Front cover image for Corruption in the Gulag: Dilemmas of Officials and Prisoners


Corruption in the Gulag: Dilemmas of Officials and Prisoners

Based on research in the archives of the Soviet penal camp system, this article addresses the phenomenon of corruption among officials of the Gulag in the period between 1945 and 1953. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, which oversaw the camp system, treated corruption as a harmful and dangerous phenomenon that was unacceptably pervasive. The article investigates the varieties and frequency of corrupt activities among camp officials, including bribery, theft of state property, participation in illegal markets and speculation, and embezzlement Gulag authorities' anti-corruption efforts included inspections, audits, and a large network of prisoner-informants. These anti-corruption campaigns were largely ineffective. The article concludes that corruption existed in significant quantities inside the camp system, and that the forms it took were largely the same as in the wider Soviet society.Comparative Economic Studies (2005) 47, 456-475. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ces.8100114
Article, 2005
Palgrave Macmillan, 2005
Comparative Economic Studies, 47, 2005, 456