During the Great Patriotic War, propaganda and agitation became one of the most powerful tools to maintain a fighting spirit of Red Army soldiers and citizens of the Soviet Union.
"Soviet Media" - posters, leaflets, newspapers, radio and record broadcasts in enemy trenches were called "the third front."
A decision to produce such materials was made in the early days of the Great Patriotic War.
Propaganda and Agitation Department of the All-Union Communist Party and troops of the Red Army were engaged in the formation of images involved in propaganda.
On June 24, 1941, the Sovinformbureau was appointed responsible for propaganda on radio channels and in press.
An ordinary photographer could not get to the front: having a camera and photographing was equated with a war crime.
Photographers sent films to the Sovinformbureau to be retouched. Battle collages were compiled with photographs from various authors and tinted with gouache and ink.
Finished by masters with artistic education - this was called the "art retouch".
Photocopies of collages were made and printed after retouch process was completed.
Due to the large newspaper raster (press feature of that time), it was almost impossible to notice artfully executed manipulation.
After the collapse of the USSR, finding real collages of that period was almost impossible.
Arthur Bondar noticed a picture which looked like an original collage at the flea market in Georgia. A photo was in terrible condition.
Arthur decided to check out flea markets of the former Soviet cities (Tbilisi, Kharkov, Odessa, Kiev, Moscow, St. Petersburg and others), adding more and more interesting collages to his collection.
After Bondar discovered the archive of the Soviet photographer Valery Fominsky, he was contacted by a private collector who possessed a solid number of collages from the World War II.
He wanted to sell his collection to a person who will show these photo collages to the world.
Bondar purchased the most interesting collages – from 15 centimeters to a meter in length. He was astonished how scrupulously they looked and how easy it was to change the story with just a paint and brush.
Arthur Bondar, a Ukranian photographer who discovered a unique archive of photographs from the Great Patriotic War and gained access to rare collages of those years. Lenta.ru publishes the best pictures from his collection and tells a story of their appearance.