In the summer of 1941, thousands of Estonian men were illegally mobilized into the Soviet Red Army by threat of force and violence against them and their families. In the smallest towns and larger cities, they were hastily rounded up by Soviet terror battalions and the NKVD as the Red Army prepared to retreat from the advancing German army and were sent to remote Gulag slave labour camps in the far corners of the Soviet Union.
Seventy-five years ago, during the winter of 1941-42, nearly 1/3 of them died from starvation, illness and neglect. They were worked to death in subhuman, slave labour conditions.
Gulag 113 documents the story of one survivor. His story is not unique, but it is representative of the many thousands and even millions of Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Russians, Poles and others, who shared similar, terrifying, experiences.
As Kremlin propagandists scurry to recast the role of Soviet terror in 20th century history, this history cannot be allowed to become another victim of Putin’s revisionism and spin.