Moody monotone adventures in war torn 1950s Hungary with UVATERV’s anonymous state photography dept.
UNATERV was an organisation born of misery, chaos and utter carnage. In September of 1944, the retreating German army demolished Hungary’s rail, road, and communication systems and the Soviet Army occupied Hungary from April 1945. To say the Germany army held on in the capital Budapest is an understatement. The Siege of Budapest lasted almost 2 months, from December 1944 to February 1945 (the longest successful siege of any city in WW2, including Berlin), and the city suffered widespread destruction, including the demolition of every bridge over the Danube, all blown up by the Germans in their desperate effort to slow the Soviet advance.
Three years later in 1948, the most prominent specialists in Hungary were invited to join a state-owned company, to restore the country’s ruined infrastructure. Responsible for reconstructing Hungary’s road network, the development of aviation, the planning of railway and water transport facilities plus urban and suburban transport, this new outfit was named UVATERV.
These photographs were taken by unknown UVATERV personnel in the late 1940s/early 1950s. Their purpose was documentation, but as is often the case with governmental photographic surveys, no expense was spared. They were taken with the best equipment available by photographers with superior technical prowess and capture so much more than originally intended.
Pre-resurrection, war torn Hungary.
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