost always talking, if only indirectly, about western problems and politics as well." Malia went on to illustrate his observation in his subsequent discussion of socialism as an aberration of democracy and negation of capitalist markets. The standard of comparison in his narrative is implicitly the U.S. system. Socialism is an "abnormal order" because it concentrates "political and economic power in one set of hands." The "normal order," against which socialism fails, is a "market democracy" (Malia, The Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia, 1917-1991 [New York: Free Press, 2004], ix-x, 507).
(19) Elena Danielson, Terence Emmons, Paul Gregory, O. V. Khlevniuk, V. A. Kozlov, and S. V. Mironenko, "The History of Stalin's Gulag in Seven Volumes: Main Problems and Concepts," Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 1: 46.
(20) The figures for 1938 are similar: 45,410 for counter-revolutionary crimes, 133,042 for theft, 152,621 for hooliganism, 208,837 for crimes against individuals, and 132,182 for "official crimes" on the job (ibid., 632-33).
(21) In 1937, 59.6 percent of incarcerated committed their crimes in the countryside, 40.4 percent in cities. In addition, many of the urban crimes were committed by rural migrants. See Table 10 in ibid., 644-45.
(22) Khlevniuk, History of the Gulag, 344. Kozlov postulates a similar theory, that the Gulag was founded to defend society but ended up a threat to it. See his introduction to V. A. Kozlov and O. V. Lavinskaia, eds., Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 6: Vosstaniia, bunti i zabastovki zakliuchennykh (Moscow: Rosspen, 2004), 34.
(23) For an example, see Steven A. Barnes, "'In a Manner Befitting Soviet Citizens': An Uprising in the Post-Stalin Gulag," Slavic Review 64, 4 (2005): 823-50. For an example of how this kind of political culture played out in post-Soviet Russian politics, see Andrew Wilson, Virtual Politics: Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005).
(24) Vadim Volkov, Violent Entrepreneurs: The Use of Force in the Making of Russian Capitalism (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002).
(25) E. A. Osokina, Our Daily Bread: Socialist Distribution and the Art of Survival in Stalin's Russia, 1927-1941 (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2001), 65.
(26) In 1947, the majority of collective farmers in Komi ASSR earned from 61 kopeks to one ruble for a labor day. In 1947, one ruble could buy 333 grams of rye bread. when the collective farm in some years failed to pay workers for their labor days, collective farmers starved. Some grew so desperate as to commit suicide. See D. V. Milokhin and A. F. Smetanin, Komi: Kolkhoznaia derevnia v poslevoennye gody, 1946-1958 (Moscow: Nauka, 2005), 168-70, 271, 275. In contrast, in 1947, the daily norm for labor camp prisoners was 850 grams of bread, plus a list of other items including 120 grams of meat, 1,000 grams of potatoes, and 20 grams of sugar. See Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 4: 411.
(27) For a description of the passport system, especially as it applied indefinitely to rural areas, former kulaks, and ex-cons, see David Shearer, "Elements Near and Alien: Passportization, Policing, and Identity in the Stalinist State, 1932-1952," Journal of Modern History 76 (December 2004): 835-81; V. P. Popov, "Pasportnaia sistema v SSSR (1932-1976)," Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniia, no. 8 (1995): 3-14; Gijs Kessler, "The Passport System and State Control over Population Flows in the Soviet Union, 1932-1940," Cahiers du monde russe 42, 2-4 (2001): 478-504; and Nathalie Moine, "Passeportisation, statistique des migrations et controle de l'identite sociale," Cahiers du monde russe 38, 4 (1997): 587-600.
(28) On 13 May 1929, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party passed Resolution no. P80/9-rs, "On the Use of Criminal-Arrested Labor," Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Rossiiskoi Federatsii (GARF) f. 5446, op. 1, d. 48, ll. 210-12, as cited in Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 4: 573 n. 1.
(29) Khlevniuk, History of the Gulag, 9. with this decision came concrete construction projects. On 29 December 1929, the Politburo decided to use prisoners on Sakhalin. On 5 May 1930, the Politburo ordered geological exploration to build a canal from Lake Onega to the white Sea (Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 2: 30).
