The twentieth century was filled with terror and grief. Genocides, wars, and assassinations has littered the headlines of newspapers. Countless innocents were murdered, along with those trying to save them. All this heartbreak was, quite clearly, was caused by the indifference of the world. As Elie Wiesel states in his work, “The Perils of Indifference”, the world’s indifference has “...cast a dark shadow over humanity...” This shadow lingered a long time over the former USSR, where the populace lived in fear of forced labor camps called the Gulag. Mr. Wiesel’s use of the tragedy of the Gulag was a painfully accurate example of the perils of indifference.
In the Gulag, women were treated terribly. Often, female prisoners were raped and abused by the camps' male guards, employees, and even prisoners. Taking "camp husbands" became a common practice as women became desperate for companionship and protection. Sometimes, women would come to the camps pregnant or would conceive after their entrance to the camps. The guards, however, almost never lessened their workload or granted them time to recover from childbirth.
Many Russian children were also greatly impacted by the Gulag. An innumerable amount of children were orphaned during the time of the labor camps. Some were left after their parents were sentenced. Others were conceived and orphaned within the Gulag. When women gave birth in labor camps, their babes were frequently spirited away from them and placed in special orphanages. These children were often never found by their families. By doing this, the Russian government stole from these children their past and part of their future. Less enlightened minds, however, do not believe that the Gulag can be called a tragedy, choosing to view it as a just form of punishment instead.
These naysayers may argue that these people were criminals and deserved to go to these prison camps. In some cases, this was true. A large number of those incarcerated were robbers, rapists, murderers, and thieves. If this was true, there...