Rare shots of 1945 Berlin by Soviet photographers (PHOTOS)

War photographers Ilya Arons (left) and Leon Mazrukho at the Brandenburg Gate. Berlin, June 1945.

War photographers Ilya Arons (left) and Leon Mazrukho at the Brandenburg Gate. Berlin, June 1945.

Courtesy of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center
These unique shots have only recently been published. They were taken by war photographers Ilya Arons and Valery Ginzburg.

One of the most well known photographs of the World War II period is, of course, ‘Raising a Flag Over the Reichstag’, by Yevgeny Khaldei. In it, we see soldiers hoisting the Soviet flag over the roof of Germany’s parliament. Khaldei was, however, not the only documentarian of the day - there had been other photographers and videographers, who, likewise, braved the entire war and even participated in the fighting, whilst recording it all for posterity. 

The descendants of photographers Ilya Arons and Valery Ginzburg recently gave their entire archives to the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow. 

This is what the German capital looked like in the first days of peace following the end of the Second World War.

Ilya Arons. The first German traffic officer commences duty, replacing female Red Army soldiers with flags. Post-war Berlin, summer 1945
Ilya Arons in Berlin, May 1945

Director Leon Saakov (middle), war videographers Ilya Arons and Mikhail Poselskiy. Berlin, June 1945
Ilya Arons. From left to right: General-Major Matvey Vayntrub, writer Konstantin Simonov, videographer Ilya Arons. At the building of the Reichstag, Berlin, 1945
Ilya Arons. May 8, 1945. War videographers at Berlin’s Tempelhof airport, awaiting the arrival of the Supreme Allied Commanders for the signing of the German Capitulation Act. 
Ilya Arons. Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery (right) visits Berlin for the first time for the signing of the Berlin Declaration, June 5, 1945. He is greeted by deputy-commander of the 1st Belorusian front, General Vasiliy Sokolovskiy (middle) at Tempelhof. 
Ilya Arons. Field kitchen for cameramen and journalists at Tempelhof airport
Ilya Arons. Freed Soviet prisoners. Berlin, summer 1945 
Soviet journalists with the Allies. Videographer Ilya Arons is fourth from the left, upper row. Tempelhof airport, Berlin, May-June 1945
Valeriy Ginzburg. Berlin. June, 1945 
The sign reads: “There she is, cursed Germany!” War videographers Ilya Arons (left) and Boris Dementyev at the former border between Poland and Germany during the filming of ‘Battles in Pomerania’ in April 1945

To mark the 75th Anniversary of the Victory, the exhibition ‘Berlin Unknown. May 1945’ will be held May 8 - June 14, 2020, at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center. There, visitors will be able to see more than 80 previously unpublished works.

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