(30) Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv sotsial'no-politicheskoi istorii (RGASPI) f. 17, op. 120, d. 55, l. 20, 59, and GARF f. R-8409, op. 1, d. 547, as cited in Khlevniuk, History of the Gulag, 11.
(31) Since there was very little use of machinery in the camps, the projects were extremely labor-intensive. Massive construction projects like Bamlag, for instance, employed upwards of 100,000 convicts (Khlevniuk, History of the Gulag, 86).
(32) The description of this file is: "Material and correspondence about the confirmation of lists of localities of the USSR that can serve as places of exile for people exiled by administrative order of organs of the OGPU, and about the confirmation of lists of places in which people are forbidden to live who have been exiled by administrative order of the organs of the OGPU" (Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 7: 31).
(33) Ibid. These documents were not included in the document collections. There are descriptions of them in finding aids in the last of the seven-volume collection.
(34) Industrial centers with 40 percent of the population received 80 percent of the goods (Osokina, Our Daily Bread, 60-65).
(35) In 1930, a large ratio of goods was obtained for urban populations via ration cards. Starting in 1931, workers of state enterprises and government offices were supplied along four lists. These lists established a "hierarchy of norms by category." Those in the countryside and collective-farm workers were left to fend for themselves, with no ration cards at all. See R. U. Devis [R. w. Davies] and O. V. Khlevniuk, "Otmena kartochnoi systemy v SSSR, 1934-1935 gody," Otechestvennaia istoriia, no. 5 (1999): 87-108. Osokina argues that collective-farm workers were forced to sell their agricultural goods to the state at the lowest prices and buy from the state at the highest prices (Our Daily Bread, 68).
(36) FHA Underwriting Manual (Washington, DC: Federal Housing Authority, 1938), sect. 911, 929, 937).
(37) See Mary Poole, The Segregated Origins of Social Security: African Americans and the Welfare State (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006); and Deborah E. ward, The White Welfare State: The Racialization of U.S. Welfare Policy (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005).
(38) As Robert Self points out, west Oakland, CA, received none of the enormous Government-subsidized capital investment ($3.3 million in San Leandro alone) made in residential property in California between 1945 and the 1960s. See Robert Self, American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), 104-5. For histories of urban areas subsidizing suburbs, see Kenneth T. Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), 181.
(39) Colin Wayne Leach cites studies showing that 60 percent of Americans polled thought that African Americans were treated fairly before Brown v. Board of Education ("Democracy's Dilemma: Explaining Racial Inequality in Egalitarian Societies," Sociological Forum 17, 4 : 687).
(40) The literature on this topic is impressive. See, for example, Bruce D. Haynes, Red Lines, Black Spaces: The Politics of Race and Space in a Black Middle-Class Suburb (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001); David Harvey, Spaces of Hope (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000); w. Edward Orser, Blockbusting in Baltimore: The Edmondson Village Story (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1994); Amanda I. Seligman, Block by Block: Neighborhoods and Public Policy on Chicago's West Side (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005); Ira Katznelson, When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America (New York: w. w. Norton, 2005); Richard Pierce, Polite Protest: The Political Economy of Race in Indianapolis, 1920-1970 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005); and Charles E. Connerly, The Most Segregated City in America: City Planning and Civil Rights in Birmingham, 1920-1980 (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005).
(41) In 1928-32, 12 million people moved from the countryside to Soviet cities. See Sheila Fitzpatrick, Stalin's Peasants: Resistance and Survival in the Russian Village after Collectivization (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 80.
(42) Susan Buck-Morss, Dreamworld and Catastrophe: The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000), 134.
(43) David Shearer describes how in 1934 Iagoda became "nearly hysterical" at the suggestion of deregulating the movement of labor: "The OGPU categorically opposes the registration of individuals arriving spontaneously, on an individual basis in regime cities to look for work ... only an insignificant number of real kolkhozniki come to cities on their own." Most who come, Iagoda argued, are from "class-alien and criminal elements." Hiring people spontaneously on the spot, he noted, could lead only to "saturation [zasorenie] of cities and enterprises by the socially alien element" (Shearer, "Enemies Near and Alien," 862).
