raising a flag over the reichstag

“The Supreme High Command…and the entire Soviet People order you to erect the victory banner on the roof above Berlin." 

May 2, 1945- Berlin falls to Soviet forces, who raise their flag above a ruined, burnt out Reichstag.

Raising a Flag over the Reich, by Yevgeny Khaldei, 1945

istillcantthinkofatitle  asked:

Do you know anything about photo-editing and forgery during the second world war? I know about some famous ones, such as the removal of watches from a couple of soviet war photographs, but surely there must be a lot more edits and forgeries from such a brutal ideologically fuelled conflict. There was obviously a lot of staging for propaganda purposes, but I've never seen much information about photo manipulation. Have you come across anything enlightening on this subject during your research?

You’re referencing Yevgeni Khaldei’s picture of the Soviet flag being raised over the Reichstag in Berlin. If you compare to the original:

External image

you can see that a lot of smoke was added to the background, and the guy holding the flagbearer steady has an extra watch. The smoke was added to make it seem like the battle was still raging, and the watch was removed because it made it look like he had been looting (Possibly, although some sources believe it was a wrist-compass).

It is hardly the only faked photo though! One of my personal favorites is "Reindeer Yasha at War":

It is also by Khaldei. At first glance this is an amazing action photo of a reindeer being overflown by Hawker Hurricanes - part of a small British mission to assist Murmansk - as dirt is thrown by an explosion in the background. A striking contrast of the nature caught in the struggles of man. And also fake. The overflying aircraft are a superimposed image, and the explosion was added as well. While the reindeer was reported to have been wandering near the Soviet lines when Khaldei took the shot, he chose to use it as the basis for a piece of art, which he readily admitted was not intended to be an accurate record of events, but rather a commentary on the battle - known by the Germans as Operation Reindeer! Although Khaldei was quite open about his manipulation of the photo, it has often been passed down through posterity as the real thing (Googling for a copy of the image, about half the hits made no mention of it being in anyway faked).