Eufrosinia Kersnovskaia. «How Much is a Person Worth?»

Commentary to the 1st bloc of drawings(from Album 4)

The next chapter tells how Eufrosinia's escape finished. Since 26 February 1942, she within six months had walked 1500 kilometres across the Narym mires, boreal forests, the Altai virgin steppes avoiding cities and working for anyone so that not to die from starvation. She made her first acquaintance of life in Russian periphery in the very first year of the war famine. She saw what the dispossession of kulaks meant with whole villages disappearing and nobody left to cultivate the land. She couldn't grasp the wastefulness with all those slogans shrieking of conservation all around. She couldn't make the mind to the spring burning of spike remains instead of giving them out to the hungry. At that time she didn't know yet that those in the collective farms worked not for money but rather for work-day units and not always got food for them. Under «the law on spikes» (On protection of property of state enterprises and collective farms) hundreds of thousands of hungry collective farm workers manually gathering the remains of grain in collective farms' fields were imprisoned for up to 10 years.
Eufrosinia was arrested three times and each time released by the skin of teeth. On August 24, 1942, near the city of Rubtsovsk «my journey finished. I was arrested by a despicable girl. Red-headed. Weak as a cat. From those of who vulgarly say a stiff breeze would blow them over. She would turn upside down if I spat but she demanded to show my papers and after I said I had none she brought me to the village soviet.» The prisoner transport to the prison of the county town of Krasnoozersk laid ahead.
Eufrosinia again speaks of choice. «At night they let me out to ease nature. Why didn't I try to escape? Didn't have enough determination to part with a backpack containing all my possessions - Father's watch and a picture of him? Or was it innate integrity not allowing to breach the trust of one who let me out? I don't know...» It was her voluntary decision to go further along the predestined way. «Fortunately the future is outside our knowledge.»

(Texts translated from Russian by Natalya Hmelik.) 

Commentary on 1th blok of drawings
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