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Getman Painting - Waiting to be Shot

Getman Painting - Waiting to be Shot Civil Rights Social Studies Visual Arts Tragedies and Triumphs

Many forced laborers who were sent to work in the GULAG were innocent of any crimes.  The capricious nature of the Stalinist-era camps extended well-beyond prisoner arrival, however. 

Nikolai Getman created this painting to educate non-Gulag inmates about the unjust nature of camp life itself.  The Global Museum on Communism - The Gulag.org - tells us more about the meaning of this scene:

This painting is meant to remember a group of 159 men taken from their barracks in the middle of the night and executed by the NKVD [the Soviet secret police]. Such occurrences were common and often without any apparent reason.

New prisoners quickly came to understand what being dragged out in the middle of the night meant. Those taken away never returned. The men in the painting are clearly aware that they are going to be killed.

Getman called the painting, depicted in this image, “Waiting to be Shot.”


Media Credits

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

 

 

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"Getman Painting - Waiting to be Shot" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jun 25, 2019.
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