Russian Political Jokes - Soviet Union - Gulag - Gulag Archipelago

Alexander Solzhenitsyn's book, Gulag Archipelago, has a chapter entitled "Zeks as a Nation", which is a mock ethnographic sketch intended to "prove" that the inhabitants of the Gulag Archipelago constitute a separate nation according to "the only scientific definition of nation given by comrade Stalin". As part of the research, Solzhenitsyn analyzes humor of zeks (gulag inmates). Some examples:

  • "He was sentenced to three years, served five, then fortunately was released ahead of time." (The joke hints to a common practice, described by Solzhenitsyn, of arbitrary extending the sentence term or adding new accusations). In a similar vein, when someone asked to add something, e.g., more boiled water into a cup, a typical retort was "The prosecutor will add!"
  • "Is it hard in gulag?" — "Only during the first 10 years."
  • When the quarter-century term had become standard for Article 58, the common joke was: "OK, now 25 years of life are guaranteed!"

Read more about this topic:  Russian Political Jokes, Soviet Union, Gulag

Other articles related to "gulag archipelago":

The Gulag Archipelago - Historical Impact of The Text
... With The Gulag Archipelago, Lenin's political and historical legacy became problematic, and the fractions of Western communist parties who still based their economic and ... diplomat, called The Gulag Archipelago, "the most powerful single indictment of a political regime ever to be levied in modern times." In an Interview with German weekly Die Zeit British historian Orlando Figes ... Thus, he claims "The Gulag Archipelago spoke for a whole nation and was the voice of all those who suffered" ...