Flag Raising over the Reichstag

by cameraman Khaldei, May, 1945

Stepan Andreyevich Neustroyev commanded the battalion that stormed the Reichstag in 1945 and hoisted the flag over the building. This is one of the most famous images of World War Two and only in 1997 did it become known that the photo had been doctored. Photographer Khaldei had made the flag in the photograph himself from red tablecloths from Tass, the Soviet press agency, emblazoned with the Soviet hammer and sickle. Erich Kuby's book The Russians and Berlin, page 60, says:
It seems strange that the Russians should have looked upon the Reichstag, ... now an empty piece of masonry, its windows and doors bricked up, as the symbol of Germany. ... Mednikov describes this historic action in great detail:
"About noon on April 28 [1945], one of our battalions advanced on the Spree. At the same time the commander of the regiment, Col. F.M. Zinchenko, took charge of a red banner ... expressly set aside for planting on the dome. It was Red Banner No. 5 of the [150th Rifle Division] 3rd Shock Army ... [it was] twenty-three-year-old Capt. Stefan Andreyevich Noystroev men [who] battled their way into the building, fighting for every room and corridor. ... Noystroev ordered a shock detachment commanded by Lt. Berest to escort the two standard-bearers ... [who] took nearly half a day to reach the dome. At 10:50 p.m. on April 30, the banner of victory was unfurled over the Reichstag."
Evidently, the photograph of raising the Hammer and Sickle over the Reichstag was not taken at 10:30 at night. Soldiers on the street below are walking about. Most likely the famous photo was taken a day or two later.

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