Study Guide

Gulag: A History Characters

Anne Applebaum
This Study Guide consists of approximately 50 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Gulag.
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The Zeks or Prisoners

The prisoners, or zeks, within the Gulag system came from all social and ethnic backgrounds within the Soviet Union and also included a number of foreigners. Prisoners came from several different categories, including professional criminals, political prisoners, and ordinary prisoners swept up in mass arrests. From 1929, when the Gulag underwent a massive expansion, until 1953, when Stalin died, over 18 million individuals passed through the camps. Applebaum conservatively estimates that close to 29 million individuals were involved in the forced labor system over the course of the Gulag's existence.

In the camps, prisoners engaged in forced labor, often in harsh climates and dangerous conditions. They were expected to fulfill work quotas, or norms, each day and their ability to achieve them affected the amount of food they received. Prisoners lived in barracks, often earth dugouts, within the zona. Food rations were low and many prisoners died from starvation...

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This section contains 732 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Gulag: A History Study Guide
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