Gulag — the base of Russian economy during the Stalinist period? Part 2

Gulag - the basis of the Soviet economy during the Stalinist period?  Part 2

In 1933-1941,. prisoners brought significant but not decisive far as this often want to show the supporters of liberalism, the contribution to the development of the national economy. Namely, if the entire railway network of the Union to the beginning of 1941 totaled 106.1 thousand km, of which 35.8 thousand km was built in the years of Russian power, the share of business units OGPU — NKVD had about 6.5 million km. Construction of transport communications of prisoners, as defined in the founding documents, produced in remote and strategically fundamental parts of the country.

Such a role was played by prison labor in the construction of highways. In 1928, the situation has been very difficult. If the U.S. is 100 square meters. km accounted for 54 km of roads with hard surface and the adjacent Polish state (which could not be called rich) 26 km, the Russian Union — only 500 meters (of course, you need to take into account the large expanse of the country). This situation with the country's highways inflicted great economic damage, reduced its defense. October 28, 1935 decision of the CEC of the USSR and the People's Commissars of the previously independent central management of highways and dirt roads and vehicles were handed over to the NKVD on the Rights of the cupola. In 1936, a new central board laid puzzle of labor supply of construction, repair and use of all animal-drawn vehicles and road-Union, republican, territorial and regional importance (not counting those who were in the area of 50 km from the border of the USSR). The new central board received the title — GUSHOSSDOR NKVD (General Directorate of Highways). The responsibilities of puzzle building highways strategic focus: Moscow — Minsk and Moscow — Kiev.

Management carried out a large amount of work that strengthened the national economy and national defense. So, at the end of 1936, up 2,428 km of roads have passed (a huge part in the Far East — 1595 km). From 1936 until the outbreak of war majestically Russian General Directorate of Highways provided for the construction and commissioning of more than 50 thousand kilometers of roads of various types. Most of them were built in the Far East and in the West Russian Union (Ukraine, Belarus, the Leningrad region).

A huge role was played by the labor of convicts in the construction of many industrial sites, including the military-industrial complex. For example, prison labor was built shipyard in Komsomolsk-on-Amur: laying of the first object was accomplished in the summer of 1933, and in the summer of 1936 the company officially start work until 1941 the water was lowered two first submarines. Creating a shipbuilding base in the Far East had tremendous importance for the country, without that the Pacific Fleet was very difficult to fill.

With the help of convicts began to build a naval base for the Baltic fleet in the Luga Bay. This base was to unload Kronstadt, who was very close to the border. The prisoners took part in the construction of shipyard in the Arkhangelsk region, the plant "Severonikel" on the Kola Peninsula. Labor prisoners was used for solving the problem of Leningrad security industry a cheap fuel and raw materials. Leningrad was one of the main industrial centers of the Russian Union: the beginning of 1941 the enterprise made the town more than 10% of the total industrial output of the USSR, 25% of heavy machinery, 84% of steam turbines, about half of the boiler equipment, a third of the power equipment, all the turbines for power stations. In addition, the Leningrad factory produced more than half of armor, virtually all instruments and installation of naval artillery, more than 40% of tanks for the war. In the second capital of the Union was located 7 out of 25 available to the beginning of the war in the State Russian shipbuilding companies. But the industry of Leningrad was one huge problem of: fuel and raw materials necessary to carry afar (This leads to higher production costs by approximately 30-40%). Office of the country raised the question of the development of its fuel and metallurgical base for the Leningrad industry. The basis for the steel industry in Leningrad: "Severnikel" Cherepovets Steel Mill, Caves and Vorkuta coal mines, Dural plant in Kandalaksha, three wood chemical enterprises and 5 plants for the production of sulphite pulp — the basis for the production of gunpowder.

An important role was played by the prisoners of the Gulag and the process of creation of companies of the aviation industry and the ground infrastructure of the Air Forces of the USSR. Recently the stateliness Russian war prisoners built 254 airports (in the main to the west of the country).

