Accessibility links

The Red Army's Forgotten Photographer

He took the defining photo of the U.S.S.R.'s victory over Nazi Germany, although many of his photographs were heavily doctored or staged for Soviet propaganda purposes. But instead of accolades from communist authorities, Yevgeny Khaldei -- born 100 years ago this month -- struggled to remain employed as anti-Semitism swept through the Soviet Union.
Show more

A Red Army soldier hoisting the Soviet flag above the Reichstag in Berlin on May 2, 1945. The photo would become both the defining image of the Red Army's victory over Nazi Germany and an example of the deception of Soviet propaganda.
1

A Red Army soldier hoisting the Soviet flag above the Reichstag in Berlin on May 2, 1945. The photo would become both the defining image of the Red Army's victory over Nazi Germany and an example of the deception of Soviet propaganda.

A couple in Budapest's Jewish ghetto soon after the Red Army drove Nazi forces out of the Hungarian capital. Khaldei recalled in a video interview that he greeted the pair in Hebrew before ripping the yellow Stars of David from their chests.
2

A couple in Budapest's Jewish ghetto soon after the Red Army drove Nazi forces out of the Hungarian capital. Khaldei recalled in a video interview that he greeted the pair in Hebrew before ripping the yellow Stars of David from their chests.

Murmansk after Nazi forces razed the northwestern Russian city with incendiary bombs in 1942. Khaldei remembered that the woman berated him for photographing their tragedy, saying, "Why don't you go to Berlin and photograph how our pilots are bombing it?" The young photographer promised her if he ever reached Germany, he "would do just that."
3

Murmansk after Nazi forces razed the northwestern Russian city with incendiary bombs in 1942. Khaldei remembered that the woman berated him for photographing their tragedy, saying, "Why don't you go to Berlin and photograph how our pilots are bombing it?" The young photographer promised her if he ever reached Germany, he "would do just that."

Another photo from the same scene reveals a soldier wearing a wristwatch on each arm -- evidence of Red Army looting. Khaldei said his boss at TASS, the Soviet news agency, called him into his office to point out the incriminating detail, telling him, "A true Soviet soldier does not loot...fix it quick, take it off the negative." The 28-year-old photographer used a pin to scratch the second wristwatch off the film.
4

Another photo from the same scene reveals a soldier wearing a wristwatch on each arm -- evidence of Red Army looting. Khaldei said his boss at TASS, the Soviet news agency, called him into his office to point out the incriminating detail, telling him, "A true Soviet soldier does not loot...fix it quick, take it off the negative." The 28-year-old photographer used a pin to scratch the second wristwatch off the film.

Load more

XS
SM
MD
LG