Segments in this Video

Introduction: Gulag: Episode 1 (04:23)


Millions died between the October Revolution of 1917 and Joseph Stalin's death. The Gulag was a system of labor camps, mines, factories, and building sites that drove Soviet industrialization. Peter the Great tortured and disemboweled prisoners. (Credits)

Moscow-Volga Canal (05:25)

The government could not afford to pay employees. Daria Filimonova worked as a nanny for a commandant until he disappeared. Maria Anisimova's uncle was arrested and imprisoned after giving a prisoner some bread.

Prison Barracks (02:31)

After seasonal workers left, the government erected barbed wire around the barracks. Hungry people, not criminals, built the Moscow-Volga Canal. Collectivization caused famine throughout Russia.

Kulaks (02:35)

Evgenij Filibog received fifteen years for espionage. After Uncle Frol obtained a threshing machine, he gave his grain to the state.

Dmitrov Labor Camp (05:41)

The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs moved into the monastery when the canal began. Communists believed prisoners were enemies of the state. A "death cart" gathered corpses at night and delivered them to mass graves.

Great Achievement (03:09)

Konstantin Kravchenko received ten years for economic sabotage. After a dam burst, the "Frog Foreman" pushed prisoners into a hole to block the water from washing away foundations.

Opening Ceremony (03:29)

Guards informed Filimonova that prisoners were buried in the concrete. Stalin appeared on his boat. The head of construction was arrested immediately after giving a speech.

St. Petersburg, Russia (03:25)

Peter the Great built the city using slaves. "Lenin in 1918," a Soviet Propaganda film, was released in 1939.

Society for Victims of Stalinism (02:49)

"The Great Terror" lasted from 1937 to 1953; 35,000 people died at the Naval Artillery Range. Those who committed atrocities do not want their actions remembered.

Revisiting the Past (04:43)

Andrei Tchernavin's family escaped the Soviet Union after his father was arrested. Citizens heard sirens when raids occurred. Possessing gold was a death sentence.

Secret Police Investigator (03:27)

Alexander Bochkovski lived and worked under the Soviet regime. Stalin's government conducted executions and unjustified arrests, but provided education, health care, and housing. The NKVD controlled informers and agents.

Chief Signalman (04:44)

An NKVD officer approached Ivan Podkopayev about becoming an informant. Maxim Tizalkhov recommended him for the position. If Podkopayev filed a complaint stating he disagreed with a verdict, he would be arrested.

NKVD Arrest Quotas (03:21)

The state required each division arrest a certain number of people. Investigators needed to prove the accused was hostile to the state. Witnesses were easy to find.

Kresty Prison (03:05)

Tchernavin delivered laundry to his parents in prison in St. Petersburg. His father was sent away a month after his mother was arrested.

Escaping the Soviet Union (05:57)

As a reward for excellent quotas of fish, the state allowed Tchernavin to visit his father at Kandalaksha. The family avoided people because of the exorbitant reward. All prisoners were shot.

Credits: Gulag: Episode 1 (00:54)

Credits: Gulag: Episode 1

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Gulag: Episode 1

Part of the Series : Gulag
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Over 20 million people died in the Gulags, penal camps used to establish industrialization in the Soviet Union; this series talks to both victims and perpetrators. This episode focuses on the construction of the Moscow-Volga Canal using forced-labor during the 1930s and the prisons in St. Petersburg. 

Length: 60 minutes

Item#: BVL185560

ISBN: 978-1-64867-025-1

Copyright date: ©1999

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.