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Berlin is Taken

Accession Number
2012/2.80

Title
Berlin is Taken

Artist(s)
Dmitri Baltermants

Artist Nationality
Russian (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
1945

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

Dimensions
16 in x 20 in (40.64 cm x 50.8 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James Agah, Class of 1989 (BBA)

Subject matter
In this photograph, the barrel of an antitank gun projects forward, almost seeming to come out of the picture plane in the right foreground. Behind, a row of buildings lay in ruins; some still burn. The ethereal quality of the bright-white flames, combined with the clouds and smoke above and the nearly transparent figure of a man in the center of the composition, make this a rather haunting image, despite its otherwise triumphalist tone (which is reiterated by the title: “Berlin is Taken). This image forms part of Baltermants’s larger project (as an official photographer to the Kremlin) which, spread across numerous portfolios, aimed to document scenes from the Soviet Union’s fight against Nazi Germany during World War II (1939-1945), known in the USSR as the Great Patriotic War.

Physical Description
The barrel of an antitank gun points out of the picture plane; a building has caught fire in the distance. 

Primary Object Classification
Photograph

Collection Area
Photography

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
antitank guns
burning
clouds
journalistic photography
street scenes
war photography
world wars

6 Related Resources

Apocalypses
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Berlin in the first half of the twentieth century
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Dmitri Baltermants photographs from WWII
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Narrative Photography
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
World War II Images 
(Part of: Examples of Student Research in the Exchange)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display