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.
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