The famous photo of the Soviet flag being raised during the Battle of Berlin in 1945 was actually doctored. Photographer Yevgeny Khaldei added smoke to make it seem more dramatic, and also removed one of two watches from a Senior Sergeant’s wrist, as it would have implied looting.
A typical Soviet Adrianov compass.
After taking the symbolic photo, Khaldei quickly returned to Moscow. He further edited the image at the request of the editor-in-chief of the Ogonyok, who noticed that Senior Sergeant Abdulkhakim Ismailov, who is supporting the flag-bearer, was wearing two watches, which could imply he had looted one of them, an action punishable by execution. Using a needle, Khaldei removed the watch from the right wrist. Later, it was claimed that the extra watch was actually an Adrianov compass and that Khaldei, in order to avoid controversy, doctored the photo to remove the watch from Ismailov’s right wrist. He also added smoke in the background, copying it from another picture to make the scene more dramatic…. Continue Reading (1 minute read)