Issue 4

Year 2018 Number 4(61)
Pages 46-54 Type scientific article
UDC 94(470)“1941/1945” BBK 63.3(2)622
Authors Borodkin Leonid I.
Summary The article examines various aspects of the use of forced labor in the USSR during the Great Patriotic War, under conditions of the mobilization economy in its extreme regime. The focus is on changes in the functions of the GULAG in the wartime, the number and structure of its contingents, the living and working conditions of prisoners in 1941–1945, and the contribution of the GULAG to the Soviet military economy. The characteristics of transformation of the GULAG management system on the eve of the war are given. It is shown that during the war period the first two years were especially difficult for GULAG contingents, when the main problem was food deficit in the camps and (as a result) sharp increase in the prisoners’ sickness and mortality rates. The severity of these problems was reduced by 1944. The article focuses on the GULAG production activities during the war years, its contribution to the production related to the provision of the front needs. The increased role of the GULAG counteragent works aimed at the fulfillment of production tasks at construction sites and industrial facilities of a number of Soviet commissariats, is shown. At the first stage of the war, as follows from the archival materials, a large part of the requests for the counteragent labor of the GULAG remained unsatisfied because the demand for labor of the camps was exceeded its capabilities. Analysis of the mobilization mechanism of the GULAG is carried out on the basis of archival documentation.
Keywords forced labor, mobilization model of the economy, military economy, GULAG

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