In March 2017, RFE/RL published never-before-seen color images of life in the Soviet Union in the 1950s. They were obtained from a trove of original videos and photographs recently discovered in cardboard boxes in a former auto body shop in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
The archive belonged to U.S. Army Major Martin Manhoff, who spent more than two years in the Soviet Union in the early 1950s serving as assistant army attaché at the U.S. embassy. From his vantage point at the embassy, then located just off Moscow’s Red Square, he filmed what is thought to be the only independent footage of Stalin’s funeral procession. The video provided an unfiltered view of the event that official Soviet reels never conveyed.
In total, RFE/RL published more than 120 photos and videos from the Manhoff Archive in a four-part series of multimedia graphics. The Manhoff Archive project attracted great interest in the region, especially in Russia. It boosted referrals to RFE/RL English and Current Time webpages and brought hundreds of thousands of web hits and video views on social networks.