A Russian acronym, denoting (e.g., translated in various ways into anglais) Chief Administration of Corrective-Labor Camps, Main Directorate for Places
of Detention
, Main Administration of Corrective Labor Camps, etc. "The Gulag" was a set of forced-labor prisons in the Soviet Union during the reign of Josef Stalin; it housed political "enemies", minorities, and, during WWII, POWs. Made famous in the West by an "alumnus", Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whose two-volume Gulag Archipelago was smuggled out of the USSR, where his works were banned. At its height, the Gulag's population was five million or more.