June 06, 1944
Telegram from Nikishov to Beria - Henry A. Wallace’s visit to the city of Magadan
Telegram from Ivan Nikishov, to NKVD Commissar Beria. Nikishov reports on a visit by US Vice President Henry A. Wallace, who toured the Soviet Far East in May 1944. Nikishov was the Head of Dalstroi, the "Far North Construction Trust," part of the Soviet Gulag system which oversaw mining using forced labor in the Russian Far East. Nikishov quotes a number of positive comments from Wallace, as well as questions he had about Dalstroi's operations, such as the total quantity of gold mined.
February 25, 1956
Khrushchev's Secret Speech, 'On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences,' Delivered at the Twentieth Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
In a secret speech before a closed plenum of the 20th Congress of the CPSU, Khrushchev denounced Stalin’s cult of the personality. In addition, he revealed that Stalin had rounded up thousands of people and sent them into a huge system of political work camps (Gulags). This revelation was met with astonishment by many present for the speech, but helped to break the power that Stalin still held over the country.
April 05, 1962
Information from a Bulgarian Secretariat Commission on the Results of the Investigation Regarding the Regime at the Lovech’ Labor Camp
Commission’s findings confirm the allegations of prisoner abuse in the two major labor camp sites – Lovech (for male detainees) and Skravena (for female detainees). The report concludes that camp living conditions and the physical abuse of detainees constitute a divergence from the party policy on combating crime. The report further recommends that the two labor camps be closed down and that the former leadership of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs take full responsibility for the negative consequences of camps’ existence.
A novel entitled 'Where is the truth?' Folder 18. The Chekist Anthology.
Mitrokhin describes how the Novosibirsk KGB Directorate dissuaded a former Gulag inmate from completing a novel based on his prison experiences during 1949-54. Pereverzev had been sent away to a forced labor camp twice. Having completed his prison terms, he returned to Novosibirsk and decided to write his own account of the Soviet reality. According the KGB Directorate, such writings would be readily accepted by bourgeois publishers. They became intent on putting an end to Pereverzev’s literary pursuits The KGB Directorate in Novosibirsk discovered that Pereverzev corresponded with citizens from capitalistic countries, visited the GDR on two occasions, and attended the American exhibition in Novosibirsk entitled “Public education in the USA.” Pereverzev was taken under closer surveillance. Agents “Gorin” and “Sorokin” obtained 1,100 typewritten pages of Pereverzev’s novel that depicted his imprisonment. Agent Sorokin, being a professional writer himself, judged the novel as a composition of high quality. Sorokin, however, was instructed to convince Pereverzev that the style and content of his writing were good-for-nothing. Sorokin pointed out flaws in the composition and advised Pereverzev to consult a publisher and ask for an official review from a respected local journal. The KGB Directorate arranged for both sources to give Pereverzev negative evaluation. Having received criticism from authoritative institutions, he began to despair of his abilities and gave up on finishing the novel.