(44) Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 2: 79. For a similar NKVD alternative to this vision, see Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 4: 61.
(45) Frederick Jackson Turner, The Significance of the Frontier in American History (New York: Ungar, 1963), 57.
(46) Turner himself called for the application of his thesis to other national histories, including Russia. Many have responded to his request. See, for example, Paul [Pavel] Miliukov, Russia and Its Crisis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1906); D. w. Treadgold, "Russian Expansion in the Light of Turner's Study of the American Frontier," Agricultural History 26, 4 (1952): 147-52; D. J. B. Shaw, "The Frontier Experience in Romanov Russia," in Landscape and Settlement in Romanov Russia, 1613-1917, ed. Judith Pallot and Shaw (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990): 13-23; J. L. Wieczynski, The Russian Frontier: The Impact of Borderlands upon the Course of Early Russian History (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1976); and Mark Bassin, "Turner, Solov'ev, and the 'Frontier Hypothesis': The Nationalist Signification of Open Spaces," Journal of Modern History 65, 3 (1993): 473-511.
(47) For another portrait of a successful OGPU-frontiersman, see Ezhov's (5 April 1937) letter asking Stalin to award the Order of Lenin to I. I. Dolgii, who forged a new camp/settlement in the Narimsk taiga. As Ezhov wrote, "He [Dolgii] led the way in intensive cultivation of grain; organized hunting and fishing operations; built hospitals, schools, orphanages and nurseries; and founded other cultural and social institutions to transform the tens of thousands of kulak families into a working population" (Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 2: 127).
(48) The security services failed to meet their quotas for arrest in the first half of 1930. According to OGPU statistics, the agency arrested 330,000 people in 1930, convicted 208,000, and sent 114,000 to the camps. This number, nonetheless, more than doubled the prison population (Khlevniuk, History of the Gulag, 11).
(49) On the Frontier Antithesis, see Patricia Nelson Limerick, "Turnerians All: The Dream of a Helpful History in an Intelligible world," American Historical Review 100, 3 (1995): 700-1.
(50) Richard Hofstadter, The Progressive Historian: Turner, Beard, Parrington (New York: Knopf, 1968), 147.
(51) Even during Turner's lifetime, the Great Plains states had started losing population and were returning to the population density (less than six people per square mile) that Turner had defined as "frontier." See Lisa Hardmeyer and Kate Brown, Where Have All the Children Gone? (video documentary, 2001).
(52) Hofstadter, The Progressive Historian, 148. Other historians have added to the Frontier Antithesis with a scholarly force: Patricia Nelson Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West (New York: w. w. Norton, 1987); and Richard white, "It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own": A History of the American West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991).
(53) See Kate Brown, "Gridded Lives: why Kazakhstan and Montana Are Nearly the Same Place," American Historical Review 106, 1 (2001): 17-48.
(54) As cited in Khlevniuk, History of the Gulag, 19.
(55) Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 1: 65; Khlevniuk, History of the Gulag, 18.
(56) Elena Osokina, Za fasadom "stalinskogo izobiliia": Raspredelenie i rynok v snabzhenii naseleniia v gody industrializatsii, 1927-1941 (Moscow: Rosspen, 1999), 110-13.
(57) Initially, local judges failed to apply the law, interpreting it as too harsh. In January 1933, Stalin severely criticized judges for going soft on the law and failing to hand down ten-year
sentences, and as a result Soviet judges stepped up their sentencing. See documents 12-17, Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 1: 127-48.
(58) Stalin's infamous memo of 8 May 1933 criticizing the "arrest of all who are not lazy" on collective farms points to the largely rural application of the law of 7 August 1932. See document 30, Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 1: 186-93.
(59) See Table 8, ibid., 632-37.
(60) As the law stated, the purpose was "to better account for the urban population and the population of workers' settlements and new settlements and in order to dig out of these population points people not connected to production and work in administration and schools, and those disengaged from socially useful labor (with the exception of invalids and pensioners), and in order to cleanse these population points of hiding kulak, criminal and other anti-social elements." The Politburo decision of 15 November 1932 was titled "O pasportnoi sisteme i razgruzke gorodov o lishnikh elementov." Instructions on how to do this include: "Prikaz OGPU no. 009 o chekistskikh meropriiatiiakh po vvedeniiu pasportnoi sistemy v SSSR," 5 January 1933, as reproduced in Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 1: 650, 149.
