Without the Right of Correspondence


Sketch by Michail Distergeft. Families who sought information on the fate of family members who had been executed were often greeted with the lie that their loved one had been sentenced to a forced labor camp "without the right of correspondence." Consequently, the phrase become a synonym for execution in prisoner language. In the sketch, a guard with a gun stands looking down at a prisoner who has been shot in the head.


Michail Distergeft


Memorial Germany and International Memorial Society, Moscow

Bibliographic Citation

Michail Distergeft, "Without the Right of Correspondence." Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives, Item #125 (accessed May 27 2021, 1:13 pm)