The Voices of a Few: Women in the Gulag

Shack from Gulag- Museum of the Occupation of Latvia. Photo: Marcin Szala/Wikimedia Commons. No changes made. View the license here.

By: Julia Maria-Xavier

The Stalinist era saw millions of people caught within the penal system, whether in prisons, labour camps, forced labour colonies, or exile, and millions more who bore the traumatic experience of being torn from family and friends, many of whom would not return. The later years of the Great Purge (1937-1938) saw an increase in prisoners sentenced under Article 58 of the criminal code for political crimes, although they remained a minority within the Gulag until around 1946.[1] Within this minority existed a smaller subsection—women. As a whole, women prisoners comprised 6.1% of Gulag inmates in 1937 to 8.1% in 1941.[2] Those convicted under Article 58 for political crimes made up an even smaller proportion of this number. In analyzing a ten year stretch of time from the beginning of the Great Purge in 1936 to 1946, and using the memoirs of female political prisoners, historians can analyze the unique positionality of women within the camps and prisons using their own insights. Centering on the voices of women within the penal system offers the ability to understand how gender impacted punishment, work, sociality, and the construction of the camps themselves, and complicates what resistance to state oppression looks like. 

The memoirs of numerous women convicted for political crimes during this time show that their guilt was often linked to the supposed criminality of their husbands. Thus, they were viewed as an extension of the men in their lives, rather than as individuals. Order No. 00447 implemented July 30th, 1937, stipulated that unless evidence proved them directly involved, members of an accused person’s family should not be arrested.[3] This changed on August 15th, 1937 with Order No. 00486, branding women whose husbands were arrested under Article 58 “wives of traitors to the motherland.”[4] Held culpable for a husband’s actions, it was assumed that a wife had prior knowledge of her husband’s crimes and choose to not inform on him, making her guilty under Article 58, Point 12 of not reporting.[5] The number of women arrested due to the status of their husband’s criminality was high enough to merit multiple camps exclusively for “wives of traitors to the motherland,” the largest being Akmola in Kazakhstan, holding 18,000 women between 1937 and 1953.[6]  

These camps did not exist in the inverse. There were no “husbands of traitors to the motherland” and no camps exclusive to imprisoning men based on the criminality of their relationships with their wives. This is not to suggest that men did not come into suspicion due to their wives’ criminal status, but rather the language that constructed men as extensions of their wives did not exist. Men were allowed to retain their status as individuals even in light of their wives’ crimes. When Polina Zhemchuzhina was arrested in 1948 for treason, Vyacheslav Molotov was not, and despite falling out of favour, he remained free.[7]

The Gulag, from its construction to its operation, was built for men, and women’s experiences, even when subjugated to the same practices, were distinctly shaped by their gender. A lack of female guards necessitated changes in rules meant to safeguard women, which resulted in turning common practices into a much deeper form of punishment. The shaving of women’s hair was one instance that constituted a much deeper psychological trauma than the same practice when applied to men. Regulations regarding hygiene stated that a female doctor should, if medically necessary, shave the head and pubic area of a woman.[8] By 1934, this had changed to anyone with a medical degree regardless of gender, but in practise it was often male guards who performed the task with women recounting the horror of the prospect of having their pubic hair shaved by overly excited men.[9] 

Gulag, 1930s. Photo courtesy of UNDP Ukraine. No changes were made. View the license here.

Fisa, who in Eugenia Ginzburg’s account uses her long red hair to cover herself in the bathhouse, comes to serve as a hero for the women being transported to a camp in train car seven.[10] For Tamara Petkevich, one of the things she remarks upon when entering the Central Camp is the ability of the women within it to maintain their different hairstyles, and therefore their individuality.[11] Both examples are indicative of the powerful image hair conjured for those imprisoned. The loss of their hair was symbolic of the larger loss of their individuality, their womanhood, and their humanity. Those whose heads were shaven remarked on the trauma of being shorn and transformed into sexless beings by the guards.[12]  In The Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn is struck by the things women worried about, one of the examples being a woman who sharpened a spoon to cut off her braids.[13] In knowing the importance of hair for the memoirists, this act can be interpreted as one of resistance. It is a refusal to allow the guards to strip her of the symbol of her womanhood, and instead, she reclaims some control over her body by removing them herself. 

