Date of Degree Completion
Master of Arts (MA)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
With the death of Stalin and the immediate return of millions of Gulag survivors into Soviet society, Khrushchev’s government was confronted with the problem of maintaining the legitimacy of the communist system while at the same time addressing the legacy of mass repression in the Stalin years. Beginning briefly with the consolidation of the Gulag system in 1926, this work ties together narratives of official policy makers, Gulag returnees themselves, and contemporary Soviet historians to examine Gulag reform in the Khrushchev era in a wholistic manner. Using primary and secondary source material, this study analyzes policies of destalinization with specific regard to Gulag reform and how it impacted the lives of both Gulag returnees and those still within the system. It likewise argues that while Gulag reform did occur in a meaningful capacity, little was done to facilitate the smooth transition of Stalin’s victims back into Soviet society after individuals were released from the camps themselves during the mass amnesties of the early Khrushchev years.
Ridgeway, Kendal, "Destalinization and its Impact on Gulag Returnees in the Khrushchev Era, 1953-1964" (2021). All Master's Theses. 1538.
Available for download on Monday, August 03, 2026