Exhibitions/ Art Object

POWs, Stalingrad

Artist:
Dmitri Baltermants (Russian, 1912–1990)
Date:
1942
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 20 x 61 cm (7 7/8 x 24 in.) Frame: 40.6 x 81.3 cm (16 x 32 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Twentieth-Century Photography Fund, 2011
Accession Number:
2011.194
Not on view
As a correspondent for the Soviet government newspaper Izvestiya during World War II, Baltermants often manipulated his photographs to enhance their emotional impact. Here, a line of German prisoners of war snakes across barren fields in a forced march to a Soviet detainment camp. More than 91,000 German soldiers were captured in the Battle of Stalingrad, which raged from July 1942 to February 1943. Careful examination of the photograph, however, reveals that Baltermants seamlessly combined two separate exposures of the same group of soldiers, effectively doubling the number of prisoners—an exaggeration that viscerally conveys the magnitude of Russia’s pivotal triumph over Nazi Germany.
Tatiana Baltermants, late 1990s; Teresa and Paul Harbaugh, 2011; [Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York]

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