An historically important Leica III, used by Yevgeny Khaldei to take the iconic "Raising a flag over the Reichstag" photograph, 1937,
Lot 723
An historically important Leica III, used by Yevgeny Khaldei to take the iconic "Raising a flag over the Reichstag" photograph,
1937,
Sold for HK$ 1,500,000 (US$ 192,203) inc. premium

Lot Details
An historically important Leica III, used by Yevgeny Khaldei to take the iconic "Raising a flag over the Reichstag" photograph, 1937, An historically important Leica III, used by Yevgeny Khaldei to take the iconic "Raising a flag over the Reichstag" photograph, 1937, An historically important Leica III, used by Yevgeny Khaldei to take the iconic "Raising a flag over the Reichstag" photograph, 1937,
An historically important Leica III, used by Yevgeny Khaldei to take the iconic "Raising a flag over the Reichstag" photograph, 1937,
no. 257492, chrome, later flash synchronisation on front, SCNOO rapid winder, with an Elmar 3.5cm f/3.5 lens no. 471386 and lens hood

Footnotes

  • Yevgeni Khaldei (1917-1997) took 'Raising a Flag over the Reichstag', one of the most famous photographs of World War II in May 1945 using this camera. The image of Russian troops hoisting the Hammer and Sickle above the Reichstag (the German Parliament building) enjoyed instant popularity. It became one of the most widely reproduced war photographs in the world and is often compared to the famous image of American soldiers raising the Stars and Stripes flag at Iwo Jima.

    The Russians saw the Reichstag as a symbol of the Nazi regime and placed great store by its capture (although, ironically, the Nazis loathed the Reichstag because of the democratic system it embodied and abandoned the building after it was partially destroyed by a fire in 1933). Khaldei's image was taken on 2 May 1945 shortly after the Reichstag had finally fallen. According to Khaldei, the situation around the Reichstag was a 'fluid one' around the time that the photographs were taken. There was continual gunfire as well as pockets of German resistance at this time. The battle was considered still on even though there were tranquil moments on the streets with Russian military vehicles seen below.

    Yevgeni Khaldei started work as a photo journalist for the official Soviet news agency TASS in the mid 1920s but was dismissed in 1948 for 'resting on his laurels' though Khaldei himself attributed his sacking to anti Semitism. He only became known in the West in the 1990s after the fall of communism. His reputation rests mainly on his wartime work and the photographs he took at the Nuremburg Trials of Nazi war criminals in 1946. He used Leica cameras throughout his career.

    Provenance
    It is known that Khaldei was extremely proud of his World War II Leica camera and wore it around his neck to all gatherings and exhibitions regarding photography in his native Russia. In appreciation for bringing his photographs to a wider international audience and for communicating his life and legacy as a photographer Khaldei gifted the Leica to its current American owner. This camera shown at "Witness to History", a solo exhibition of the photographs of Yevgeni Khaldei at the Jewish Museum in New York which opened in January 1997.
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