Private Tolkatchev at the Gates of Hell
Selected Panels from the Exhibition
One of the many techniques the Germans used in order to dehumanize the prisoners was their sincere effort to erase all traces of individuality. Assigning numbers to prisoners, and using this number as a substitute for a name, was an effective way to attain this goal. In this painting one encounters a Polish prisoner identified by his number and red triangle with the letter “P”. Tolkatchev has taken the liberty to blow up its size, to emphasize the humiliation of reducing one’s identity to a number.