One of the most evocative memories written of by women is that of the bathhouse. For Ginzburg and Olga Adamova-Sliozberg, the joy of being able to bathe after weeks of brutal transport conditions is immediately quashed by the realization that the guards expect them to present themselves nude. This is so shameful to a woman in Ginzburg’s memoir that she questions whether they view her as human.[14] While Adamova-Sliozberg subverts their attempted de-humanization by instead thinking of the guards as ox instead of men, in Ginzburg’s account,  the women’s attempts to view the guards as sexless, as they presume the guards see them, is thwarted by the fact that they refuse to look at them.[15] Paradoxically, this enhances their shame rather than stemming it, due to their knowing that the guards still view them, not just as human, but as women.[16] For those not being forced to stand naked directly in front of the guards, they were subjected to the same sexualized humiliation on a more covert level. Women in prisons noted the sound of a peephole being opened and closed in the bathhouse, alerting them to the fact that while they could not see the guards, the guards could always see them.[17] The lack of female guards meant that women were often supervised exclusively by the opposite gender, an experience not shared by their male counterparts.

The layout of the camps further exhibits how invisible women were in their configurations. In mixed gender camps, in order to access certain spaces, women needed to cross over into the male side.[18] In the Belovodsk Camp, the kitchen, medical unit, bathhouse, and administration office were all on the men’s side. Women who found themselves having to walk back to their barracks at night were often targeted for rape—a clear example of how women’s mobility within the camp was curtailed due to their gender. Women who had no choice but to navigate the camps at night were forced to either accept the danger it posed for them, or form relationships with men who could protect them. It is only when Adamova-Sliozberg gained the friendship of the sole man working at the office in the Magadan Camp, who agreed to walk her to her barracks, that she felt safe from assault.[19] While Adamova-Sliozberg’s relationship with the man was platonic, many women were reliant on a ‘camp husband’ for protection; a man with whom they would form a monogamous (on their part alone in some cases) relationship, often trading sex under coercive conditions for survival. If not escorted or known to be in relationship, women feared being raped, showing the power male prisoners possessed relative to women.

Having a camp husband, despite its negatives, offered tangible benefits. If they held power in the camp, as many did, one could expect to do easier work in the office or in traditionally feminine jobs such as cleaning, as opposed to the brutal work done outside.[20] Women working in office jobs were often pointed out by memoirists due to their cleanliness, health, and superior clothing, all indicators of their having camp husbands.[21] For these reasons, some sought to use their sexuality as a means of survival, framing using their beauty to gain better conditions in the camp as an agentic act.[22] Other accounts express the deeply coercive conditions that facilitated their “marriages,” indicative less of agency than resignation. 

To reject a proposition of sex made one vulnerable to the worst possible conditions in the camps. Despite the main allure of a camp husband being to offer protection, many of the men were themselves victimizers. There were multiple ways to coerce women who refused relationships, commonly through hard labour or beatings. In one instance, a woman named Tamara Ruzhnevits refused Sasha, a cobbler whose status gave him special privileges.[23] She was brutally beaten by him and then taken to the hospital.[24] After agreeing to be his wife to prevent further violence, she became healthier due to his increasing her food rations and providing better clothing, eventually falling in love with him. Rather than expressing agency, Tamara’s decision was made knowing that his abuse would eventually make her saying yes inevitable. 

Protection was offered with the implicit agreement that sex would be exchanged and if not given willingly, would be taken forcibly. Petkevich, having been taken to a hospital and saved from death by a doctor named Fillip Bakharev, was then raped by him.[26] She bitterly refers to it as “his reward” for saving her life.[27] Unlike in Ruzhnevits’ case, she never refers to loving Bakharev, but instead feels indebted to him for saving her life. The contrast between Ruzhnevits and Petkevich is indicative of the complicated emotionality women expressed in regard to their “husbands.” While some remained more cognizant as to the power imbalance, emphasized in Petkevich’s choosing indebtedness to express her emotional state, others came to conflate conditioning and coercion with love. In having to depend on a singular person for their survival, it is clear to see why some women felt feelings of love despite the brutality they were subjected to. 

