Soviet Union Gateway to the Gulag

Gateway to the Gulag Magadan is rich in gold but short on memory of its past

Magadan. It is a name that turns Soviet hearts to ice and evokes memories of the long ago midnight knock on the door. The port of entry to the most deadly archipelago of the Gulag system, it became a synonym for the terror Joseph Stalin visited upon the land. At least 2 million prisoners were worked to death in its gold mines and timber forests and on its road projects. Since then, with few exceptions, the city of Magadan and the vast region around it have been closed to foreigners. When the Soviets permitted a small group to visit Magadan, Moscow...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!