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Gulag Town, Company TownForced Labor and Its Legacy in Vorkuta$
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Alan Barenberg

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300179446

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300179446.001.0001

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Vorkuta in Crisis

Vorkuta in Crisis

Reform and Its Consequences

Chapter:
(p.120) 4 Vorkuta in Crisis
Source:
Gulag Town, Company Town
Author(s):

Alan Barenberg

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300179446.003.0005

This chapter explores the crisis created by Stalin's death and the reforms that followed from 1953 to 1955. In particular, it focuses on two manifestations of this crisis: a large-scale prisoner strike that broke out in the summer of 1953, and an administrative struggle for control of Vorkuta and its mines precipitated by attempts to transform the Gulag. As local authorities waited for the future of the Gulag to be decided in Moscow, they took advantage of new opportunities to allow tens of thousands of prisoners to live outside the camp zone, thereby alleviating administrative gridlock and setting the stage for the recruitment of prisoners once they were released from the camps.

Keywords:   Gulag, Rechlag strike, post-Stalin reform, “de-zoned” prisoners, resistance, institutional conflict

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