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Gulag Letters$
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Arsenii Formakov and Emily D. Johnson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300209310

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300209310.001.0001

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(p.51) 1941–1944
Gulag Letters

Arsenii Formakov

, Emily D. Johnson
Yale University Press

After he was sent to a Siberian labor camp in 1941, Formakov lost contact with his family. They remained behind in Nazi-occupied Latvia, and he could not contact them by mail until Soviet forces recaptured Daugavpils and Riga in 1944. This chapter contains the letters that Formakov wrote to his family beginning in the summer of 1944 and also some poems, addressed to them, that he had composed in 1941-1943 and sent in early communications. The letters provide a detailed view of Formakov’s living conditions in Kraslag, a labor camp in Kansk in the Krasnoiarsk region. They offer information about the operations of Kraslag’s Cultural-Educational Sector, which put on film screenings, concerts, and theatrical productions in camp. They also describe a special cafeteria for inmates who exceeded production targets and Formakov’s efforts to secure adequate food for himself.

Keywords:   Nazi-occupied Latvia, Kraslag, Kansk, Cultural-Educational Sector, production targets

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