[Swiftwater Gazette] 100th anniversary of 1917 Bolshevik takeover
kroposki at att.net
Tue Jan 9 18:16:49 EST 2018
Victimsof the red revolution: The haunting faces of prisoners worked todeath in Stalin's slave camps emerge as 100th anniversary of 1917 Bolshevik takeover approaches
Thisyear marks 100 years since the 1917 Russian Revolution, which led toVladimir Lenin taking control of the Soviet Union. When Lenin died in1924, Stalin rose to power and became the state's authoritarianleader.
Between1929 and the year of Stalin's death in 1953, 18million men and womenwere transported to Soviet slave labour camps in Siberia and otheroutposts of the Red empire - many of them never to return.
Prisonersworked in the most extreme climates, facing temperatures of -20C(-4F), as they cut down trees with handsaws and dug at frozen groundwith primitive pickaxes.
Othersmined coal or copper by hand, often suffering painful or fatal lungdiseases from inhaling ore dust while on the job.
Labourersin the prisons worked up to 14 hours a day on massive projects, including the Moscow-Volga Canal, the White Sea-Baltic Canal, and the Kolyma Highway.
Bythe time the last Soviet gulag closed its gates, millions had died. Starvation was not uncommon, as prisoners were barely fed enough tosustain such difficult labour. Other prisoners were simply dragged out to the woods and shot by guards.
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