These examples illustrate how refusal was equivalent to, if not death, then torturous conditions, whether it be neglect or violence. This is demonstrative of the power imbalance that eroded women’s agency. To choose between life and death is less an agentic choice, than one of survival. Despite regulations that prohibited relationships with and between prisoners, they were not only known about, but common, exhibiting a tendency by authorities to be passive about violations in specific cases. When Ginzburg is sent to clean a guesthouse outside the camp built for minor officials, the woman she is sent to help tells her with so few women at Magadan, she does not see her cleaning for long.[28] Although not explicitly said, there is an assumption that she will be able to trade sex for better conditions. The choice presented was either to resist the inevitable, or to attempt to use it for survival. 

While camp husbands exist in an ambiguous space torn between agency, survival, and coercion, rape occurred without the pretext of offering protection. Although guards were not permitted to have sex with inmates, it occurred frequently, partly because the punishment lacked severity.[29] The most common punishment was transferral to another camp where their reputation often preceded them, such as in Petkevich’s accounting of a guard who was rumored to have previously raped and killed an inmate.[30] Even if untrue, the rumour makes evident that women knew that rape committed by guards was essentially permissible. 

Mass rapes committed by prisoners appear in numerous memoirs, making clear that it was not an isolated event. Elena Glinka writes about the “Kolyma Tram,” describing a scene in which men, both free and imprisoned, formed lines and began the mass rape of female prisoners, moving on to the next victim when alerted to by the “tram driver.”[31] Another example took place on a boat en route to Magadan, in which male prisoners broke through the walls to attack the women before being hosed down by the guards.[32] Yet another example is mentioned in Petkevich’s memoir where, on her first night at the Novotroisk Camp, five women who refused to give up their parcels to male prisoners were thrown into the center of the room and raped, with an increasing number of women dragged in.[33] While officially condemned, these acts occurred with relative frequency and were understood to be a part of daily existence, exposing the rift between legality and reality. Everyone, regardless of gender, was commodified in the Gulag for their labour, but with so few women, these accounts show how their sexuality also became a commodity to be taken and used.

This is not to say that authentic, reciprocal relationships did not form in the camps. Halva Volovich recounts how sex became a form of resistance against the camp’s dehumanization, remarking that it was the only thing that could not be “extinguished within themselves.”[34] Sex became a way to express agency and pleasure within a system that attempted to deprive people of it, and was therefore expressed more freely than outside the camps.[35] Petkevich’s love for Nikolay Danilovich can be directly contrasted against that of her camp husband, Bakharev. Whereas the emotions she felt for Bakharev were that of indebtedness, with Danilovich she expresses love at first sight.[36] Danilovich, unlike Bakharev, was a fellow inmate with no power over her and their relationship was that of equals. These relationships filled a desire not only to love and be loved, but to know that your existence mattered to someone within the camp. So intense was this desire to be bonded with another person, that it led to the phenomenon of blind marriages, where a ceremony would be performed over camp walls, the two having never seen one another.[37] 

Perm 36 Gulag. Photo courtesy of  Gerald Praschl/Wikimedia Commons. No changes were made. View the license here.

One of the significant reasons for the banning of relationships between male and female prisoners was the cost of childbirth in the camps, as it resulted in lost productivity and necessitated the creation of nurseries, even as substandard as they were.[38] Many women found themselves pregnant unintentionally. For others, it was a deliberate choice. Pregnant women received increased rations and were released from night work and heavy labour for two months preceding and following birth, providing incentive for some—although in reality these conditions were often unmet.[39] For others, to have a child meant having someone to give and receive unconditional love, a reclamation of their maternal rights.[40] Whether accidentally or intentionally, childbirth within the camp served as its own particularly inhumane punishment.

