Below, I would like to share one of the most visual and brutal paragraphs in the book The Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. This is in the chapter The Archipelago Metastasizes if you are looking for the reference.
I really can’t even imagine the horror the people there went through. That is why I am forever grateful that we live in a time like this, and in a country like this.
“At the end of the workday there were corpses left on the work site. The snow powdered their faces. One of them was hunched over beneath an overturned wheelbarrow, he had hidden his hands in his sleeves and frozen to death in that position. Someone had frozen with his head bent down between his knees. Two were frozen back to back leaning against each other. They were peasant lads and the best workers one could possibly imagine. They were sent to the canal in tens of thousands at a time, and the authorities tried to work things out so no one got to the same subcamp as his father; they tried to break up families. And right off they gave them norms of shingle and boulders that you’d be unable to fulfill even in summer. No one was able to teach them anything to warn them; and in their village simplicity, they gave all their strength to their work and weakened very swiftly and then froze to death, embracing in pairs. At night the sledges went out and collected them. The drivers threw the corpses onto the sledges with a dull clonk.
And in the summer bones remained from corpses which had not been removed in time, and together with the shingle they got into the concrete mixer. And in this way they got into the concrete of the last lock at the city of Belomorsk and will be preserved there forever.”
– The Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn