In the 1970s and 1980s, Conquest spurred many intense debates in the scholarly community by the books on the forced labor camps in the gold fields in Kolyma, on the so-called Terror-Famine in the Ukraine in 1932–1933, and on the presumed murder, on orders from Stalin himself of Leningrad’s party chief, Sergei Kirov, in December 1934. The first book was based on a plethora of memoirs and collected oral histories from former prisoners. However, Conquest also tried to calculate the extent of the Kolyma gold production and the number of prisoners who had died during the camps’ existence. Using dubious methods, such as multiplying known number of ships (from Jane’s International Register), the ships’ tonnage and assumed number of prisoners on every ship, Conquest arrived at a figure of over three million prisoners sent to Kolyma in the period 1930–19


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