(61) Kessler describes the crisis as the direct result of "a deliberate strategy of unequal development of the urban and rural sector of the economy," in "The Passport System," 479.
(62) Moscow was an extreme example. Two percent of the population lived there in 1939-40, but the capital received 40 percent of state funds of meat and eggs; 25 percent of fat, cheese, and wool; and 15 percent of sugar, fish, groats, macaroni, kerosene, silk, and rubber footwear (Osokina, Our Daily Bread, 151).
(63) In 1932, Moscow grew by 528,000 people. A year later, after passportization, the population had not only stopped growing but had shed 50,000 people. During passportization,
102,956 people were denied passports in Moscow. NKVD reporters estimated that many thousands more left of their own accord rather than face authorities without documentation (Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 1: 170).
(64) "Dokladnaia zapiska komissii VTsIK o rezul'tatakh proverki provedeniia pasportizatsii po Moskve i Moskovskoi oblasti," April 1933, as reproduced in ibid., 152-55.
(65) For monographs on the Nazino tragedy, see Nicolas Werth, Cannibal Island: Death in a Siberian Gulag, trans. Steven Rendall (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007);
and B. P. Trenin, ed., Iz istorii zemli Tomskoi, 1933 g.: Nazinskaia tragediia (Novosibirsk: Nauka, 2002). My thanks to Lynne Viola for drawing my attention to these sources.
(66) The practice from that time on was limited to families and communities who had the means to survive together collectively and experience in working the land (Khlevniuk, History of the Gulag, 66).
(67) For the resolutions calling for mass amnesties and the reviews of that process, see documents 26-32, Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 1: 175-200.
(68) In 1934, the state reviewed de-kulakization cases and freed tens of thousands of people whom officials at the procuracy judged had been wrongly sentenced. Of the 115,000 cases reviewed in 1935 for those sentenced because of the 7 August 1932 law, 80 percent of the sentences were determined to have been groundless. See Shearer, "Elements Near and Alien," 858; and document 39, Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 1: 214. Khlevniuk's total for this amnesty was 556,790 sentences rescinded (History of the Gulag, 96). For the resolutions calling for mass amnesties and the reviews of that process, see documents 26-32, Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 1: 175-200. In May 1948 the severe sanctions imposed from the law of 26 December 1941 for leaving one's place of work were reviewed with a release of 111,000 prisoners. The great amnesty of 27 March 1953 included the release of 1.2 million prisoners (Khlevniuk, History of the Gulag, 86).
(69) O. V. Khlevniuk, ed., Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 3: Ekonomika Gulaga (Moscow: Rosspen, 2004), 95.
(70) See Iagoda's assurances in 1935 that the Gulag could build highways at 70 percent of the cost of Tsudortrans (ibid., 137-44).
(71) In 1945, of the general NKVD staff, 6 percent had a higher education and 36.5 percent had a grammar-school education. In comparison, among the 273,608 hired staff of the Gulag, 3.5 percent had a higher education and 72.6 percent had a grammar-school education. Non-party members accounted for 82.1 percent. Some employees had no choice at all. After the 1938 purges of the NKVD, the leadership rounded up over 3,000 Communists for assignments in the camps (Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 2: 256, 45).
(72) Ibid., 43. See also the brutally successful career of a Mr. Krol, who migrated from inmate to chairman of the town's soviet (Khlevniuk, History of the Gulag, 115).
(73) See Vladimir Kozlov, introduction, Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 6: 67.
(74) One can see the perceived importance of the zones for maintaining control when they were missing. In October 1937, in the Ukhta-Pechora camp no zones had been set up. without zones, investigators complained, there was no way to establish who went out to work, where prisoners were, how many and who escaped, who was sick or lazy, or even the dividing line between convict and free labor: "In a situation where elementary rules of isolation are lacking, escort practices are not followed, zones are not established, and escapes are hardly
curtailed. To strengthen the regimen, and discipline in the camps is almost impossible.... Characteristic of the entire camp is demoralization and a lack of discipline among prisoners, and, most notably, the disappearance of a boundary between even the extremely dangerous prisoners and free workers" (Khlevniuk, History of the Gulag, 121).