By the beginning of 1941 in the camps and colonies was 1 million 929 thousand people (out of 1.68 million men of working age). It should be noted that at this time the total number of workers in the Russian economy amounted to 23.9 million, and industry workers — 10 million people. As a result of the Gulag prisoners working age accounted for about 7% of the total number of the working class in the Russian Union. This figure is evidence of the contribution of the prisoners in the country's economy. The 7% just on the physical level, were unable to build all businesses during the five-year-union. Yes, the contribution of the prisoners is significant in several ways very omens, this can not be overlooked. But talk about the decisive contribution of the convicts in the construction of the Stalinist economy stupid, and even mean.

An important role is played in the Gulag years majestically Russian war. In July and November 1941, at the suggestion of the NKVD of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet adopted a decree on amnesty and the release of prisoners who were sent to an organized military. All the years of stateliness Russian war in the ranks of Russian armed forces was focused 975 thousand, due to their manned 67 divisions. But the main focus of the Gulag during the war as before it was economic. So, in August 1941, has been defined a list of 64 projects, the completion of which was a priority. Among them was the construction of Kuibyshev aircraft factories and other defense companies in the East of the country. During the war, the system of corrective labor institutions of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs was made 14% of hand grenades and mortar ammunition, 22% of land mines. Performed, and other materials of the military temper: 1.7 million gas masks, 22 million units of clothing (12% of total production), 500 thousand coils for telephone cable, 30 million of short Boat sleds for the Corps, etc. also carried out for the fighter and pots pots for cooking food, thermoses, kitchens, barracks furniture, fire escapes, skiing, car bodies, equipment for hospitals and much more.

Was extended introduction to the Gulag labor industry. Before the war, the Soviet Union used the 350 companies labor prisoners after the Russian war majestically their number by 1944 grown to 640. Lasted and implementation of the prisoners in a serious construction. Through the efforts of the prisoners built a large Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant. Labor convicts used in the production of gold, coal and other fundamental resources.

With the help of the Gulag during World War II, it was decided several fundamental problems of strategic character, which were crucial for the country:

— Autumn — winter 1941 along the shore
of sea of snow-white steel siding was built roads Magpie (Byelomorsk) — Obozerskaya. After the enemy cut the metal Kirov street, this road became the only land communication that linked "continent" with the Kola Peninsula, where there were loads of Lend-Lease.

— January 23, 1942 Municipal Committee of Defense has decided to build a road from Ulyanovsk rokadnuyu to Stalingrad. A significant part of this route was built by the Head Control railway construction camps. In the NKVD was drafted when road took place outside the flood plain of the Volga, which made it possible to greatly reduce the number of bridges and huge rounds. To speed up work on the stalled due to the start of the war section of the Baikal-Amur Mainline were quickly removed and transported to the Volga rails. Already 7 August 1942 the main section of the road from the station to Ilovnya Kamyshino was put into operation. Overall rokadnuyu road Stalingrad — Petrov Val — Saratov — Sizran length of 240 km have commissioned over 100 days.

So Makarov, both before and during the war, financial activities of the Gulag played a significant role. But talk about the fact that prisoners camps built virtually the entire economy of Russian Union under Stalin, there is no reason. History and economic activity of compounds of the OGPU — NKVD were tightly intertwined with the processes that were in the Russian state. Marxist theoretical legacy lay the foundation for application of a wide use of municipal violence as a modifying force. In addition, there was the historical experience of the Russian Empire, which justified the prospects of the use of prison labor for the implementation of large-scale economic (including those of strategic importance) projects. In the 1920s, the Russian Federation in the Russian was not decisive action in the transformation of the correctional system. This was due to 2 main factors. In-1's, there were no real prerequisites necessary — the economy experienced a period of recovery of pre-war level and did not need the extra manpower, putting in new capacity. Was not completely resolved the question of the future of the national economy, the direction of its development. In-2, in the first half of the 1920s put forward the idea that crime will soon wither away in the Russian society, etc.

