Back in the USSR

An interesting article in the National Post:

An uncensored look behind the Iron Curtain: Long-lost images of Stalinist Russia snapped by a U.S. diplomat.

Long after their father had died, the family of former U.S. Army Major Martin Manhoff invited Seattle-based historian Douglas Smith to take a look at some photos. Manhoff had been posted to the U.S. embassy in the Soviet Union  from 1952 to 1954, and he had shot some colour photos while there.

In boxes that had lain almost untouched for 50 years, Smith was soon gazing at a treasure trove of rare candid images from one of the most closed societies in human history.

Smith is now looking for a permanent home to house the collection. With his permission, the National Post presents a small selection of the Manhoff archive below.

Click on the link to see these remarkable images. They don’t resemble the propaganda posters, but they’re not exactly the grim 1984 aesthetic either. I’m especially happy to read the name Douglas Smith, who came to Reinhardt for a talk on Catherine the Great back in 2008 for our Year of Eastern Europe and Russia. Check out his latest book on Rasputin.