Posts tagged gulag

KarLAG Buildings in “Stalin’s Neoclassicism” Style

karlag-administration

According to the Museum brochure this structure was built in 1933-35 by forcing 1,000s of prisoners to construct it.  It’s purpose was to house the NKVD (People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs), it was an imposing structure of Greek Roman style columns surrounded by little houses in a simple farming village.  This two story building was meant to look threatening to the prisoners but inspire grand feelings in those who did the repressing of “Enemies of the People.”  By 1961 the agricultural training college was placed there and then it was turned into a sanatorium for children called “Brigantina” from 1971 to the early 1990s.  It was planned to be changed into a rest house for miners but after the bankruptcy of that enterprise, the windows were bricked up and it sits waiting to be rehabilitated. As of 2005, the building will hopefully have a new life once the Museum of Memory of Political Repression find enough funds to restore it. 

dining-hall

This was the mess hall or dining room for all the officers and higher ups.  Now a shopping place for those who dwell in Dolinka and was painted purple a year ago.  An unusual color in a place so bleak.

house-of-technics

Either called the “House of Technics” or “Technology House” was built in 1943.  The leadership of GULAG (Main Administration for Corrective Labor Camps) tried to show that prisoners could work very well.  Therefore, the kolkhoz was called Gigant took part in All-Union exhibition every year.  In 1938 the experimental agricultural station was set up here.  This building now houses the Abay district electric nets since 1974.

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USSR’s Past Problems, My Students’ Grandparents Solutions

The following excerpts are just some brainstorming my students are doing about their final essay and portfolio project for our academic reading and writing course. Problems aplenty, their grandparents had creative solutions in order to get out from under the burdens of the Soviet regime.  I am looking forward to reading their FINAL PRODUCT!

 

Russian empire’s system of education – The nature of this problem led to repression and political organization in the early Soviet Union.  The nature of problem is distribution of state money in Russian empire, less of it was spent on education and thus not developed educational system.  Consequently, enormous amount of uneducated “marginal” people and this problem concerned every person and effected every sphere of their living.  Main effect is revolution [1917] and after that fatal because no competition of any competent personnel.  The effect was an absolute fall of science and culture. Natalya

 

Education – Problems with education with no teachers, not enough schools.  Also, I think it is a problem for Kazakh people because in Soviet period all things were put into Russian language. Many Kazakh people didn’t get hired on jobs.  Many Kazakhs learn Russian language and forgot their own language.  I think some of parents don’t know their mother language because their parents spoke Russian language.  Their solution to survive was to learn Russian. Madina

 

Education – Some problems in education was overteaching, too much to read in some classes which children don’t need.  In the Soviet time, education was censored.  All pupils learned by only one book and nowadays we can choose our books and the way of learning ourselves.  It was in the whole Soviet Union because the Soviet government made that for “brain cleaning.”  For showing their way of history and showing dictators from good side.  It started from kindergarten and ended in the university, after this education they are believe that only their dictator is the best, only the Soviet Union is the best, etc.

Solution: – Now people only smiling when reminded of these times.  People learn how to think for themselves and how to learn themselves.  Askar

 

Famine – The topic of my problem/solution essay is starvation and WWI.  I think that is one of the great problems of that period of time because a lot of people died and their families stayed alone without help.  The nature of the problem is unemployment because it was difficult to have a good education in that period and people did not work and died from famine.  It had a great impact on the people and many small children began to work very early.  I think that this problem needed to be solved by the older generation because small children struggled from these problems.  Also, a lot of people died during Great Patriotic War, many people lost their relatives and it was really difficult to stabilize the situation that existed in that period of time.  Nowadays we haven’t so difficult situation, like starvation and I think our great grandfathers did everything for that. Zhanna

 

Famine after WWII – Nature of the problem is famine after and during WWII.  The main cause is war and approximately all men were taken to war.  Everything was put on women, most products (food) was sent to war places.  This problem was not in the whole country, but mostly in auls (villages) and nearest places to front.  This probably was needed to be solved because many, many people would die.  Finally, if this problem wasn’t solved, then people simply would die, because people first of all needed to eat to survive. Diana

 

Soviet Living Conditions – All these problems of bad lifestyle, lack of food and clothes, no place to live and long lines to stand in, led to illnesses and depopulation.  Older generations tried to solve that problem by using their own experience, and in my problem solution essay I will use quotes from my grandmother in how she solved these problems.

If no solution had been found, people would have died, so the conclusion is “the strong people will survive.”

