Communist ''re-education'' concentration camps and prisons

Discussion in 'History & Past Politicians' started by Anonymous.Professor, May 14, 2020.

  1. Anonymous.Professor

    Anonymous.Professor Newly Registered

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    The case of Pitesti prison experiment - Romania


    Several thousand prisoners who had fallen foul of the communist regime underwent what was known as “The Pitesti Experiment.” Prisoners were forced to stare at lightbulbs, eat feces, given electric shocks and head butt each other. They were also encouraged to inform on each other and torture fellow inmates. About 100 died from mistreatment. Detainees, who were subject to regular and severe beatings, were also required to engage in torturing each other, with the goal of discouraging past loyalties. Guards would force them to attend scheduled or ad-hoc political instruction sessions, on the topics such as Stalin, communism etc. With such methods they would be like ''re-educated'' like dogs can be with combination of force and training.

    The programme started with the tacit approval of Alexandru Nikolski (born Boris Grünberg), the chief of Romanian Securitate, sent directly from the Kremlin. Nikolski’s aim in applying the ‘re-education’ programme was two-fold: to destroy existing political opposition and to prevent the emergence of a future one among the post-war generation. The method of torture and brainwashing chosen had the advantage of not only permitting the arrest of other opponents of the regime still at liberty, who would be denounced under interrogation, but also making prisoners, who themselves became torturers, accomplices to the crime.

    Communists and political police used also Eugen Turcanu former member of antisemitic and proNazi Iron guard organization, who became communist after Red army came to Romania. Turcanu was imprisoned in 1948 because of his past, was ''re-educated'' himself and became torturer in the experiment.


    https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10071237/1/4. Arlees Ionescu.pdf


    https://apnews.com/ee8bc2b4cd074ce5a20489215e370d78


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitești_Prison
     
  2. Anonymous.Professor

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    Purges of communist party members in Romania

    After WW2 Romania became de facto Soviet colony. For example Soviets completely controled important Romanian oil industry. Communists which did not totaly agree with that were purged.
    Already in 1946 former communist leader Stefan Foris was killed by communist secret police by the orders from communist leaders. Some of them being later purged themselves. For Gheorghiu-Dej assassination of Foris was seen as preparation for further purges in the party. Together with Foris communist Nicolae Pargariu was also killed in an extrajudicial manner too.

    Larger purges started in 1948 when communists which were mumbling about Soviet colonization of Romania were purged, imprisoned and also killed. Between them were also high ranking party officials like lawyer Lucretju Pătrășcanu and Teohari Georgescu. Beginning that year, the communist leadership began a massive campaign to remove so called "foreign and hostile elements''.

    Engineer Emil Calmanovici was also very important financial supporter of communist party in Romania before and during WW2. He was also communist and he was put on trial together with Patrascanu. Calmanovici was tortured during the time of investigation and false promises were given to him by secret political police. So he ''confessed'. In prison he decided to publicize his innocence by beginning a hunger strike, which eventually led physicians on duty to force-fed him. His diet at the time went against medical guidelines for people with malnutrition, and was the most likely cause of his death by gastrointestinal perforation — two prison staff members later attested that this was done on purpose, as a method of assassination.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ștefan_Foriș

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucrețiu_Pătrășcanu

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_Calmanovici
     
  3. Anonymous.Professor

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    Yugoslav communist leader and dictator Josip Broz Tito started in 1948 a concentration camp for political prisoners on Goli otok ( Bare island ) in Croatian Adriatic sea. There were many labour camps for political prisoners in Yugoslavia at that time, political prisoners were living in very bad conditions and were subjected to force labour. But Goli otok was specially brutal because there disident communists were imprisioned. They were subjected not just to the hard work but also to psyhological pressure of so called political re-education. They constanly had political meetings where people should admit their mistakes othervise they were beaten by other prisoners which were like already re-educated. All the sistem on Goli otok was under the control of political police UDBA. From the documents of UDBA we can see that 16.000 people were sent to Goli otok, but some suggested also higher numbers. Around 550 Slovenes were imprisioned there. Some were sentenced by military courts but the great majority was sent there by local commities of communist party. They like made some minor offense, like saying something wrong for example that people are going missing and that something is not ok in such state, or that communist leaders are having privileges, or making jokes about communist leaders or that there is no freedom of expression and so on. According to UDBA files around 400 prisoners died. Also this number is likely higher. Yet it is true that prisoners were not so long on Goli otok if they agreed to work for secret police. But if they changed their mind later they were sent back.

