Never-seen-before pictures of Stalin's Russia taken by American 'spy'
We have all grown up aware of the fraught relations between Russia and The United States. Studying The Cold War is not only part of our mandatory schooling but is also a form of advocacy, enacted by both sides in order to secure our allegiance to this day, where the relationship between the two nations still remains tense.
As such, whilst we're well versed on the technicalities of the communist regime in the USSR, we still know relatively little about the day-to-day lives of the civilians who lived under the control of Stalin his successors. But that's no longer wholly true; renowned American historian Douglas Smith discovered some never-seen-before images of Stalin's regime which were taken by an American Army Major, Martin Manhoff.
Manhoff's collection of photographs have been described as a "unique visual archive" of everyday life in the USSR in the 1950's. Manhoff often travelled vast swathes of Russia by railroad, accompanied by his wife, Jan, who worked alongside him, transcribing their experiences and adventures into her diaries.
Manhoff was deported in 1954, two years after his arrival, for the charge of being an American "spy". Following his return to the United States, Manhoff's images remained hidden in a cupboard for 60 years, before Douglas Smith unearthed them this year...
1. A parade which took place in front of the Kremlin
2. A street in the heart of Kiev, Ukraine
3. Moscow at night
4. A bustling market in Crimea, before the peninsula was given to Ukraine by Stalin's successor, Georgy Malenkov
5. Happy schoolgirls at Kolomenskoye, located in the south of Moscow
6. A flooded street in Kiev
7. Babushkas doing a trade, photographed from the windows of a moving train
8. Stalin's funeral procession
9. An image of a remote town, taken from the windows of a train
10. Locals on Pushkin Square
11. A rare colour image of Stalin's funeral, photographed from the old US embassy
12. Girls studying in Moscow's Novodevichy convent
13. A queue outside a grocery store in Moscow
14. Novospassky Palace, Moscow
15. Ostankino Palace, Moscow
16. Kids in Novospassky Monastery
17. Schoolchildren learning how to swim
18. The Central Telegraph building, Moscow
19. Martin and Jan Manhoff
Well, those images certainly provided some new insight into the Soviet Union in the 50's. And it's evident that Stalin would not have wanted some of those images to be publicised, but luckily for him, Manhoff's stunning photography remained uncovered for a whopping 60 years, only coming to light after the fall of the USSR...