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After the Gulag: A History of Memory in Russia's Far North (Hardcover)

After the Gulag: A History of Memory in Russia's Far North By Tyler C. Kirk Cover Image
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From 1929 to 1958, hundreds of thousands of prisoners and exiles from across the Soviet Union were sent to the harsh yet resource-rich Komi Republic in Russia's Far North. When the Soviet Union collapsed, former prisoners sent their autobiographies to Komi's local branches of the anti-Stalinist Memorial Society and history museums.

Using these previously unavailable personal records, alongside newspapers, photographs, interviews, and other non-state archival sources, After the Gulag sheds new light not only on how former prisoners experienced life after release but also how they laid the foundations for the future commemoration of Komi's dark past. Bound by a "camp brotherhood," they used informal social networks to provide mutual support amid state and societal oppression. Decades later, they sought rehabilitation with the help of the newly formed Memorial Society--the civic organization largely responsible for the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union. In sharing their life stories and family archives with Memorial, they sustained an alternate history of the Soviet Union.

Offering an unprecedented look at the legacies of mass repression under Stalin, After the Gulag explores how ordinary political prisoners from across the Soviet Union navigated life after release, using memoirs, letters, and art to translate their experiences and shape the politics of memory in post-Soviet Russia.

About the Author

Tyler C. Kirk is Assistant Professor of History and Arctic and Northern Studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780253067494
ISBN-10: 0253067499
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication Date: December 5th, 2023
Pages: 308
Language: English