After birth, the time spent between mother and child was often limited to strictly scheduled feedings that lasted around 30 minutes, talking prohibited.[41] If these rules were broken, rights to see the child were stripped from the mother. Nurses had the power to arbitrarily declare when the child no longer needed its mother, and in 1946 the rules were modified, forcing babies be taken to orphanages on their first birthday.[42] This usually occurred at night to avoid allowing the mothers to say goodbye. Volovich was one of the women who became pregnant out of a desire to love. The pregnancy and birth initially brought her strength, which quickly dissipated upon her transfer to a mother’s camp. The conditions were atrocious, with babies being force fed, beaten, and ignored as there was a rate of seventeen babies to one nurse. Volovich watched her baby slowly die, declaring “in giving birth to my only child, I committed the worst crime there is.”[45] The camps used women’s desperation to fulfill their maternal desires against them, turning what some viewed as resistance to their dehumanization into one of the worst punishments imaginable.[46] The children that survived the camps and state nurseries were often never reunited with their mothers, who had no knowledge about where they had been sent.[47]

Many women were mothers prior to entering the camp, and the welfare of their children remained a constant concern. So difficult was the topic of their children, that it simply remained unspoken about within the jail cells and camps. When a song sung about husbands reminded a woman of her children she began sobbing, causing a chain reaction and making evident why agreements among women to not discuss their families were made.[48] For many, their children remained an incentive to survive in the harshest conditions, best put in the words of a dying prisoner “that’s too bad (you have children), you can’t even die. What can be done? Go on living.”[49] Despite the horrors they went through, to die and leave their children alone, especially if their husband’s arrest had preceded their own, was unconscionable. Even when close to death, a prisoner named Gayla working alongside Ginzburg, did not speak of her own suffering, but only hoped that her husband would not abandon their child.[50] 

While children might have incentivized survival within the camps, they were also used by the state to entrap women. Guards would use the threat of harming children to gain confessions. A woman, believing her son was being beaten in the next room, signed a confession against her husband as a means to save him.[51] In reality, they had simulated a beating by hitting a couch and telling the child to scream.[52] In another interrogation, a woman was told that her absence had resulted in her twelve year old daughter being forced into sex work.[53] In these instances, women’s maternal instincts worked against them, showing the ease with which they were manipulated by interrogators. Nina Gviniashvili astutely says to Ginzburg, “talk about protection of mothers and children” after seeing a group of women having guns aimed at them by guards.[54] These laws were non-existent for women and children within the camp system. Women delivered under horrific conditions, child mortality rates were incredibly high, and nurseries and state orphanages were chronically undersupplied and understaffed.[55] The mothers and children that were protected under these laws were chosen selectively, and none were to be found in the camps or orphanages.

Sociality within the camps for female inmates was markedly different than that of males. Women formed incredibly close friendships, often citing their relationships with one another as key to survival, but womanhood itself was not a sole unifying factor. Women were divided along lines of nationality, criminality, politics, and personality. The early 1940s saw an influx of Eastern European women enter the prisons and camps, many of whom formed collectives amongst themselves, avoiding relationships with Russian women by pretending to not understand them.[56] The same occurred for Jewish women, unsurprisingly when reading accounts of anti-Semitism within the camps.[57] These collectives worked to provide protection for one another as there existed an innate trust between them that did not exist outside them.

More divisive than nationality was their cause for imprisonment. Most memoirists were arrested under Section 58 for political crimes they felt they were innocent of, unlike non-political inmates who, in their eyes, deserved their punishments. As such, memoirists sought to differentiate themselves from criminals. Those who gained the most ire were sex workers, often described in animalistic verbiage, such as in a scene where they publicly masturbated and threw pubic lice on other inmates.[58] In an attempt to further distance themselves, they described same-sex relationships as only occurring amongst female criminals—a falsity.[59] Similar disdain extended towards political prisoners on the criminals’ side, especially considering that it was known that the wives of Russian elites often collaborated with the guards in a bid to show their loyalty.[60]

