The Story Behind the Raising a Flag over the Reichstag by Yevgeny Khaldei (1945)


What’s up photography fans? It’s Martin
from All About Street Photography channel. Last week I have talked about
photo “Flag Raising on Iwo Jima” and today I would like to talk about the photo
that was the Soviet’s “answer” to Rosenthal’s Ivo Jima photograph. The
Photo that symbolizes the victory of Red Army or Nazis. Let’s talk about this
iconic photo of World War 2. Raising a Flag Over the Reichstag. Thank you for
watching today’s story behind the photograph subscribe to this channel or
share with your friends. Also check out the All About Street Photography website
where you can find this content in the form of blog. Everything is for free so
if you feel like supporting this channel this way it would be appreciated. Thank
you and now let’s get back to the video. Raising a Flag Over the Reichstag is a
photograph taken by Soviet soldier ukrainian-born Evgeny Khaldei. It was
actually two days after Adolf Hitler committed suicide when Khaldei arrived
in Berlin with his Leica 3 with 35mm F 3.5 lens and a huge Soviet
flag. The flag was actually made from three tablecloths.
Just like the Iwo Jima photograph this was not a first flag raised at that
location. The first one was raised just a few days before this photograph was taken
but then the building was lost and when it was taken back by Soviet soldiers
again the photograph was made. The other theory talks about staging the photo for
the purpose of the photograph as Khaldei took a full roll of 36 pictures to take this
photo. what they focused on in Moscow when printing the photograph was
adjusting the contrast, shadows and darkening the sky to make the photo
look more dramatic. They also removed an object from the right wrist of the
soldier holding the flag. Which sparked a little controversy. Now there are two
theories why this was done. The first one suggests that the object that was
removed was a wristwatch. Siince the soldier already had a
wristwatch on his other hand it would look like he had stolen the second watch.
This wasn’t a rare thing for the army during World War 2 but looting
would actually be punishable by an execution.
Now, the second theory is that the item attached to man’s hand was just the
wrist compass which was not too uncommon and it was definitely possible. Since the
photographer was probably aware of that when printing the photo he decided to
remove it from the soldier’s wrist. The soldiers with the Soviet flag at the
former center of Germans government were symbolic of the victory over Nazi
German. They were all supposed to be hand-picked but according to Khaldei he
simply picked soldiers who happen to be nearby. What I particularly like about
the composition is the nice diagonal created by the flagpole. The image was
published a few days later in Ogoniok magazine and was republished in
thousands of publications. When you look at the both photos we can really say
those are the two most recognizable and significant photos of the Second World
War. The Ivo Jima was taken during the fights and became a symbol of American
triumph that also helped to raise over 26 billion dollars for American army.
Raising a flag over the Reichstag was taken at the end of the war and
represents the Soviet victory over the Nazi Germany. Both pictures played
important roles during and after the war they were taken thanks to the brave
soldiers and we all know at what cost. Thank you for watching today’s story
behind the photograph if you liked it feel free to give it a like. Thank you
and see you next time.!

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