With Leica camera in hands, notebook and gun machine

Great Patriotic War in Shots, by BELTA and TASS photo reporter Vladimir Naumovich Lupeiko opens at National Library of Belarus

Great Patriotic War in Shots, by BELTA and TASS photo reporter Vladimir Naumovich Lupeiko opens at National Library of Belarus.

Juvenile prisoner of Ozarichi concentration camp, Vera Solonovich, recognises herself in exhibition shot

The exhibition presents the history of war and post-war years through the eyes of a man who witnessed the entire duration. Divided into several segments, the show features victorious photos, photos from military years, and the revival of Minsk in the post-war period.

Vladimir Lupeiko was appointed BELTA’s photo correspondent in September 1936. In autumn 1939, he was assigned to the Brest and Pinsk regions and the war ‘caught’ him in Brest. With no opportunity to evacuate, he fought the fascists as a member of the underground during the first months, before joining a partisan brigade in early 1942. Mr. Lupeiko continued his job as a war photographer for the Belarusian Telegraph Agency throughout, capturing scenes of daily partisan life and combat operations between taking up his own gun. He sent film by aircraft to TASS and had his reportage published in many Soviet newspapers, including his well known Blowing-up of the Enemy Echelon, and Fight for Bread photo reports. After the war, he worked for BELTA until 1981.

The famous photo correspondent is now dead but leaves an immortal legacy of photos admired in Belarus and far abroad. Mr. Lupeiko’s works appear in various encyclopaedic editions and albums, and often grace exhibitions. Employees of the National Library characterise his shots as showing ‘curiosity, expressiveness and a feeling for the love between people’. He had ‘the ability to see the unusual in the everyday and displayed great tolerance, allowing him to create many wonderful, vivid shots’. His work will allow future generations to recall those years and learn from them. His huge photo archive is of immense creative, cultural and historical value.

The Great Heroic Deeds! exhibition of military posters is also dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Victory, showing works from the National Library archive. The Partisan and Underground Press exhibition and the Memory of Flaming Years Internet project have additionally been launched, alongside an edition entitled My War: the Great Patriotic War in Photographs by V.I. Arkashev.

By Veniamin Velikhov

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