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Between and Mortarboard

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Digging Anti-Tank Trenches Near Moscow

Accession Number

Digging Anti-Tank Trenches Near Moscow

Dmitri Baltermants

Artist Nationality
Russian (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
1941; printed 2003

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

16 in x 240 in (40.64 cm x 609.6 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Thomas Wilson '79 and Jill Garling '80

Subject matter
This photograph provides a view downward onto a group of women digging trenches in a barren landscape. In the background, a winding ribbon of workers can be seen engaged in a similar activity. This image evokes the notion of total war, where a nation’s entire resources, including its civilian population, are involved in the war effort. This image forms part of Baltermants’ larger project—as an official photographer to the Kremlin—which, spread across numerous portfolios, aimed to document scenes from the Soviet Union’s fight against Nazi Germany during World War II (1939-1945), known in the USSR as the Great Patriotic War.  

Physical Description
A large group of women with pickaxes and shovels dig a trench in a barren landscape.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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journalistic photography
war photography
women (female humans)

4 Related Resources

Dmitri Baltermants photographs from WWII
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
World War II Images 
(Part of: Examples of Student Research in the Exchange)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display