Luca Polese Remaggi

The International Debate over the Origins of the Soviet Concentration Camp System (1918-1929)

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This article analyses the international debate concerning the brutal methods the Soviet regime used in dealing with its prisoners as from the time of the civil war. In the Western world many initiatives concerning Soviet prisons and camps took place during the Twenties, illuminating the real nature of the regime founded by Lenin. It is true that most of the international Left viewed camps and prisons as a persistence of the old Tsarist methods. Nevertheless, growing documentation concerning the extermination of «enemies» through labour, hunger and cold has introduced different view-points about the Soviet regime as a byproduct of violence starting with World War I.


  • Civil rights
  • Humanitarian Turn
  • Soviet Forced Labour
  • Concentration Camps


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