While tensions existed within groups of political prisoners regarding politics and personalities, their friendships with one another were viewed as making life bearable. Ginzburg wrote that there were “no more fervent friendships than those made in prison” and this was observable in how quickly their friendships formed, and how deeply devoted they were to one another.[61] Often times, these friendships were solidified around traditionally feminine activities that attempted to bring a sense of normalcy to life. Sewing and embroidery were indictive of their refusal to abide by prison rules. As needles were outlawed, they would be made with fishbones or the teeth of combs and old clothing threads would be torn out to create embroidery.[62] Even the act of creating the needles was done communally, as one person would need to sneak in a safety pin and heat it before poking holes.[63] Demonstrating how traditionally feminine activities were used to rebel against prison rules, a pregnant woman, given permission to sew her future child’s name on the outside of a diaper, rallied her prison cell together to do so.[64] Knowing that men would not check the inside once the child was wearing it, they embroidered a will with their illicit needles.[65] While embroidery would not seem a potent form of resistance, the prison’s attempts to strip them of their womanhood made it so. 

Another instance of the traditionally feminine being used to defy the prison system was the mothering of younger girls. Ginzburg recounts how sixteen-year-old Nina was nurtured by the cell, giving her sugar, washing her underwear, and teaching her how to act during interrogations.[66] This gave the older women a sense of purpose and a surrogate for their children, and strengthened the younger girls for future hardships.[67] In attempting to re-create their normal lives through these activities, they subverted the point of their imprisonment; dehumanization.

Another activity that was predominant in the lives of the memoirists was reading. It was so cherished that it was referred to as having the ability to turn them human and help them survive.[68] Books—particularly poetry—allowed women to reconnect with their past in such a way that they became personified as visitors.[69] Similar to embroidery, storytelling was a communal act that sought to bring together inmates, most evident in their transportation to the camps. Both Ginzburg and Adamova-Sliozberg recount how they recited poetry to their fellow prisoners to help time go by faster during the long and difficult transport. Their stories are nearly identical in that, a guard stops them, thinking they are reciting from a book, only to realize that it is memorized.[70] Beloved authors came to take the place of the loved ones they could not contact in offering them solace and remembrance of their past lives. Even as they lived under the most inhospitable conditions, books offered a lifeline to the outside world.

Although there are similarities within the memoirist’s recollections, it is vital to understand that no one experienced the Gulag in the same way. Even as small a subpopulation as women were, they were innumerably divided by the aspects of their identities. Understanding women’s experiences within the penal system reveals to a great extent the ways in which it was gendered. Their movement was impacted by their gender, common practices became a gendered form of punishment, and even forms of survival could rely on their using their gender and sexuality. A 1941 letter to camp commanders and NKVD leadership demonstrated how unwanted women were. They were forced to write that women could not be refused entrance to the camps and outlined all the work they could do in an attempt to show their productiveness.[71] Despite their not being wanted, women were forced to go and their stories of suffering, defeat, resistance, and resilience offer a complex and nuanced understanding of what life looked like in the prisons and camps. Their stories assert the importance of women’s voices as a means to more accurately understand the nuances of a penal system built for men, but experienced by women.


