Working in Siberia (05:44)
The state forced Yulia Dorinskaya to become the camp barber in Norilsk. Grigori Dorinski's family once owned a tannery and factories before the October Revolution. During the socialist regime, the government nationalized the land.
Trans-Siberian Railway (05:17)
The Gulag built the mines and factories in Norilsk. Siberia would not have been industrialized as quickly without the prisoners. The head warden recruited incarcerated scientists and treated them with respect.
Prison Barracks (03:55)
Jadwiga Malewicz served 10 years in Norilsk for counter-revolution. Prisoners worked 12 hours a day to fulfill set quotas; the reward was a loaf of bread. Dorinski plays the accordion.
Built From Nothing (02:12)
The state forced innocent people to dig foundations down to solid permafrost. Maria Vitkevich served 15 years for Anti-Soviet Activity. Guards would not let prisoners out of the mine until their daily quotas were fulfilled.
Pictures, slogans, and portraits of Joseph Stalin existed everywhere. Danzig Baldayec drew small images to remember events in the forced-labor camps. Illiterate guards were taught that prisoners were enemies of the state.
Team Leaders (04:02)
Prisoners would inform on each other. Malewicz was sentenced to 10 days in a one-yard cell with only bread and hot water.
International Prisoners (02:14)
When a Chinese citizen crossed into Russia, he was apprehended and sentenced to 10 years for spying. The copper factory took six months to complete. Punishment for avoiding work was two months in a penal cell or an additional two years in the Gulag camps.
Nickel Factory (02:51)
Prisoners produced tens of thousands of tons of nickel which is used to reinforce steel. Laverentiy Beria threatened to assassinate management if production did not double. The Order of Lenin was the highest honor during the time period.
Soviet System (04:00)
The country became industrialized and dances occurred frequently. Officers lived more comfortable lives in Norilsk than the rest of the Soviet Union. Guards addressed prisoners by the number they wore on their backs.
Female Prisoners (08:56)
Yelena Glinka could not undo her trousers to urinate because her fingers were frozen; there was no modesty. Barracks held 300 people and reeked. Guards offered to remove prisoners from hard labor in exchange for sexual intimacy.
Prisoners caught dysentery after scavenging the garbage for fish heads and tails to cook. Pellagra patients were isolated in a separate barracks.
Impact of the Gulag (05:11)
Malewicz explains how the prisoners who were released after serving their time in the Gulag had nowhere to go. Loginov worries about the present situation in Norilsk after the town was privatized and sold.
Fighting for Truth (05:06)
Maria Vitkievich buries her sister who survived the Gulag. See photographs of those who were incarcerated in forced-labor camps.
Credits: Gulag: Episode 3 (01:27)
Credits: Gulag: Episode 3
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