Adventures in war torn 1950s Hungary with UVATERV’s anonymous state photography dept.

Who and what was UNATERV? In September of 1944, a retreating German army demolished the rail, road, and communications systems and the Soviet Army occupied Hungary from April 1945. The siege of Budapest lasted almost 2 months, from December 1944 to February 1945 (the longest successful siege of any city in the entire war, including Berlin), and the city suffered widespread destruction, including the demolition of all the Danube bridges, which were blown up by the Germans in a 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 devastated 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.

Budapest VII. Dob utca – corner of Elizabeth (Lenin) boulevard. 1957.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Budapest XI. The Hamzsabégi road side of the corner house at 38v a Fehérvári út,
the Kelenföld Reformed Church in the background. 1953.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Dob utca 75-81., KPM (Ministry of Transport and Posts), VII. upstairs kitchen. 1950.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Ozd Metallurgical Works. 1956.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Untitled. 1951.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Untitled. 1951.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Untitled. 1951.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Budapest V. Erzsébet (Stalin) square at the MÁVAUT bus station facing József Attila street.
To the right is the Prince’s Primate (Sándor Wekerle) street. 1951.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Újpest quay at Radnóti Miklós Sziget street, Budapest. Construction of the waterworks. c. 1950.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Nyíregyháza train station, waiting room. 1950.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Nyíregyháza train station, waiting room. 1950.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Ajka. Millet Valley, Jókai mine. 1956.
Fortepan / UVATERV

Budapest V. Nádor utca from Arany János utca facing József nádor tér. 1955.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Budapest XVIII., Ferihegy (now – Ferenc Liszt) International Airport transit. 1958.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Budapest V. Molnár street. March 15 square corner. 1951.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Budapest. Margit körút (Mártírok útja) – Lövőház utca corner, metro construction area. 1952.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Dunaújváros. (Stalin City), Ironworks (Stalin) Road. 1956.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Art Gallery, Innovation and Invention Exhibition. 1949.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Budapest V. Szent István tér – Hercegprímás (Alpári Gyula) street corner,
the area of ​​the metro construction as seen from the Basilica. 1952.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Lake Balaton, Keszthely Island beach. 1958.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Untitled. 1951.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Budapest VIII. Dobozi utca. 1952.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Budapest-XI. October Twenty third (Zoltán-Schönherz) street facing Fehérvári út. 1953.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Budapest VIII. Rákóczi tér 9. 1957.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Hops Pécsi út facing towards Városház tér, to the left is the Mecsek Mining Trust building. 1953.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Budapest XIII. The first block of Dráva Street from Dózsa György út. 1955.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Budapest VIII. Festetics György utca from the Fiumei út junction. 1957.
Fortepan / UVATERV
Budapest VII. Damjanich utca 12. 1958.
Fortepan / UVATERV

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