The Gulag (Russian: ГУЛаг, GULag; ) was the Soviet Union government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems during the Stalin era, from the 1930s through the 1950s. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of extrajudicial punishment. The Gulag is recognized as a major instrument of political repression in the Soviet Union.

GULag is the acronym for Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Colonies (Russian: Гла́вное управле́ние исправи́тельно-трудовы́х лагере́й и коло́ний, Glavnoye upravleniye ispravityelno-trudovykh lagerey i koloniy) of the NKVD. It was officially created on April 25, 1930 and dissolved on January 13, 1960.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature, introduced the term to the Western world with the publication of The Gulag Archipelago in 1973. The book likened the scattered camps to "a chain of islands" and depicted the Gulag as a system where people were worked to death. Some scholars concur with this view, whereas others argue that the Gulag was neither as large nor as deadly as it is often presented, and it did not have death camps, although during some periods of its history, mortality was high in the labor camps.

In March 1940, there were 53 separate camps and 423 labor colonies in the USSR. Today's major industrial cities of the Russian Arctic, such as Norilsk, Vorkuta, and Magadan, were originally camps built by prisoners and run by ex-prisoners.

Read more about Gulag:  Brief History, Modern Usage and Other Terminology, Conditions, Geography, Special Institutions, Gulag Memorials, Gulag Museum, Notable Gulag Prisoners

Other articles related to "gulag":

Thomas Sgovio
... an American artist, ex-Communist, and former inmate of a Soviet Union GULAG camp in Kolyma ... parts wrapped in old newspapers arrived in the Gulag having been diverted from the US Lend-Lease program with the USSR ... He witnessed and later wrote about the starvation and deaths of countless Gulag prisoners and victims of the Soviet authorities ...
Jacques Rossi
... Rossi was best known for his books on the Gulag ... his memoires and an "encyclopedia on the Gulag" as he referred to it in conversation ... As Jacques Rossi he wrote about his experiences of the Gulag - The Gulag Handbook, which was originally written in Russian and was translated into French (1997 ...
Center For History And New Media - Public Outreach
... Gulag Many Days, Many Lives is a web-based exhibit funded by NEH and being developed in collaboration with the Gulag Museum in Perm, Russia, will provide a multifaceted consideration of the human struggle for ...
Alexander Ulanovsky - Gulag
... Remarkably, Ulanovsky survived the Great Purge ... In 1948, his wife Nadezhda was arrested ...