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The seal of the Soviet Union created by singers in homage to Stalin, 1947

Palekh in winter during the '50s

Marx and sculptor Kerbel, Moscow, 1970

Since photographer Yevgeny Khaldei donated nearly 100 prints to Colgate, he has been the subject of a major retrospective show in San Francisco, has returned to campus to talk about his work and Aperture will publish Witness to History: The Photographs of Yevgeny Khaldei. This excerpt from the text by professors Alexander and Alice Nakhimovsky, who first brought Khaldei to campus, tells just one of the many stories from the photographer's harrowing and historic career.

The bench at the Nuremberg trials, 1946

The last assult on the Reichstag, 1945

Up to the start of the war, there was an eerie tranquility. A day before it happened Khaldei was in Tarkhany, a town in central Russia that was the birthplace of the poet Mikhail Lermontov. June 21 was the 100th anniversary of the poet's death, and Khaldei was photographing children reciting his verse.

The Nazi invasion began at 4 a.m. By the start of the workday, it was obvious something big had happened.

In the story below, Khaldei remembers how the picture "War is announced" came to be taken.

Life and war juxtaposed in Sevastopol, May 1944

Yasha ran to be with the soldiers every day during the Murmansk bombings.

"So I got back from Tarkhany. I was living at No. 2, Leontievsky St.; the German embassy was right there. They were loading up trucks, there were bags lying all over the place. I looked and understood something had happened. I said to Kishitser (with whom Khaldei was living), `Let's go to the baths.' When we came back it was the same scene, and when we walked in his wife said, `Somebody called you from Fotokhronika, it's urgent, you have to get there right away.' Everyone was afraid even of thinking out loud.

Berlin street scene, April 1945

Soviet fighters over Sevastopol from an American lead-lease bomber, May 1944

"I had seen a crowd gathering. We were in the TASS building, and across the street people were gathering, because TASS had loudspeakers on the roof. So I went outside and quietly pressed the shutter. I had my camera on my neck, my Leica, and I just went out there and took the picture.

"The woman in the picture, the one right up front, later I found her. In general I found a lot of those people many years later. I found three women and the man in the cap, on the right. Practically none of them are alive any more."

Checkers in Murmansk, 1942

War is announced, Moscow, June 22, 1941