Photo album from the Korean War.
Oblong folio (ca. 25 x 28 cm) album covered with red silk fabric. 85 mounted original photos (10,5 x 14,5 and 14,5 x 21 cm), each with Russian inscription glued underneath. Cover rubbed and bumped, slightly soiled.
Very interesting documentary about the first two years of the Korean War from a North Korean perspective. The first photo is a close-up of the leader Kim Il-sung (1912-94), who can be seen in another scene with reporting soldiers. Also portrayed are various war heroes (Kim Gi-U, Han Nam-Su and the pilot Kim Gi-Ok) and officers, including two photographs of the commander of the 6th Division, Pang Ho San (portrait; in the command post with officer's staff) as well as honours and awards for soldiers. Also on display are airplanes, tanks and cannons of the Korean People's Army, as well as scenes from war missions with bomb smoke, corpses and debris fields, bombed-out factories, shot-down American airplanes and captured tanks, the capture of American soldiers and prisoners of war, operations in the field hospital, a bombed-out street and a demonstration in Pyongyang and the reception of a Polish delegation.
The quality, thematic selection and careful arrangement of the photographs show that a professional or at least an experienced photographer was at work here. The exclusivity of many representations, to which an ordinary photographer would not have had access, suggests that the photographer must have been officially accredited: most likely it was a Russian war correspondent or press officer who produced the documentation on behalf of the Russian government or army. This album is a one-off production or may have been produced in small quantities for selected recipients.
While the Korean War is well documented from an American and Western perspective by numerous published and private photographs, original photographs from the opposite perspective are hardly to be found. Very rare.