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Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:14 am
by BA
I'm sure many of you are familiar with this very famous photograph:

http://www.famouspictures.org/mag/images/f/f9/Reichstag_flag.jpg

Does anyone know which direction the photo is showing? I assume this is looking south towards the Brandenburg Gate from the eastern side of the building, is this correct?

Thanks for any feedback.

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:45 am
by CPH-R
While on the subject, I wonder how many know that not only was the photo staged - it was even doctored afterwards to add to the drama and remove some German watches the Soviet soldier wasn't supposed to be in possesion of Big grin

A bit of the story of the first Soviet soldier to reach the top of the building can be found here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article3246463.ece

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:55 am
by scbriml


Quoting CPH-R (Reply 1):
While on the subject, I wonder how many know that not only was the photo staged - it was even doctored afterwards to add to the drama

Yes, I'd read that the photo was doctored - who needs Photoshop?  wink 

IIRC, wasn't the smoke added to the shot?

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:33 pm
by oldeuropean
Also the famous photo of the US soldiers straining to raise the American flag on Iwo Jima was staged.

These photos are simply the usual propaganda of the winners. In the past paintings were used for this purpose.

Axel

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:52 pm
by NoUFO
Back to the original question:

Quoting BA (Thread starter):
I assume this is looking south towards the Brandenburg Gate from the eastern side of the building, is this correct?

There's no river and no square so, yes, it 's indeed the eastern side of the building with the soldiers looking south. Brandenburg Gate is situated a bit south-west. The guy with the two watches may look at it.

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:13 pm
by NoUFO
Wait, I better take that back.

Norbert - confused

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:03 pm
by mayor


Quoting Oldeuropean (Reply 3):
Also the famous photo of the US soldiers straining to raise the American flag on Iwo Jima was staged.

Well, IIRC, the second one was staged. They had already raised the flag and someone wanted their flag back, so it was raised, again and that's when the more famous photo was taken.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raising_the_Flag_on_Iwo_Jima

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:56 pm
by BA


Quoting CPH-R (Reply 1):
While on the subject, I wonder how many know that not only was the photo staged - it was even doctored afterwards to add to the drama and remove some German watches the Soviet soldier wasn't supposed to be in possesion of Big grin

Yes, but the particular photo I posted is the original undoctored one. You can see that it stll shows the watches on the Soviet soldier.

In the doctored photo, they made the smoke stand out.

Here is the doctored one:



Quoting NoUFO (Reply 4):
There's no river and no square so, yes, it 's indeed the eastern side of the building with the soldiers looking south. Brandenburg Gate is situated a bit south-west

Thanks I thought so.

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:22 pm
by OHLHD
There is a german text on the Bundestag Homepage:

It says that this picture was taken on the eastern side of the Reichstag.

http://www.bundestag.de/bau_kunst/ba...rke/reichstag/geschichte/orte.html

Some interesting stuff:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Minin

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:06 pm
by ronglimeng


Quoting BA (Thread starter):
Does anyone know which direction the photo is showing? I assume this is looking south towards the Brandenburg Gate from the eastern side of the building, is this correct?

I guess the question has been largely answered now. I appreciated the question. For me one of the pleasures of travel is to be able orient famous scenes and photos properly.

I wonder why the Red Army soldiers would mount the flag there? Wouldn't it be more visible if mounted on the south-side (the front), or was that part destroyed?

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:14 pm
by L-188


Quoting Oldeuropean (Reply 3):
Also the famous photo of the US soldiers straining to raise the American flag on Iwo Jima was staged

Dude, rent a copy of "Flags of our Fathers"

As mentioned earlier, there are two photos, one of the first flag being raised, and one of the second larger flag being raised.

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:29 pm
by jwenting


Quoting Oldeuropean (Reply 3):
Also the famous photo of the US soldiers straining to raise the American flag on Iwo Jima was staged

That original event was not staged.
A flag was raised there in the heat of battle as a rallying point for the troops.

Later it was redone for the photographers who hadn't been in place at the time.

The Soviet image was fully staged. There was no more battle by the time it was taken.

And yes, we whipped you in '44-'45. Get over it.

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:35 pm
by slz396


Quoting Mayor (Reply 6):
They had already raised the flag and someone wanted their flag back, so it was raised, again and that's when the more famous photo was taken.

Same with the Soviets.
The first flag on the Reichstag was raised by a Russian soldier, but then somebody decided it would be more appropriate to have the flag raised by a Georgian (since Stalin was also a Georgian), so it was done all over...

What I've always found very weird is why the Soviets took the Reichstag to picture their victory over fascism. The Nazis never had any interest in the parliament nor its building, other than to use its fire as an excuse to pass a emergency decree empowering the newly appointed Chancellor Adolf Hitler to rule by decree as dictator...