  1.  J. Arch Getty, Gábor T. Rittersporn, and Viktor N. Zemskov, “Victims of the Soviet Penal System I the Pre-War Years: A First Approach on the Basis of Archival Evidence,” The American Historical Review 98, no.4 (1993): 1017, 1039.
  2.  Getty et al., “Victims of the Soviet Penal System,” 1025; Emma Mason, “Women in the Gulag in the 1930s,” in Women in the Stalin Era, edited by Melanie Ilič (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001), 132.
  3.  Golfo Alexopoulos, “Stalin and the Politics of Kinship: Practices of Collective Punishment, 1920s-1940s,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 50, no.1 (2008): 104.
  4.  Alexopoulos, “Stalin and the Politics of Kinship,” 104-105.
  5.  Alexopoulos, “Stalin and the Politics of Kinship,” 104; Olga Adamova-Sliozberg, My Journey: How One Woman Survived Stalin’s Gulag, trans. Katherine Gratwick Baker (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2011), 33.
  6.  Elaine Mackinnon, “Motherhood and Survival in the Stalinist Gulag,” Aspasia vol.12 (2009): 70.
  7.  Alexopoulos, “Stalin and the Politics of Kinship,” 108.
  8.  Mason, “Women in the Gulag in the 1930s,” 136.
  9.  Mason, “Women in the Gulag in the 1930s,” 136; Nadezhda Vladimrova, “Notes by Your Contemporary” in Till my Tale is Told Women’s Memoirs of the Gulag, ed. Simeon Vilensky (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999), 136.
  10.  Eugenia Semyonovna Ginzburg, Journey into the Whirlwind, trans. Paul Stevenson and Max Hayward (Boston: Harcourt, INC., 1967), 317.
  11.  Tamara Petkevich, Memoirs of a Gulag Actress, trans. Yasha Klots and Ross Ufberg (Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2010), 252.
  12.  Ginzburg, Journey into the Whirlwind, 321-324.
  13.  Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago Vol.II: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, trans. Thomas P. Whitney (Harper & Row: New York, 1956), 178.
  14.  Ginzburg, Journey into the Whirlwind, 316.
  15.  Adamova-Sliozberg, My Journey, 74; Ginzburg, Journey into the Whirlwind, 316-317.
  16.  Ginzburg, Journey into the Whirlwind, 317.
  17.  Vladimrova, “Notes by Your Contemporary,” 126.
  18.  Petkevich, Memoirs of a Gulag Actress, 176.
  19.  Adamova-Sliozberg, My Journey, 84-85.
  20.  Mason, “Women in the Gulag in the 1930s,” 137.
  21.  Adamova-Sliozberg, My Journey, 84; Applebaum, Gulag: History, 308-311.
  22.  Mackinnon, “Motherhood and Survival,” 79.
  23.  Anne Applebaum, Gulag: History (New York: Doubleday, 2003), 310.
  24.  Applebaum, Gulag: History, 310.
  25.  Applebaum, Gulag: History, 310.
  26.  Petkevich, Memoirs of a Gulag Actress, 215.
  27.  Petkevich, Memoirs of a Gulag Actress, 215.
  28.  Ginzburg, Journey into the Whirlwind, 278.
  29.  Wilson T. Bell, “Sex, Pregnancy, and Power in the Late Stalinist Gulag,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 24, no.2 (2015): 213.
  30.  Bell, “Sex, Pregnancy, and Power in the Late Stalinist Gulag,” 213; Petkevich, Memoirs of a Gulag Actress, 16.
  31.  Elena Glinka, “The Kolyma Tram,” in Gulag Voices: An Anthology, ed. Anne Applebaum (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011), 43.
  32.  Glinka, “The Kolyma Tram,” 40.
  33.  Petkevich, Memoirs of a Gulag Actress, 174.
  34.  Halva Volovich, “My Past,” 260.
  35.  Volovich, “My Past,” 260; Bell, “Sex, Pregnancy, and Power in the Late Stalinist Gulag,” 199.
  36.  Petkevich, Memoirs of a Gulag Actress, 330.
  37.  Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 249.
  38.  Amy Randall, “Gender and Sexuality,” in Life in Stalin’s Soviet Union, ed. Kees Boterbloem (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019), 161.
  39.  Mackinnon, “Motherhood and Survival,” 72.
  40.  Mackinnon, “Motherhood and Survival,” 66; Petkevich, Memoirs of a Gulag Actress, 282.
  41.  Mason, “Women in the Gulag in the 1930s,” 142.
  42.  Petkevich, Memoirs of a Gulag Actress, 313.
  43.  Mason, “Women in the Gulag in the 1930s,” 144; Petkevich, Memoirs of a Gulag Actress, 313.
  44.  Volovich, “My Past,” 262.
  45.  Volovich, “My Past,” 260-264.
  46.  Petkevich, Memoirs of a Gulag Actress, 282.
  47.  Mackinnon, “Motherhood and Survival,” 72.
  48.  Ginzburg, Journey into the Whirlwind, 286.
  49.  Mackinnon, “Motherhood and Survival,” 77.
  50.  Ginzburg, Journey into the Whirlwind, 409.
  51.  Adamova-Sliozberg, My Journey, 22.
  52.  Adamova-Sliozberg, My Journey, 22.
  53.  Zayara Vesyolaya, “7:35,” 306.
  54.  Ginzburg, Journey into the Whirlwind, 401.
  55.  MacKinnon, “Motherhood and Survival,” 72.
  56.  Dalia Leinarte, “Victims and Collective Trauma: Surviving Mass Repression and Living Through the Soviet Period” in Women’s Experiences of Repression in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, ed. Kelly Hignett, Melanie Ilič, Dalia Leinarte, and Corina Snitar (London and New York: Routledge, 2018), 54, 58; Adamova-Sliozberg, My Journey, 184.
  57.  Adamova-Sliozberg, My Journey, xvii, 186-187.
  58.  Jehanne M. Gheith and Katherine R. Jolluck, “Disgusting and Hopeless. Maria Norciszec,” in Gulag Voices: Oral Histories of Soviet Incarceration and Exile, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 208.
  59.  Bell, “Sex, Pregnancy, and Power in the Late Stalinist Gulag,” 203;  Leinarte, “Victims and Collective Trauma,” 56-57.
  60.  Leinarte, “Victims and Collective Trauma,” 57.
  61.  Ginzburg, Journey into the Whirlwind, 99.
  62.  Vera Shulz, “Taganka,” 156; Gheith and Jolluck, “It Wasn’t Life. Interview with Nina Ivanovna Rodina,” 111.
  63.  Shulz, “Taganka,” 156.
  64.  Gheith and Jolluck, “It Wasn’t Life,” 111.
  65.  Gheith and Jolluck, “It Wasn’t Life,” 111.
  66.  Ginzburg, Journey into the Whirlwind, 150.
  67.  Ginzburg, Journey into the Whirlwind, 150.
  68.  Adamova-Sliozberg, My Journey, 56; Vladimrova, “Notes by Your Contemporary,” 90.
  69.  Ginzburg, Journey into the Whirlwind, 204.
  70.  Ginzburg, Journey into the Whirlwind, 292-296; Adamova-Sliozberg, My Journey, 73.


