The slogans of the Gulag: what are their features

History 02/01/20 Slogans of the Gulag: what are their features

the Soviet Union has always been famous for its love for all kinds of slogans. Sentences, phrases and quotes were accompanied by Soviet citizens in almost all spheres of activity: “Learn, learn and learn” for school, “the Motherland calls” — for the war, “Five-year plan in four years!” — for the job. By the way, the slogans concerning labor were the most common in the Gulag camps.

Quote Stalin

the Most popular slogan in the Soviet prison camps were those that had a direct attitude to work. Special popularity among the camp authorities used a quote attributed to Joseph Stalin: “labor in the USSR — a matter of honor, glory, valor and heroism.” At least it mentions in its publication, “a Guide to the Gulag” Jacques Rossi.

Permanently etched it into the memory of the prisoners. So, Anne Applebaum in her book “GULAG” quotes the words of a Leonid Coward who happened to be in the camp in the early 1950-ies, and which also talked about this, absolutely ridiculous, in his opinion, the slogan. It is noteworthy that the writer and poet Varlam Shalamov compared Stalin quote with the inscription above the gates of Nazi Buchenwald “to Each his own”.

Creativity camp authorities

Tells Anne Applebaum and the fate of Alla Andreeva, who worked behind barbed wire just writing all sorts of sayings. This easy camp standards of the work without exaggeration saved Andreeva life. The woman claimed that most of the phrases were invented by the chiefs of places of detention, and most of these sentences were really related to labor. However, Alla Andreeva and never remembered. “Something like: “Give all power to labor” — shared with the writer, a former prisoner.

Levan Berdzenishvili, a former prisoner known Mordovian Dubravlag, author of “Holy darkness (the last days of the Gulag)”also wrote about the fact that the representatives of the camp administration often themselves composed of various slogans. For example, in his work Berdzenishvili mentions the dictum “it is Better to think before than after” signed “Democritus”. However, according to Berdzenishvili, the ancient Greek philosopher never said anything like that.

Treatment to convicted

it is Clear that prisoners of the Soviet camps, who worked for the famous all over the country construction projects, campaigned to shock work much harder than everyone else. Says Roy Medvedev, the author of the book “the judgment of history. On Stalin and Stalinism”, in Karelia was established the camp of BBK (white sea-Baltic canal), in Siberia – the camp of the BAM (Baikal-Amur mainline), in Central Russia camp Dimitroula (channel Moscow-Volga). Prisoners who worked on the construction of the white sea canal, according to Michael Geller, author of the book “Alexander Solzhenitsyn: the 70th anniversary of the birth”, encouraged with the slogan: “Shock work is the path to early release!”.

Dmitrov labor camp (one of the largest in the USSR) are also known for their visual agitation. The camp even issued its own press and, of course, posters. So, S. H. Karpenko in his book “the Remembered past” writes about the poster with the inscription: “Kanaloarmeets! From the hot work will melt your time.” Similar slogans, according to Karpenkova, were hung in many prominent places of the camp building.

Yulia Popova

© Russian Seven

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