Central Moscow Hippodrome 1956 © Bock-Schroeder Foundation

USSR 1956

by Peter Bock-Schroeder (1913 - 2001)

In 1956, one year after the peace treaty between Russia and Germany, Peter Bock-Schroeder was the first West-German photographer to get permission to work in the USSR. The Assignment came from a West German Film Production. The task was to travel with a international film crew on the production of the documentary: Russia today, We saw with our eyes.

The Soviets, who came up for all the expenses of the four western camera groups in the USSR, were granted an extensive veto, control and participation rights. The film was approved by the Soviet authorities. In almost a year's production, they created the documentary under unimaginable difficulties.

In spite of the close supervision Peter Bock-Schroeder managed to avoid censorship most of the time. The silent click of his Rolleiflex twin lens camera helped him to work almost unnoticed from the authorities. The night before returning to West-Berlin, Bock-Schroeder sewed most of the exposed rolls of film into his trench coat and brought his work out of Russia into the west.

- Bock-Schroeder Foundation