There was a search of good organizational forms of use of prison labor. In the state during the NEP to identify common trends in savings of municipal funds and the transfer to self-financing of the municipal sector of the economy. During the lively discussion on the dilemma of the optimal use of prison labor while maintaining a regime of imprisonment for the first plan out the idea of a labor of agricultural or industrial colonies (such colony was to be the basic unit of the penitentiary system of the future.)

As a result, the transition to a policy of forced industrialization and collectivization (their conduct was closely linked to the future of the country, its survival in a world where the feeble "eat"), and led to a radical reform of the penitentiary system. Course Moscow for the construction of socialism in one country, relying on only the internal forces meant the introduction of all possible economic resources, including labor of convicts. In addition, it is necessary to take into account the factor that in the end of the First World War, the mufti of the war, intervention, mass peasant movements (in general, there was a civilizational tragedy that destroyed the old way of life of the Russian Federation) has increased dramatically crime. In addition, the state had to carry out a punitive policy towards different parts of the opposition, including the Trotskyites and the "capitalist parts of the town and the village." This led to a significant increase in the mass of convicts in prisons. On the one hand, this situation caused the increase risk of internal security of the USSR and the other — an opportunity to widespread use of prison labor. Experience corrective labor colonies, namely the Solovki camp special purpose (ELEPHANT) showed promising introduction to the authorities of the prisoners for the development of sparsely populated areas where there were significant supplies of natural resources. It became one of the country's industrialization policies. Immediately transfer the camps of the correctional system in the sparsely populated regions of the USSR allowed to lower the risk of safety to comply with the requirements of the regime (terrible) to criminal prisoners and bring significant benefits to the national economy, improve the country's defense.

So Makar, the creation of business units OGPU — NKVD was a natural process, prepared the course of development of the penitentiary system in the Russian Empire and the Russian of, and not a "bloodthirsty" Stalin thought the destruction of the Russian people and its "best representatives" in the camps. In the specific historical criteria of the Russian Federation of the late 1920s -'s move was imminent, it was quite adequate priority task of the Russian state. Transport, industrial and defense in the direction of the Head management of labor camps, human settlements and places of detention was the original. Autarchy of the country meant the presence of sources of strategic raw materials and communications systems for defense. It should also be noted that labor additional resource has been convicted of military construction, because with the Gulag could save resources, money and time. The government could rapidly concentrate human and material resources on the main line. This allows you to quickly solve important tasks, like building of the White Sea-Baltic Canal, or rokadnoy road from Ulyanovsk to Stalingrad. Tools NKVD often used in the criteria when other abilities on the economic development of the countryside just out. Naturally, this feature is designed gulag prison labor a huge role in some strategic areas of Russian Union.

The prophetic words of Joseph Stalin, the backwardness of the USSR of the leading states for 50-100 years, says the need to use all possible resources (and most used). Time for humanity was not. The country was only 10 years before the Great War. And if Russian The alliance does not have time to make a breakthrough in economic and military development, it was razed to the ground.

In the aftermath of the war, after the reconstruction of the country, the introduction of the Gulag as an instrument of extensive development, has lost its original meaning. By the beginning of 1950 to the first plan in the USSR came puzzles saturated development. For questions about the serious reduction in economic activity corrective labor colonies began to rise even more often. Before the death of Joseph Stalin, this problem open a discussion at the highest level and have been adopted fundamentally solutions that Beria tried to bring to life after the death of the leader. But Beria was killed, and the elimination of the Gulag was already proclaimed in the name of his killers. And on Stalin and Beria wrote off all possible sins and unworkable and flaws of the system. Were invented legends about the "tens of millions of victims of the Gulag", "slave labor", "innocent victims" (although most of the prisoners were criminals), "the destruction of the people," "frenzied butchers' Beria and Stalin, etc. Although most of these legends were born more propaganda Third Reich and the "democratic countries" of the West. Russian and Russian "whistleblowers" but with a different degree of reliability repeated what was created propaganda machine of the Western world.

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