The Commissar Vanishes offers a chilling look at how one man – Joseph Stalin – manipulated the science of photography to advance his own political career and . Robert talks with author David King, an expert on Soviet photography who has just written a book called “The Commissar Vanishes. Courtesy of our good chum Randy comes this absolutely chilling photo gallery of manipulated images from Soviet Russia. The images above.

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Even artists vanish too, for having expressed something too avant-garde, or for once having praised Trotsky some twenty years previously. No trivia or quizzes yet. In Augustafter months of careful preparations and rehearsals in Soviet secret police prisons, Zinoviev, Kamenev and 14 others, mostly Old Bolshevikswere put on trial again in the Moscow Trials.

Trotsky had given a speech that Stalin and others were abandoning revolutionary politics and Dzerzhinsky, the head of the secret police and supporter of Stalin, stepped up and screamed at Trotsky for two hours, then promptly had a heart attack and was dead that same day.

A morbidly fascinating book. I have a fascination with some of the prints and the socialist realism style in general, such as Revolution on Paper: Articles containing Russian-language text Commons category link is locally defined Interlanguage link template link number.

The Commissar Vanishes | OSA Archivum

As Bondarenko had already appeared in publicly available photographs, the deletions led to rumours of cosmonauts dying in failed launches. And so it goes on. There are multiple group photos where King quietly notes in the side text how many people in those photos died violent deaths commissae the hands of people who were vznishes their fellow revolutionaries and countrymen. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up! The photo was later altered by censors. David King who died last week was a relentless documentarian of the Stalin School of Historical Falsification.


His collection has grown to more than a quarter of a million images, the best of which have been selected for The Commissar Vanishes. As King explains in the Introduction, he was looking through publicly available photos in the photographic archives in Moscow when he realized there was no entry or information or photographs of any type for Leon Trotsky, who had been a very important part of the revolution.

The Commissar Vanishes

This page was last edited on 29 Octoberat The artifice, fear, lies and pomposity required to keep themselves in power was just too much. The saddest instance is a propaganda shot of Stalin with an adorable little girl, with her joyous father in the background. Unfortunately, during this period a number of rare manuscripts ceased being in existence.

You see ghostly outlines of where they once where. Raising a flag over the Reichstag. I believe this book came to my attention after reading The Tsar of Love and Techno which starts with a beautiful story, “The Leopard,” about an artist who erases people out of history.

In one famous image, several Par The Commissar Vanishes offers a chilling look at how one man – Joseph Stalin – manipulated vanoshes science of photography to advance his own political career and to erase memories off his vvanishes. The artwork is also fascinating, as King calls a lot of attention to the propagandizing and the use of art to insert figures like Stalin into historical events that they were not actually present for.

The photos are commiesar as the people in them fall out of favor. Although the Bolsheviks looked to this mystical image of the party in order to legitimise their rule, it should not be thought that this was necessarily cynical or even conscious on their part, at least at first.

Film Music — Man on Wire. How did the Soviet regime get into this appalling position?

Commissar Vanishes

Soviet law prohibited the creation and distribution of pornography under Article of the criminal code of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and analogous legislation adopted by other republics of the Soviet Union. You can extend your censorship even to photographic and moving-picture records of revolutionary events.


It was very informative and I enjoyed it. This book was filled with images, some just showing the defacing that happened during Stalin’s reign to blot out individual that now had become enemies of xommissar people. Page – Acknowledgments, Bibliography, Index Page – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This book is in large format which allows for close examination of the photographic materials.

How naive we were. This coincided with the hypertrophied state control that was imposed during the massive industrialisation and collectivisation schemes of the First Five Year Plan.

In the summer issue of Index on Censorship magazinewhich focuses on the legacy of the Russian Revolution deputy editor Jemimah Steinfeld writes:. In many cases, he has managed to locate original photographs and their altered counterparts, to demonstrate how those who fell out of political favor were edited out of photographs and out of history. All these things Stalin is doing. One of the darkly amusing stories in the book is the funeral of Dzerzhinsky in The fact that this book is a work of Non-fiction will scare the life out of you once you’ve read it.

A discussion of some of the methods of censorship in Soviet Russia. Yezhov airbrushed out of a picture with Stalin”. The background vanishfs the original image includes a store that says in Russian, “Watches, gold and silver”.

Under these conditions, the sense of indispensability became mutated into a quasi-religious sense of infallibility — from having a monopoly over power to having a monopoly over the vznishes. Dec 04, Hadrian rated it really liked it Shelves: