Caste in the post-war Gulag: who were the main competitors of thieves

29/01/20 the crime of Caste in the post-war Gulag: who were the main competitors of thieves

After world war II Stalin’s camps filled with never-before-seen contingent. The new behavior of the inmates changed the balance of power in the Gulag and ultimately contributed to its downfall. What looked like a post-war “” most influential “suits” the prisoners?

“Military” and “spun”

“Military,” in the camps were called “returned” the prisoners who were on the fronts of the Second world war. 35% of prisoners of the Gulag, which in his time released to protect the Homeland from the Germans, many were unfit for civilian life. Robbers and murderers, who had in arms, were created in 1945-46 led the population in horror. The government’s response was cool: soldiers criminals again sent to the GULAG, regardless of merit.
In the camps they were in for a nasty surprise. Former companions, the thieves recognized the “military” apostates from the “thieves ‘ law” and called “bitches”. In response to “bitches”, together, proclaimed “a new thieves ‘law” and has unleashed a bloodbath. This is their first even supported the camp administration. Each “thief” caught “bitches”, were offered a choice – either to kiss the knife and enter the clan “spun” or die in agony.

“Honest thieves”

the Confrontation with the “bitches” “revive” the thug contingent, and contributed to his influence. Don’t even understand the reasons for “war” prisoners were called followers of the old thieves ‘ law “honest thieves.” “Orthodox” blatari withstand the attack “bitches” and have a devastating impact. Reached attacks. As recalled Varlam Shalamov, one day the thieves blew up the corner of the barracks with ammonal. The victim was a criminal leader named King one of the main leaders of “branch”.
“Bitch wars” has led to increased pressure from the criminal world of the other inmates. When extortion is oftenmelt to apply melee weapons. Besides, even the “honest thieves” to survive, contrary to previous custom, began to occupy an important camp on the standards of the office of hairdressers and foremen.


the Ukrainian nationalist movement that originated in the 30-ies, when Galicia was part of Poland, after the war became one of the main forces resisting the NKVD. Bandera and sympathizers of the West Ukrainian peasants were massively deported to Stalinist camps. According to statistics, if in 1945, Ukrainians accounted for 11% of the “population” of the Gulag in 1947 to 22% (180 thousand people).
As wrote Alexander Solzhenitsyn, once in the Gulag, Bandera destroyed the existing order, when everyone knew informers who collaborated with the administration, but did not dare nothing to do with them. The Ukrainians began to kill informers, establishing thereby their power. Closely United by ethnicity, they were able to distance themselves from criminals, collecting “tribute” with Russian prisoners.


the Chechens in the post-war camps was much less than Bandera and similar Lithuanian “green brothers”. Mostly they ended up in the GULAG as criminals, after domestic conflicts in Kazakhstan. However, the traditional militancy of the people has forced other prisoners to reckon with the sons of the Caucasus. With the Chechens, recognizing their leadership, sought to cooperate with other Muslims. At the same time, Caucasians, as I remember former prisoners of the Gulag, did not act only by force.
“In areas were many prisoners of the Chechens and Ingush. For the money they took in the area of all “vacant” positions. For example, sellers of shops… karadzinov, commandants, and so on,” wrote Zakir Gubaidullin.
in addition to the above separate groups, the camp commandant in the official records allocated “prisoners of the Westerners” (“Polish thieves” that do not obey the Russian betharam), “bespredelschik”, “Vlasov”, the German community and even gang “of former employees of the MGB”. All these forces do not want to work and a parasiteAravali a simple “man”, which depended on the execution of plans. The influence of groups is particularly evident during the riots in the Gulag, which began in 1948, and undermined the existence of the camp system until its collapse in 1955.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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