Although the Nazis never even held a normal majority in the Reichstag, let alone a 2/3rd majority needed to pass an empowering act, the fire -and their subsequent continued talk about national security and the risk of terrorism- helped them to get enough support to pass the empowering act for Adolf Hitler as only communists and socialists dared to vote against it, after which the Nazis imediately started the ruthless oppression of Communists, Socialist and later milions of other people....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_fire

The Soviets should have used the Brandenburg Gate to stage their victory photo as that was often used during military parades in the Nazi propaganda.

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:37 pm
by OHLHD


Quoting Ronglimeng (Reply 9):
I wonder why the Red Army soldiers would mount the flag there? Wouldn't it be more visible if mounted on the south-side (the front), or was that part destroyed?

I would say because of the dramatic background with the damaged houses and the smoke. Of course the front side was heavily destroyed.

From Wikipedia:

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l193/OHLHD/BUNDES1.jpg

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:21 am
by oldeuropean


Quoting Jwenting (Reply 11):
And yes, we whipped you in '44-'45. Get over it.

What a childish comment, what is exactly your point here.  Yeah sure

Propaganda of the winners was used for thousand of years. E.g. the ancient Egyptians have used heroic pictures about their wars on their buildings.

I never have never disputed that the win against the Nazies was a positive one. But the winners have always used such pictures to legitimate their actions. Also in cases, where their victory was a product of iniquity.

Jwenting, aren't there some glorifying paintings of the genocide of the dutch against the people in Indonesia? From the time you were still the winners.  Yeah sure

Axel

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:32 am
by ual777


Quoting Jwenting (Reply 11):

A flag was raised there in the heat of battle as a rallying point for the troops.

Later it was redone for the photographers who hadn't been in place at the time.

The Soviet image was fully staged. There was no more battle by the time it was taken.

Not exactly. A Colonel Chandler Johnson had the flag swapped because the Secretary of the Navy wanted the Iwo Flag for himself and Johnson wanted it to stay with the Marine Corps (possibly in his office).

Thus the flags were swapped while some journalists tagged along.

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm
by Scorpio


Quoting Jwenting (Reply 11):
And yes, we whipped you in '44-'45. Get over it.

You're 26 - 35 according to your profile, and you're Dutch. YOU didn't whip anyone or anything in '44 - '45, so please stop sullying the memory and sacrifice of those who DID fight and die in that war for your own gain in an internet discussion. You should be ashamed.

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:42 pm
by MD11Engineer


Quoting OHLHD (Reply 13):
Quoting Ronglimeng (Reply 9):
I wonder why the Red Army soldiers would mount the flag there? Wouldn't it be more visible if mounted on the south-side (the front), or was that part destroyed?

I would say because of the dramatic background with the damaged houses and the smoke. Of course the front side was heavily destroyed.

From Wikipedia:

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...1.jpg

The west side faces a big square and a park (the Tiergarten, quite similar to New York's Central Park).

BTW, the Soviets used the granite blocks from Hitler's Neue Reichskanzlei (his official residence) to build the monument at Strasse des 17. Juni near Brandenburg gate. It still exists and is, as a war cemetary (there are Soviet soldiers buried there) being taken care of by the German government.

Jan

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:52 pm
by NoUFO


Quoting Ronglimeng (Reply 9):
I wonder why the Red Army soldiers would mount the flag there? Wouldn't it be more visible if mounted on the south-side (the front), or was that part destroyed?

Don't forget that parts of the Reichstag were still burning. At first, they wanted to mount the flag on the cupola, but figured that it would be too dangerous.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 4):
There's no river and no square so, yes, it 's indeed the eastern side of the building with the soldiers looking south.

... with the camera "looking" south, not the soldiers, sorry. The first street on the left could be Dorotheenstrasse.
I can't spot Brandenburg Gate, though.

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:03 pm
by BA


Quoting Jwenting (Reply 11):
There was no more battle by the time it was taken.

Actually that's not true. This photo was taken on the last day of the Battle of Berlin. The last German commander in Berlin, Helmuth Weidling, surrendered just three hours prior to the taking of this photograph. Despite this however, sporadic fighting in the city continued for several more hours.

So the timing of taking this photograph was I think perfect. Stage or not staged, it signified the fall of Nazi Germany and the end of the war in Europe.

RE: Soviet Flag Over Reichstag Photo

Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:20 pm
by PSA727
This was photo was taken on the eastern side (or the back side) of the Reichstag. If it were on the southside then you would see the Tiergarten. What was stupid is that the Soviets spent so much effort (and lives lost) trying to capture this specific building, when the Nazis had never used it for any government purposes. I guess it looked important to them on an old map.