Skip to Content
Today Open today 10–11 members | 11–5 public

The Former Ersatz Landowner

A work made of stencil.

Image actions

  • A work made of stencil.


July 3, 1944


Sergei Nikolaevich Kostin
(Born Moscow, 1896; died Moscow, 1968)
Samuil Iakovlevich Marshak
(Born Voronezh, 1887; died Moscow, 1964)

About this artwork


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Sergei N. Kostin


The Former Ersatz Landowner


Soviet Union (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Original 1944




Along the Berlin streets There wanders every day A Ukrainian landowner With outstretched hand. From his former grandeur Nothing now remains But a feather in his hat – And nothing more. Next to him, despondent, There wanders his wife. “Mein Gott! What's happened to us?” She says with melancholy. Hitler gave us a gift An estate near Poltava, In the shade of an old oak grove And with lions at the entrance! My husband and I, we drove around In a carriage like noble counts And in our possession, We had two hundred peasant souls! We were very pleased To have serfs of our own. But all of them joined the ranks Of the Soviet partisans. Everything ended terribly! On one silent night We had to run away From the army of the Reds! We ran through all the puddles Now trotting, now at a gallop. And my husband and I, We lost our last wardrobe. All that remains from our estate Is this here bicycle… Have pity on us! Give us money for a meal.


201.6 × 83.4 cm (79 3/8 × 32 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the USSR Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions