26 setembro 2004

NIKOLAI GETMAN: The Gulag Collection

Punishment By Mosquitoes [oil on canvas, 42.1 x 28.8 inches]

The torture-death depicted here was known as komariki (little mosquitoes). For even an insignificant misdeed, such as a harsh word to a guard, a prisoner could be stripped naked, hung crucifixion-style to a pine tree, and left to be fed upon by mosquitoes. Within thirty minutes to an hour he would be taken down. By that time, however, he would have lost so much blood that a slow and painful death was almost inevitable. Such executions were carried out beyond the barbed wire, in full view of the other prisoners. In some camps, the victims of komarki were not hung on trees, but were thrown instead into pits.