Adamova-Sliozberg, Olga. My Journey: How One Woman Survived Stalin’s Gulag. Translated by Katherine Gratwick Baker. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2011.

Alexopoulos, Golfo. “Stalin and the Politics of Kinship: Practices of Collective Punishment, 1920s-1940s.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 50, no.1 (2008): 91-117.

Applebaum, Anne. Gulag: History. New York: Doubleday, 2003.

Applebaum, Anne. Gulag Voices: An Anthology. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011.

Bell, Wilson T. “Sex, Pregnancy, and Power in the Late Stalinist Gulag.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 24, no.2 (2015): 198-224.

Boterbloem, Kees, editor. Life in Stalin’s Soviet Union. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019.

Getty, J. Arch, Gábor T. Rittersporn, and Viktor N. Zemskov. “Victims of the Soviet Penal System I the Pre-War Years: A First Approach on the Basis of Archival Evidence.” The American Historical Review 98, no.4 (1993): 1017-1049.

Gheith, Jehanne M. and Katherine R. Jolluck. Gulag Voices: Oral Histories of Soviet Incarceration and Exile. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Ginzburg, Eugenia Semyonovna. Journey into the Whirlwind. Translated by Paul Stevenson and Max Hayward. Boston: Harcourt, INC., 1967.

Hignett, Kelly, Melanie Ilič, Dalia, Leinarte, and Corina Snitar. Women’s Experiences of Repression in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. London and New York: Routledge, 2018.

Ilič, Melanie, editor. Women in the Stalin Era. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001.

Mackinnon, Elaine “Motherhood and Survival in the Stalinist Gulag.” Aspasia 12 (2009): 65-94.

Petkevich, Tamara. Memoirs of a Gulag Actress. Translated by Yasha Klots and Ross Ufberg. Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2010.

Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr I. The Gulag Archipelago Vol.II: An Experiment in Literary Investigation. Translated by Thomas P. Whitney. Harper & Row: New York, 1956.

Vilensky, Simeon, editor. Till my Tale is Told Women’s Memoirs of the Gulag. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999.

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