The Leonid Slutsky Collection: A Rare Window On Life in Soviet Penal Colonies

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Hoover has acquired the collection of Leonid Slutsky, which contains a number of personal documents relating to his family members' careers in the USSR, as well as several rare and unique items relating to Soviet penal colonies. A single issue of Trudovaia zhizn’ dated October 29, 1974, represents a very rare example of a Soviet penal colony newspaper. Its photographs and articles, often signed only by impersonal tags such as “political officer of colony X,” are particularly curious and invite further research. The articles extol the value of labor in reforming criminals and the virtues of the re-education process ongoing in the camps. The newspaper’s slogan reads: “Labor in the USSR is the responsibility and the deed of honor of every capable citizen.”

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