Labor camp

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A labor camp is a simplified detention facility where inmates are forced to engage in penal labor. Labor camps have many common aspects with slavery and with prisons. Conditions at labor camps vary widely depending on the operators.

Labor camps in various countries[edit]

See Forced labor camps in Communist Albania
The Allies of World War II operated a number of work camps after the war. In the Yalta conference it was agreed that German forced labor was to be utilized as reparations. The majority of the camps were in the Soviet Union, but more than 1,000,000 Germans were forced to work in French coal-mines and British agriculture, as well as 500,000 in U.S.-run Military Labor Service Units in occupied Germany itself.[1] See Forced labor of Germans after World War II.
See Forced labor camps in Communist Bulgaria
The anti-communist Kuomintang operated various camps between 1938 and 1949, including the Northwestern Youth Labor Camp for young activists and students.[2]
The Communist Party of China has operated many labor camps for some crimes. Many leaders of China were put into labor camps after purges, including Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi. May Seventh Cadre Schools are an example of Cultural Revolution-era labor camps. According to CNN, hundreds - if not thousands - of labor camps and forced-labor prisons (laogai) still exist in modern-day China,[3] housing political prisoners and dissidents alongside dangerous criminals.
Chinese state-run media Xinhua reported in early 2013 that the country plans to reform its "controversial re-education through labor system this year."[4]
Beginning in November 1965, people classified as "against the government" were summoned to work camps referred to as "Military Units to Aid Production" (UMAP).[5]
After the communists took over Czechoslovakia in 1948, many forced labor camps were created.[citation needed] The inmates included political prisoners, clergy, kulaks, Boy Scouts leaders and many other groups of people that were considered enemies of the state.[citation needed] About half of the prisoners worked in the uranium mines.[6] These camps lasted until 1961.[citation needed]
Also between 1950 and 1954 many men were considered "politically unreliable" for compulsory military service, and were conscripted to labour battalions (Czech: Pomocné technické prapory (PTP)) instead.[citation needed]
During the colonisation of Libya the Italians deported most of the Libyan population in Cyrenaica to concentration camps and used the survivors to build in semi-slave conditions the coastal road and new agricultural projects.[7]
Polish Jews are lined up by German soldiers to do forced labour, September 1939, Nazi-occupied Poland
Registration of Jews by Nazis for forced labor, 1941
During World War II the Nazis operated several categories of Arbeitslager (Labor Camps) for different categories of inmates. The largest number of them held Jewish civilians forcibly abducted in the occupied countries (see Łapanka) to provide labor in the German war industry, repair bombed railroads and bridges or work on farms. By 1944, 19.9% of all workers were foreigners, either civilians or prisoners of war.[8]
The Nazis employed many slave laborers. They also operated concentration camps, some of which provided free forced labor for industrial and other jobs while others existed purely for the extermination of their inmates. A notable example is the Mittelbau-Dora labor camp complex that serviced the production of the V-2 rocket. See List of German concentration camps for more.
The Nazi camps played a key role in the extermination of millions.
During the early 20th century, the Empire of Japan used the forced labor of millions of civilians from conquered countries and prisoners of war, especially during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Pacific War, on projects such as the Death Railway. Hundreds of thousands of people died as a direct result of the overwork, malnutrition, preventable disease and violence which were commonplace on these projects.
North Korea is known to operate six camps with prison-labor colonies in remote mountain valleys. The total number of prisoners in the Kwan-li-so is 150,000 – 200,000. Once condemned as political criminal in North Korea, a defendant and his family are incarcerated for lifetime in one of the camps without trial and cut off from all outside contact.[9]
See also: The North Korean prison system
See Creation of the camps, Great Brăila Island
See Gulag
Imperial Russia operated a system of remote Siberian forced labor camps as part of its regular judicial system, called katorga.
The Soviet Union took over the already extensive katorga system and expanded it immensely, eventually organizing the Gulag to run the camps. In 1954, a year after Stalin's death, the new Soviet government of Nikita Khrushchev began to release political prisoners and close down the camps. By the end of the 1950s, virtually all "corrective labor camps" were reorganized, mostly into the system of corrective labor colonies. Officially, the Gulag was terminated by the MVD order 20 of January 25, 1960.[10]
During the period of Stalinism, the Gulag labor camps in the Soviet Union were officially called "Corrective labor camps." The term "labor colony"; more exactly, "Corrective labor colony", (Russian: исправительно-трудовая колония, abbr. ИТК), was also in use, most notably the ones for underaged (16 years or younger) convicts and captured besprizorniki (street children, literally, "children without family care"). After the reformation of the camps into the Gulag, the term "corrective labor colony" essentially encompassed labor camps[citation needed].
See Labour Battalions
See The Twenty Classes
See Varlık Vergisi (Non-Muslims who couldn't pay the taxes were sent to Labor Camps)[11][12][13][14][15]
In 2005, The United States Army declassified a document that "provides guidance on establishing prison camps on [US] Army installations." [16]
See Reeducation camp
Socialist Yugoslavia ran the Goli otok prison camp for political opponents from 1946 to 1956.