    Communist party of Yugoslavia ( CPY ) came at that time in conflict with Stalin and his Informbiro ( new comintern ). Tito was seen as to powerful in Balkans for Stalin and because there was no Red army in the country Stalin did not like such a situation. CPY decided they will try to satisfy Stalin but were not ready to depose Tito. So CPY decided to purge the communist party of all supporters of Stalin and also of all communists which loyality could be questioned. At the same time they pushed hard on farmers with collectivization and nationalized the reamaining small bussinesses. Stalin was not impressed with this and was insisting that Yugoslav leadership should be changed. Later because of this Yugoslavia established connections with the west making even an alliance with Greece ( before it supported revolution of Greek communists against their governament ) and with this in fact also with Nato to protect itself from Soviet attack. Relations between Yugoslavia under communists and USSR improved later again after Khrushchev took power.

    List of political prisoners on Goli otok from UDBA files, published in left wing croatian newspaper Novi plamen:

    16.101 GOLOOTOČANA, PO SPISKU!


    Book 'Čas ki ga ni' written by former political prisoner on Goli otok Radovan Hrast in Ljubljana in 1991


    Interview with former political prisoner mr. Andrej Aplenc who was two times imprisioned on Goli otok ( in Slovenian - i advice google translate )


    Aplenc: Goli otok je odraz delovanja najožjega vrha komunistične partije
     
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    The biggest communist ''re-education'' concentration camps were in red China. They were called laogai. Around 50 milion people were imprisoned in such camps. Forced labour, strickt discipline and forced political brainwashing were main characteristics of laogais. The goal was to make a ''new man'' completely loyal to communist party. Prisoners which were making progress in the re-education'' got more food and had to inform on others less ''re-educated''. But if prisoner did not progress and was claiming he is innocent he would get new punishments. More work, less food, life imprisonment etc. In red China people which were arrested were automatically considered guilty if they protested their guilt they were considered even more guitly. It happened also that people were arrested totally by mistake having just the same name as wanted person and they had to confess all the so called crimes of another.

    The goal of ''re-education'' in laogai was destruction of personality. Political police counted on the desperation of prisoner who had to realize he is completely in their hands. Prisoners in laogai were receiving less food than prisoners in Soviet gulags or forced labourers in France in the time before French revolution. Clothing was also very bad, but work was hard, twelve hours per day. Old or exhausted prisoners were sent in special camps were they usually soon died receiving only little food.

    Discipline was also very strict. Stealing for example some food because of hunger was severely punished. Beatings were like forbidden so guards were using other cruel methods. Prisoners were put in solitary confinement in chains and in very small rooms with very little air and without heating. In more serious cases prisoners were exemplary executed.

    Black book of communism, published in Paris, 1997, pages 602-623.
     
  5. Anonymous.Professor

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    After the death of Mao Zedong communist party of China decided in 1978 that their economy is in bad shape and recognized Taiwan is more successful. So they started some economic reforms and experiments like ''Great leap forward''- which resulted in around 30 milion deaths because of hunger or so called cultural revolution - which was used by Mao for purges in Chinese communist party, specially in the cities, were over.
    But the system of one party dictatorial rule and system of laogai camps remained together with forced labour and ''re-education'' program.

    Here is one more new documentary about laogai concentration camps made with the contribution of dissident Harry Wu:



    Laogai museum:

     

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