Karlag camp document, 1940: The document reports that Polish camp inmates in one of the Karlag Departments refused to work because they read about Polish inmates getting anmnesty in the newspapers.
Karlag camp document, 1941: The document indicates that 242 of 2236 camp inmates in Karadzharskii department were sent to the regime of intensified sustentation due to the beginning of the Great Patriotic War.
Karlag camp document, 1939: The document point to fatalities involving camp inmates which were the results of the guards' indifference. One such case was when an inmate froze to death, the Chief of Camp Department failed to report the case.
Karlag camp document, 1932-1933: The document stresses that there are certain violations against camp female prisoners which camp officials ignore. Thus, forced cohabitation made by administrative-and-household officials received spread in camps.
Color sketch from Evfrosiniia Kersnovskaia's self-illustrated memoirs of one female prisoner defending another. In the accompanying text, Kersnovskaia describes an episode when one of the guards decided to insult female prisoners. They forced the women to lay in the dirt when they heard them talking and shouted, "lay down or we will fire." Women began to lie down on the ground, except for Kersnovskaia who decided to oppose the command. The guard lifted a gun and suddenly a small female prisoner stood up to protect Kersnovskaia. Within minutes, other women stood up in defiance and solidarity.
Kersnovskaia drawing of conflict between criminal and political prisoners in a barracks. She recalled that urki(criminal prisoners) maltreated the famous scientist, Fedorov. Kersnovskaia tried to defend him, but criminals beat her severely. Many years later, Kersnovskaia received a letter of thanks from Federov for her having the bravery to defend him.
Professional criminals in the camps used their tattoos as a marker of their status. This sketch of a former Vorkuta convict's "grin" tattoo reveals that he is an experienced prisoner, having survived some of the toughest camps. It shows that he had passed through five corrective labor colonies from 1947 to 1963. The tattoo was made in 1962, the year before he was released. It also juxtaposes the grotesquely sexualized image with a text that recalls the Gulag's propaganda. The text reads "Greetings from the Vorkuta camps! 1947-1963. In the USSR labor is a matter of honor, valor and glory! Shelyabozh, Eletsky, Izhma, Kozhma, Khalmer-South."
Color sketch from Evfrosiniia Kersnovskaia's self-illustrated memoirs shows a fight between two prisoners aboard a prisoner ship. In the accompanying text, Kersnovskaia recounts an episode when two female criminal prisoners were attacking and taking people's belongings with knives. Kersnovskaia could not tolerate the situation and began to fight back.
The professional criminals in the camps were known for their heavily tattooed bodies. The tattoos often included political, racist and sexist content. This tattoo uses anti-Semitic symbols presumably to tie Communists and Jews together into a single vision of oppressive overseers. The text reads "The convicts of the GULAG are a new nation of the USSR born of the Marxist devils!" Drawn in the Pechora camp system.