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Getman Painting - Female Laborers Forced to Cut Trees

Getman Painting - Female Laborers Forced to Cut Trees Civil Rights Social Studies Tragedies and Triumphs Visual Arts

During the Stalinist era, untold numbers of men were found to be “enemies of the people.”  Such a conviction was enough to send them to the GULAG for years of forced-labor.

Although wives and children were not guilty of similar “crimes,” they were guilty by association.  They, too, could be sent to the GULAG. 

To get their daily rations, women and their older children worked in the forest, cutting down trees and chopping (and stacking) wood.  Working with simple hand tools made their jobs very difficult, as did seasonal bugs (like mosquitoes and swarms of flies).

The work was extremely dangerous, particularly the way these women were forced to do it, and many suffered serious injuries or death.  If a person could not fulfil her quota, she was sent to the disciplinary barracks.  While there, her food rations consisted of bread with no water.

Young children, who could not work in the forest, had to remain in the camp.  Guards were the only people who supervised them while their mothers were working.

Getman created the painting depicted in this image - “Women’s Forest Camp” - which measures 40.4 x 28.8 inches.  His original work is now maintained by the Jamestown Foundation.


Media Credits

Image, described above, online courtesy Jamestown Foundation.

 

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"Getman Painting - Female Laborers Forced to Cut Trees" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Nov 13, 2019.
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