Gulags, the Soviet Union Gulags or Main Administration of Corrective Labor camps or forced labor camps in the Soviet Union created under Vladimir Lenin after the Russian Revolution, but made famous during the Stalin era. Prisoners would come into the Gulags in large numbers during the years of collectivization of Soviet agriculture from 1929 to 1932, the peak of Stalin’s purges during the late 30s and after World War II. Rich peasants called Kulaks, criminals, Axis prisoners, dissident intellectuals. Political and religious prisoners and even innocent people were sent to the gulags as threat to Stalin’s regime. Most of the Gulag camps were located in the bitter cold wilderness of Siberia. The camps would be surrounded by barbed wire and fencing with guard towers watching over any potential escape attempts. As well as the cold – disease, hunger and violence were a common everyday occurrence. Overcrowding was a big problem in the camps and barracks were tightly packed with Lice infestations and poor heating. Prisoners were made to do forced labor such as chopping wood, mining or constructing industrial projects. Refusal could result in starvation or execution. Some prisoners rewarded with better rations were also chosen as informers to report on behavior of fellow inmates. For misbehaving prisoners, the guard would put them in solitary confinement cells, which were extremely cold and damp with rations every few days. The odds of survival were low. Millions of Soviet citizens were sent to the Gulags for going against Stalin’s hard-line Communist rule in a time of paranoia following Stalin’s death in 1953 Gulags became less harsh and many prisoners were freed, reducing Gulags in size significantly, But the system would exist all the way up until the Gorbachev era. Subscribe for more history videos! Get Simple History “The Cold War” out today! Thank you guys for all your support on the simple history YouTube channel if you enjoy please consider! Visiting our patreon page there! You can show us your support for the channel by donating and make a huge difference in what we’re able to create for you! Plus you can get early access on upcoming videos, so let’s keep it growing, and thank you for being part of this amazing community!