Events That Comprised Stalins Gulag Essay

758 words - 4 pages

It was around this time that Stalin initiated his first Five Year plan that would last from 1928 until 1932. His main goals for the plan was to pursue collectivization in agriculture and eliminate wealthy kulaks (landowners) who he regarded as a threat to the Soviet regime. He also set high expectations for the workers, and demanded a 110% increase in coal production, a 200% increase in iron production and 335% increase in their electric power. He stated that if the Soviet Union could not meet these demands or rapid industrialization, they would not be able to defend against invasions from the Western powers. If workers did not meet the expectations, they could be killed or arrested and reported to the Gulag for “sabotage” of the Soviet regime. Stalin also proposed that the wages of workers depend on their skill levels, and that the more skilled the worker the more pay that they received. His opponents declared that this was a betrayal to socialism and that it would create a new class, but Stalin pressed on and achieved it (spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk).
The Five Year Plan ended in December of 1932, lasting only four years. However, although there was heavy growth in industry, the Five Year Plan had neglected the needs of the people. The textile industry was hurt, and the quality of clothes were poor, and food spoiled before it could be shipped due to the lack of railroads. The NVKD’s (People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) control of the Gulag becomes their main economic system by 1934. By the 1930s there were 300,000 inmates in the gulag system, and ¼ were Ukrainian. Prisoners were used to construct the White Sea-Baltic Canal, which took from 1931 to 1932 to complete. Many prisoners are killed during the construction. From 1932 to 1933 the Soviet manufactured famine kill millions, and Ukrainians of all age groups are arrested and reported to the Gulag. From 1936 to 1938, Stalin continued to eliminate possible threats by murdering and arresting millions of people, including his top allies. During this time, thousands of emigrated Americans, who came to the Soviet to work in the automotive industry, were arrested and reported to the Gulag. Stalin’s rotations of...

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