(75) The three regimens were the following: (1) basic regimen--prisoners had to live on camp premises in special quarters, with no right to leave those quarters freely, and were assigned to work according to the general list; (2) alleviated regimen--prisoners were given permanent employment in offices, factories, and industries, lived in residences at those enterprises with the right to short leaves, and were assigned to work as employees to be rewarded; and (3) favored regimen--in addition to alleviated regimen, prisoners enjoyed the right to leave the camp premises and to occupy positions in the camp administration and head the work teams (ibid., 46, 113, 121).
(76) Zoned space made inclusive laws like the Stalin Constitution possible, even believable. This contradiction was not entirely cynical. Security officials at the NKVD debated earnestly how to legally characterize and treat citizens endowed with full rights but spatially confined. On the internal NKVD debates over the paradox of guaranteed rights and limited mobility in special settlements, see GARF f. 9479, op. 1, d. 41, ll. 7-9 (1937); and GARF f. 9479, op. 1, d. 44, ll. 1-2 (1938). On voting rights, see GARF f. 9479, op. 1, d. 54, ll. 1-2 (1937); GARF f. 9479, op. 1c, d. 38, l. 3 (1937) and l. 7 (1937); GARF f. 9479, op. 1, d. 40, l. 80 (1937) and l. 81 (no date); and GARF f. 9479, op. 1, d. 41, l. 5 (1937). On educational opportunities, see GARF f. 9479, op. 1, d. 36, l. 27 (1936).
(77) Jeffrey J. Rossman points out how this connection was often made in Russia's textile belt (IIR) with important repercussions. Peasant-workers were often (illegally) denied rations and were often the first to be laid off. People who complained about the faster pace of work and lower rates of pay were described as workers "with ties to the countryside" (Worker Resistance under Stalin: Class and Revolution on the Shop Floor [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005], 58-59, 87-88).
(78) Osokina, Our Daily Bread, 188.
(79) Ibid., 153.
(80) David L. Hoffmann, Peasant Metropolis: Social Identities in Moscow, 1929-1941 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994).
(81) David Shearer points out that even ex-cons could get a regime passport if they proved themselves to be exemplary workers, but that this rarely happened ("Elements Near and Alien," 868).
(82) In 1935, there was a check and renewal of passports (Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 1: 262).
(83) See Paul M. Hagenloh, "Socially Harmful Elements and the Terror," in Stalinism: New Directions, ed. Sheila Fitzpatrick (London: Routledge, 2000), 286-308.
(84) See Osokina, Our Daily Bread, 190.
(85) Kessler describes the ways in which people in the provinces who were issued passports could erase the record of a suspicious past by moving from town to town and eventually to a regime town. Kessler argues that the original "security" purposes of the passport regime merged with a goal of controlling labor flows to places where labor was needed ("The Passport System," 489).
(86) Jochen Hellbeck, "Fashioning the Stalinist Soul: The Diary of Stepan Podlubnyi, 1931-1939," Jahrbucher fur Geschichte Osteuropas 44, 3 (1996): 344-73.
(87) This becomes clear when looking at the local records. Most of the people on the arrest lists in 1935 and 1936 in the border zone of Ukraine had already been arrested and released at least once in their careers and were at large and working in state offices, despite the fact that they were ex-cons. See Derzhavnyi arkhiv Zhitomirskoi oblasti (DAZO) f. P-42, op. 1, d. 125, ll. 14-12 (17 February 1935).
(88) Terry Martin, The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001), 328-35.
(89) There are two very different narratives emerging from the archives about the nature of the 1937-38 convictions. Contemporary records break down convictions into categories such as "counter-revolutionary crimes," "particularly dangerous crimes," "hooliganism," and "crimes involving property." These records show low numbers arrested for counterrevolutionary
crimes. The reports generated for Khrushchev in 1953, in contrast, count a far greater number convicted of "counterrevolutionary" crimes but do not break down which crimes were included in that category. See the difference in the two types of documents in Khlevniuk, History of the Gulag, 288, 310.
