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A system of labour camps maintained in the Soviet Union from 1930 to 1955 in which many people died. Besides ordinary criminals, inmates included dissident intellectuals, political opponents, and members of ethnic minorities; the word became widely known in the west in the 1960s and 1970s with the translation of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's works, notably The Gulag Archipelago.

The word is Russian, from G(lavnoe) u(pravlenie ispravitel′no-trudovykh) lag(ereĭ) ‘Chief Administration for Corrective Labour Camps’.

Subjects: Second World War.

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