Saturday, December 13, 2014

Two Pictures From My Family Album

Looking through your family archives and albums (or shoeboxes) can lead to pretty interesting discoveries.

My grandfather Timofey (Timoty) Timofeyevich Samarin was an officer of the Red Army. Due to a perfect knowledge of English he served in London from 1943 to 1949 and took a position of air assistant to military attaché and ambassador of the USSR to the UK (being a 1937 graduate of the Zhukovsky Airforce Academy, he was an aircraft engineer and designer by his military education).

And he was a member of Soviet delegations to after-war conferences that were intended to establish a new, peaceful post-war world order.

Here are just two images from his album, taken during the Paris Peace Conference (29 July to 15 October, 1946). The main aim of the conference was inclusion of former Nazi Germany allies, namely Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Italy and Romania, into the post war world order. The resulted treaties allowed these countries to keep their sovereignty and become members of the UN.

Captions are just like my granddad wrote them down (in my translation).

A representative of Greece lays up a claim to the Rhodopes (Bulgaria).
Elucidation of Alexander, the First Lord of the Admiralty, that Greek solicitations are groundless.
This very Soviet colonel-lieutenant, explaining to Albert Victor Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Hillsborough, that Greece has no grounds to claim the Rhodopes, is my grandfather.

These wonderful images were taken by Gjon Mili, who worked for the Life since 1939 till his death in 1984. In 1958 the American magazine "Popular Photography" included Gjon in the list of the 10 best photographers of the present time.

The 2nd picture is signed by the author: "To Col. Samarine with my very best wishes. Gjon Mili".

I feel really sorry that my granddad passed away in 1980, when I was still too young to ask him questions and understand answers. Anyhow, enjoy the images. This is the real art of photographic journalism indeed!

This publication is my little contribution to the fact that the USSR was standing for the countries it considered its allies. Until now, such countries as Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland have pretty thick grounds to be thankful to the Soviet Union in general and its wartime leader Stalin in particular.

Please do not forget that:
Images by Gjon Mili © Time Inc. Used with permission. 
Right owner prohibits any commercial use of the images and asks me to restrict their republication.

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