Getman Painting - Upper Debbin Camp

Getman Painting - Upper Debbin Camp History Social Studies Tragedies and Triumphs Visual Arts Geography

During the Stalinist era, in the USSR, a forced-labor camp was located at the head of the Debin River.  It was situated in one of the most inaccessible regions of Russia’s taiga (native forest). 

Debin housed political prisoners who had been accused of counterrevolutionary activities.  Prisoners who tried to escape were shot. 

The bodies of two such executed individuals remained lying on the snow-covered ground.  The guards wanted those bodies to serve as a warning to new prisoners:  “You might want to escape, but don’t try.  It’s futile.” 

Nikolai Getman served time at the place where very few prisoners ever got out alive.  He attributed his release from Upper Debin to two things: his talent and approval by the camp director's wife.

Getman created the painting depicted in this image - “Upper Debin Camp” -which measures 36.4 x 39.2 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 - Upper Debbin Camp" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Feb 23, 2020.
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