(90) For a discussion of this difference in the Soviet and Nazi regimes regarding the domestic enemy, see Amir Weiner, "Nothing but Certainty," Slavic Review 61, 1 (2002): 44-53.
(91) Gijs Kessler and David Shearer, writing on the passport laws, make this point about the mass and automatic (or procedural) nature of arrests, as opposed to arrests based on individual denunciation and specific charges. Shearer notes that the passport system served to professionalize and bureaucratize policing, and make it less visible, after the voluntaristic de-kulakization campaigns. See Kessler, "The Passport System"; and Shearer, "Mass Policing and Social Engineering under Stalin: The Soviet Union, 1930-1953," paper presented at the workshop "Revolution and State Terror," sponsored by the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, 8-9 December 2006. I want to thank David for sharing this paper with me in advance of the conference.
(92) July 1940 Plenum of the Central Committee, as cited in Khlevniuk, History of the Gulag, 244.
(93) The law of 26 June 1940 decreed the transfer to an eight-hour working day on a seven-day working week and on the prohibition against self-willed leaving of one's place of work or service. workers and civil servants voluntarily leaving their government, cooperative, or social enterprise and administration were vulnerable to a prison sentence of two to four months (Vedomosti Verkhovnogo sovet SSSR, no. 20 , as cited in Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga, 2: 627).
(94) In November 1946, the number of convicts in the Gulag convicted of violation of this law totaled 175,000 (ibid., 3: 314).
(95) Despite the fascination in late Soviet culture with the Gulag, many ex-cons did not receive a hero's welcome back home. On the campaign to deny registration to native Leningraders returning from the camps in the 1960s, see Steven Harris, "Moving to the Separate Apartment: Building, Distributing, Furnishing, and Living in Urban Housing in Soviet Russia, 1950s-1960s" (Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 2003), 215.
(96) See the debates over Soviet subjectivity begun in Kritika and continued in Michael David-Fox, Peter Holquist, and Marshall Poe, eds., After the Fall: Essays in Russian and Soviet
Historiography (Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2004). For a discussion of this paradox of idealism and alienation, see Alexei Yurchak, Everything Was Forever, until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006).
(97) See Sheila Fitzpatrick, Tear Off the Masks! Identity and Imposture in Twentieth-Century Russia (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005). Osokina describes how Muscovites cheered on the official propaganda about saboteurs and speculators and demanded action against them (Our Daily Bread, 194).
(98) A stark description of the clash between conflicting subjectivities occurs in Michaela Pohl's account of riots between special settlers and patriotic, incoming Virgin Land settlers in Kazakhstan in the mid-1950s. See "Planet sta iazykov: Etnicheskie otnosheniia i sovetskaia identichnost' na tseline," Vestnik Evrazii/Acta Evrasica 24, 1 (2004): 5-33.
(99) See, among others, Valerii Vasil'ev and L. [Lynne] Viola, eds., Kollektivizatsiia i krest'ianskoe soprotivlenie na Ukraine: Noiabr' 1929-mart 1930 gg. (Vinnitsia: Lohos, 1997); Vladimir A. Kozlov, Mass Uprisings in the USSR: Protest and Rebellion in the Post-Stalin Years (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2002); Lynne Viola, Peasant Rebels under Stalin: Collectivization and the Culture of Peasant Resistance (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996); and S. S. Vilenskii, Soprotivlenie v GULAGe: Vospominaniia, pis'ma, dokumenty (Moscow: Vozvrashchenie, 1992).
(100) The United States has the highest prison incarceration rate (737 per 100,000) and aggregate prison population (2.2 million) in the world ("U.S. Has Most Prisoners in the world Due to Tough Laws," Reuters, 10 December 2006).
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|Title Annotation:||Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga: Konets 1920kh-pervaia polovina 1950kh godov, Sobranie dokumentov, 7 vols.; The History of the Gulag: From Collectivization to the Great Terror; Gulag: Life and Death inside Soviet Concentration Camps|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2007|
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