A Rare Glimpse Behind The Iron Curtain During Stalin-Era USSR By US “Spy” Who Got Deported

As the USSR was busy rebuilding after World War II, an American Martin Manhoff landed in Moscow with a suitcase full of the latest photography equipment – and the skills to use it. Martin travelled throughout Russia by rail and was often accompanied by his wife Jan who recorded their memories in writing. 

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In 1954, two years after arriving, Martin Manhoff was expelled from the USSR for “spying”. After his expulsion to the US, the images Manhoff made lay hidden in a cupboard for more than 60 years. This year, after Manhoff’s death, these crisp, colourful slides of Soviet life were re-discovered by a historian Douglas Smith. 

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