See also[edit]

A convict ploughing team breaking up new ground at the farm - Port Arthur, early 20th century

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ John Dietrich, The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (2002) ISBN 1-892941-90-2
  2. ^ Mühlhahn, Klaus (2009). Criminal Justice in China: A History. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press ISBN 978-0-674-03323-8. pp. 132-133.
  3. ^ "Labor camps reinforce China's totalitarian rule". Cnn.com. 1984-10-09. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  4. ^ "China to reform re-education through labor system". Xinhua. January 8, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ "A book sheds light on a dark chapter in Cuban history", El Nuevo Herald, January 19, 2003. (Spanish)
  6. ^ Sivoš, Jerguš. "Tábory Nucených Prací (TNP) v Československu" (in Czech). totalita.cz. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  7. ^ General History of Africa, Albert Adu Boahen,Unesco. International Scientific Committee for the Drafting of a General History of Africa, page 196, 1990
  8. ^ Herbert, Ulrich (2000). "Forced Laborers in the Third Reich: An Overview (Part One)" (PDF). International Labor and Working-Class History 58.  (offprint)
  9. ^ "The Hidden Gulag – Part Two: Kwan-li-so Political Panel Labor Colonies (page 25 – 82)". The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. Retrieved September 20, 2012. 
  10. ^ http://www.memo.ru/history/NKVD/GULAG/r1/r1-4.htm
  11. ^ Nowill, Sidney E. P. (December 2011). Constantinople and Istanbul: 72 Years of Life in Turkey. Matador. p. 77. ISBN 978-1848767911. "..., and those unable to pay were packed off to a camp at Askale, near Erzerum - an area cooler than Moscow in the winter - where they were put to work breaking stones."
  12. ^ Nowill, Sidney E. P. (December 2011). Constantinople and Istanbul: 72 Years of Life in Turkey. Matador. p. 77. ISBN 978-1848767911. "The Askale victims were later sent south to a camp in the Tigris Valley."
  13. ^ Peretz, Don (January 1994). The Middle East Today. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 179. "..., and if the sale failed to produce the required amount, the owners were sent to forced labor camps run by the Ministry of Public Works."
  14. ^ Ince, Basak (April 2012). Citizenship and Identity in Turkey: From Atatürk's Republic to the Present Day. I. B. Tauris. pp. 74–75. ISBN 978-1780760261. "Those unable to pay had to work off their debt in labour camps in Askale, in eastern Turkey."
  15. ^ Ince, Basak (April 2012). Citizenship and Identity in Turkey: From Atatürk's Republic to the Present Day. I. B. Tauris. p. 75. ISBN 978-1780760261. "Out of 40,000 tax debtors, about 5,000 were sent to these camps, and all of these were members of non-Muslim communities."
  16. ^ "US Army Civilian Inmate Labor Program" (PDF). Army.mil.