Moscow: Voenizdat NKO SSSR, 1944-1945. Generally, very good. No back cover of #1, 4 for 1945, tears, creases and stains, small fragments of spines occasionally lost.
The organ of the Main Political Directorate of the Red Army published in 1942-1960. Titled initially as ‘Frontline illustration’, it was issued after WWII as ‘Red Army Illustrated Newspaper’ (1945-1947) and merely ‘Illustrated Newspaper’ (1947-1960).
The periodical demonstrated wartime chronicle through relevant pictures by frontline photographers and filmmakers, as well as photomontages. A. Zhitomirskii and B. Shashkov were credited as the main artists of Voenizdat publishing house and most likely designed all issues. Alexander Zhitomirsky (1907-1993) found the ideal niche for his creativity in political propaganda. Starting to combine photographs in the late 1920s, he underwent the influence of Rodchenko, Lissitzky, Klutsis, Stenberg brothers and experienced the visual language of communication. His absolute oeuvre was the design of magazine ‘Front Illustrierte für Deutschen Soldaten’ during World War II. It gained success because of grotesque photomontages against Nazis. At the same time, ‘Frontline illustration’ oriented for Soviet people glorified the victories of the Red Army and Soviet people showing positive photomontages only. The design of this magazine might include some of Zhitomirsky’s works that would never be reprinted after.
Apart from A. Shaikhet, most photographers were little-known military correspondents: S. Gurarii, B. Kudoiarov, G. Belianin, B. Sokolov, M. Posel’skii, N. Petrov, M. Redkin, A. Arkhipov, S. Loskutov, L. Velikzhanin, A. Ustinov, N. Asnin and many others.
Just like in the previous years of the war, the issues showcased various demolished buildings and factories, ruined streets, military actions in different areas (in 1944-1945, actions in Budapest, East Prussia, Transylvania were captured).
In 1945, the magazine promoted the liberation of Warsaw, Riga, Budapest and triumphal marches of the Red Army across the cities. It presented a restored railway station, new living buildings and kindergartens, enthusiasm of workers, meetings of people of occupied territories and Red Army soldiers. Special attention was paid to the role of women who became snipers, pilots, frontline physicians, factory shock-workers, tractor drivers, farmers, etc. Issue #11 for 1945 contains photographs of graffiti left by Red Army soldiers on the walls of the Reichstag building.
The double-page photomontage in #12 for 1944 consists of the primary Soviet radio announcer Yuri Levitan and his listeners: a child, elders and women left by soldiers in the rear, young female shock-workers and members of a Moscow region kolkhoz. Another montage also shows off Soviet victories but features soldiers and their personal successes. Issue #21 for 1944 contains a double-page photomontage devoted to ground-attack aircraft Il-2 that was mass-produced and actively used during the war.
The periodical included caricatures by the most notable satirist of the Soviet era Boris Efimov and well-known trio Kukryniksy, as well as Iu. Ganf, I. Semenov, V. Fomichev, L. Smekhov, et al.
Worldcat shows issues #12, 21 for 1944 and #2 for 1945 located in LoC.