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Running over 1,500 miles, the Odessa catacombs are one of the largest systems of underground tunnels in the world. Though originally formed in the process of stone mining, the tunnels played an important role during World War II when the labyrinth of passages was utilized to hide Soviet partisans. Georgi Zelma, a noted war photographer, returned to these tunnels years later to photograph the return of mining operations. Zelma’s image captures the absolute darkness of the mines, relieved only by the light on each man’s helmet.
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Georgy Zelma, Russian, 1906–1984
- Gelatin silver print
- Image: 13 7/8 × 10 15/16 in. (35.2 × 27.8 cm) Sheet: 13 7/8 × 10 15/16 in. (35.2 × 27.8 cm)
- Credit Line
Gift of Howard Schickler and David Lafaille
- Current Location
- Not on view
- Accession Number
Howard Schickler and David Lafaille; given to MFAH, 1995.