Museum exhibit /Pillowcase embroidered by the prisoner E.I.Umanskii.
A pillowcase made and embroidered by Efim Israilevich Umanskii (1899-1971) in the Internal Prison of the UNKVD (Administration of the People’s Committee for Internal Affairs) for the Leningrad oblast’ (Leningrad, 25, ul. Voinova), where he was under investigation in 1937. The embroidery was done with a needle made from a fish bone. E.I. Umanskii used this pillowcase in camps on the Kolyma and in the Vorkuta camps and after that in exile in the Krasnoiarsk territory. In 1995, Umanskii’s daughter, Zhoressa Efimovna Umanskaia, gave the pillowcase to the museum of the Research and Information Centre “Memorial” (St Petersburg) (Photo 19.12.2007). 
 
 
 
 
Authenticity
 
Registration number in museum acquisition book KP-32
 
Date of acquisition13/ 05/1995
 
Types of exhibitsMuseum exhibits/Objects/
 
Types of exhibitsMuseum exhibits/Objects/
 
Thematic indexPrison/
 
Thematic indexLife in Captivity/
 
Thematic indexLife in Captivity/
 
Date and place of creation1937, Internal Prison of the UNKVD for the Leningrad oblast’.
 
Years and places of existence in subject-related function1937, Internal Prison of the UNKVD for the Leningrad oblast’;
1938-1939, USVITL (Administration of the North-Eastern Corrective Labour Camps);
1939-1947 Vorkuta Camp
 
SizeLength – 41cm, Width – 29cm.
 
MaterialsFabric
 
MaterialsThreads
 
Description of exhibitPillowcase made out grey linen material. The embroidery on the front is done in straight line stitch done in black thread. The picture in the embroidery is composed of objects associated with the sea: a life-belt, a steamer, an anchor, a boat-hook, an oar and an ensign.
 
State of preservationHas been in use, is soiled; it has been patched and darned.
 
Detailed annotationA pillowcase, made by Efim Israilovich Umanskii (1899-1971) while under investigation in the Internal Prison of the NKVD in Leningrad. Umanskii made the needle from a fish-bone that he found in the skilly and used to embroider the pillowcase. The naval theme of the embroidery (steamer, anchor, oar, boat-hook, life-belt, flag) are linked to his job – E.I. Umanskii was in the Navy. Umanskii used the pillowcase while he was a prisoner on the Kolyma (1937-1939) and in the Vorkuta camp (1939-1947). After he was released it was used for a time and then preserved by the family as a keepsake. In 1995 Umanskii’s daughter, Zhoressa Efimovna Umanskaia (died after 1995) gave it to the museum of the Research and Information Centre “Memorial” (St Petersburg).
 
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Web page?Yes
 
 
Museum exhibit /Pillowcase embroidered by the prisoner E.I.Umanskii.