The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956 Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the typical reaction most prisoners had during the first 24 hours after their arrest and imprisonment in Gulag?

Because men were arrested not for crimes but for their ethnicity, most prisoners were sure that their arrest was a mistake. Many would sit around quietly waiting for the mistake to be figured out. Very few were aware of the horrors that they would be subjected to in the Gulag prison system.

2. How did families typically react when they saw a family member arrested?

Many families tried frantically to pack bags for their family members. Their houses were often ransacked, leaving the family with nothing. When they tried to write letters to keep in touch with the prisoners, they often had their letters returned with a note that this particular prisoner had "lost the right to correspond," which meant he was dead.

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