I read of a prison resistance story some years ago I'm struggling to track town, I believe from WW2. Can you help identify the place/time/people involved from the following details?

There was a prison in the Axis (or central Europe if WW1) which housed 1k-2k prisoners. The guards had thoroughly corrupted the prisoners, such as by providing small bribes to many people to snitch, thus making any prisoner solidarity impossible. In general there was very low mutual trust in the prison population.

Then a group of 10 men from the same nationality/ethnicity were brought to the prison, and they had a very strong bond, and decided not to tolerate snitches. They ended up identifying and killing several snitches, dramatically reducing the guards' ability to surveil the prison population, and increasing the prisoners' ability to have some amount of privacy and solidarity.

Do you recognize this story? What prison did it occur in, and when, and what was the ethnicity or, better yet, identities of the people involved?

And if you know a similar story from a different time/place, I would like to know that too.

  • 2
    Were these "snitches" kapos perhaps?
    – Brian Z
    May 22, 2022 at 16:20
  • I don't remember the snitches having any special status. Part of the story was that the snitches were given such pitiful bribes to rat each other out - it took next to nothing, even a single cigarette or gum. May 23, 2022 at 1:45

1 Answer 1


Found it: Alexander Solzhenitsyn in “The Gulag Archipelago,” describes Ukrainians arrived at a camp in Ekibastuz in the Soviet Gulag system during WWII.

Thanks to everyone who reviewed this question.

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