All these problems are very important for former USSR, because our older generation suffered from these problems and I want to show it in my paper. Kristina

 

Broken up families/poor families – Many Soviet women had to bring up their children alone because their husbands had died during the war, famine, etc.  The effects of this is that many children, especially oldest sons didn’t have “proper” childhoods, women had to work harder, also start to do some “man work.”  The fact that there is no man in the family didn’t effect well psychologically on little children as well; women started to emancipate in many fields of life.  Maiya

 

Soviet repression – I’ll choose the problems which were social problems about gulags and prisons.  During the Stalin’s repression, a lot of people became an enemies of the state because of different causes.  In Soviet period, there are a lot of educated people, “intelligence” they were against an ideology, Stalin’s regime and that’s why the government decided to imprison them.  This problem was extended in the whole USSR.  Many people were imprisoned in gulags and died there.  Then the population was fallen dramatically.  That time was a scary time when people were in fear and always worried about themselves and their relatives. Akbota

 

Evacuation – People who were relocated during WWII faced new living conditions they weren’t used to.  This problem was caused by evacuation during WWII.  These problems needed to be solved because it was the only way to survive.  If no solution had been found, all the people who suffered a lot, both local people and those who were evacuated would have died.  This problem was very widespread during that time because families were destroyed, relatives were placed in different regions of the country.  But still, they had to be strong to start a new life in a new location. Yelena

 

Enemies of the PeopleSoviet Union claimed that my grandparents were enemies of the USSR.  They were the elites and came from well-educated and well known families and the communist party wanted to make all the people as equal as possible and started to destroy the elites of Kazakh, to not let them mobilize all the poor and not to educate people to protect their rights and do not proclaim themselves as independent, a sovereign republic from USSR.

The elites of Kazakhs at that time wanted to be free as their ancestors, to establish as Kazakh autonomy country and they could mobilize people to fight for their sovereignty.  But most of the elites were killed by communist party’s representatives and their wives were sent to working camps such as gulag ALZHIR.  But the wives could stay straight even under a lot of problems came and they survived.  They worked hard and helped other people and finally they achieved their goals.  Kazakhstan is independent and a sovereign republic. Aida

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Grandpa Survived Siberia’s GULAG for 15 Years

My Grandpa Survived Siberia’s GULAG 15 Years

By Laura J.

 

My granddad on my mother’s side was an amazing storyteller. He had a lot of interesting live stories that we heard with great interest. He had tremendous memory on names; he could remember them over the time of 30-40 years. Grandpa had a good sense of humor; it was always interesting to spend time with him. My granddaddy was the kindest man that I had ever seen. And what is more he didn’t try to expose this kindness openly, he just did good things quietly and silently.

 

My grandmamma was a very charismatic person. She was not of those who talk a lot, but when she began to talk every one else automatically, unwittingly lapsed into silence. She never reproached, never humiliated anybody, but raised the significance of people. Sometimes I think that she knew everything that I felt, thought about, like she could read my mind. Never did she make me feel myself miserable, unhappy. On the contrary, she cheered me up, inspired me to be better without words, one look from her was enough to feel it. My grandparents were totally unconflictive people. There was a true deep love between them. And they shared this love with us.  My grandpa outlived my grandma only on 48 days, he couldn’t live without her. They showed us a great example of love that lasted nearly 50 years.

 

Also I have grandpa from father’s side. He was legendary man. He studied at MGU and was an excellent student giving a huge hope. Unfortunately I have never seen him. He died 3 years before my birth, at the age of 83. He had a severe fate. At the dawn of his age he was sent to exile in to the most horrible gulag in Siberia, where he survived 15 years. My father told me that at that tormented place every one respected my granddad, because of his justice, erudition, wide reading and strength of will. Every day people next to him died, but he told to himself not to give up, repeating again and again: ‘”I will survive”. 

 

My Grandpa was sent to gulag as a nationalist (racist).  Well actually he was studying Moscow University, and once when he came to his native town in Kazakhstan he saw famine and poverty. After coming back to Moscow he went to Kremlin several times, in order to talk over this problem with Stalin. But there it was interpreted like nationalism, although my Grandfather was talking about Ukrainian people too (they had the same situation as Kazakhstan had). It was in 1937, the time of Stalin’s repressions, when every one who had any slightest kind of threat to the government was sent to exile.  My granddad in spite of everything survived. After that he taught a higher mathematics at university, and students called him “friend of people”, because he always stood up for ordinary people. On one of his classes he was given a letter where he read: “unguilty”. Tears welled up in his eyes. He was waiting for these words for many years being 15 agonizing years in gulag. All the time up to his death my grandfather was walking with papers on which he was solving difficult math problems.

 

I wish I knew him.

 

 

 

 

 

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