Encyclopedia > Kishka

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Kishka is a Russian word meaning gut. In English, "kishka" means an ethnically Jewish food similar to a sausage.

A kishka is also a type of prison cell used in Soviet political prisons. The cell was named after the gut, in that it was tall and narrow, like an intestine, but more like a chimney. The prisoner had room to stand, but could not sit or kneel, let alone lie down. In some Soviet prisons there was no drainage and the prisoner was forced to excrete standing up and to stand in his own urine and feces. In some cases the cells were never cleaned. Prisoners could be held in these cells for months at a time. This practice was intended to soften the prisoner so that he would make a "voluntary" confession.

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