Work of Photographer Behind WWII Image Returns to Russia


The photograph of Red Army soldiers raising the Soviet flag atop Germany’s Reichstag after the Nazis’ defeat is imprinted on the memory of almost every Russian.

Now, nearly 72 years after Yevgeni Khaldei captured the enduring image, Russians are getting to view some of the photographer’s previously unseen work.

The show of Khaldei’s work that opened Wednesday at Moscow’s House of Photography comes after a 15-year court fight by his daughter Anna to regain family control of his negatives and prints.

A few months before Khaldei died in 1997, he signed an agreement with a New York photojournalist to become his agent; the agent later claimed ownership of the negatives.

“It was a typical story of things that got lost or misplaced or improperly treated among the ruins of the Soviet Union,” Anna Khladei’s lawyer, Daniel Rothstein, told The Associated Press.

Khaldei’s Reichstag photo was inspired by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal’s iconic shot of U.S. soldiers raising the American flag on Iwo Jima; Khaldei even made sure to bring his own flag to Berlin as the Soviet soldiers closed in on the Nazis.

One of the pieces in the current exhibit shows Khaldei and Rosenthal together, in which each holds a print of his own famous photo.