A building-foreman who is despised by the other Zeks, is egotistical because of his position of power within the camp. He wears a new, clean regulation coat, and a leather hat, but like the other men, his hat has a white number printed on it. Der is big headed, but unskilled when it comes to labor, which leads Shukhov to resent him. Der attempts to punish Tyurin for using the felt to cover the window, but Tyurin’s men step up and protect him, revealing how an individual’s sense of having power in the Gulag (as Der does) does not always align with reality.
The timeline below shows where the character DerDer appears in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 5 (The arrival at the work site to the beginning of work)
...up for another count. Inside of the camp the superintendent stands near the office with, Der, a civilian super intendant. Shukhov notes that Der is a true criminal, unlike other men... (full context)
Section 6 (The beginning of work to news of the murdered stool pigeons)
Section 8 (Tyurin’s story to the end of the work day)
...the mechanical lift to haul the blocks and mortar. Along with the mechanic, the building-foreman, Der, arrives and climbs the ramp. Kildigs jokes with Shukhov to let him know if Der... (full context)