Gulag: Soviet Prison Camps and Their Legacy

Most countries have prison systems where those convicted of crimes serve out their sentences. However, the GULAG—the prison camp system that arose in the Soviet Union after 1929—functioned primarily as a way to gain control over the entire population rather than punish criminal acts. This set of resources and lesson plans helps students to understand what is correctly seen as one of the worst and most shocking episodes of the twentieth century. It includes background readings that outline the establishment and scope of the GULAG system, daily life in the camps, as well as their historical legacy, from De-Stalinization to the birth of the human rights movement; active learning exercises include multiple role play scenarios as well as other activities.

For a print version of this module, please download the PDF version of
Gulag: Soviet Prison Camps and Their Legacy.