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Getman Painting - Eternal Memory in the Permafrost

Getman Painting - Eternal Memory in the Permafrost Civil Rights Social Studies Tragedies and Triumphs Visual Arts Disasters

Death was a frequent event in Stalinist-era forced-labor camps.  This image, of a Nikolai Getman painting, depicts a GULAG funeral conducted by prisoners.

The Global Museum on Communism - The Gulag.org - tells us more about the meaning of this Getman work:

The painting depicts both the burial of a Russian convict and a Japanese POW and the observance of two religions, Russian Orthodoxy and Buddhism. The prisoners present at the ceremony are not clerics, but rather inmates, who felt the need to provide a respectful burial for the dead.

In the extreme winter cold, bodies were placed beneath a block of ice because digging graves in the permafrost was too difficult.  The funeral shown here provides an example of the cross-cultural unity Gulag prisoners developed in the face of their common fate.

Getman called the painting, depicted in this image, “Eternal Memory in the Permafrost.”


Media Credits

Image, described above, online courtesy Global Museum on Communism (The Gulag.org).  The original painting is maintained by the Jamestown Foundation.

 

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"Getman Painting - Eternal Memory in the Permafrost" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Nov 19, 2019.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Getman-Painting-Eternal-Memory-in-the-Permafrost/1>.
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