Ohrdruf, East Germany: 1980-1982. Oblong quarto album (20x29cm.); black string-bound cloth over green pictorial felt boards stamped in gilt, original photographic portrait mounted to upper cover;  card leaves and  tissue guards. Boards a bit rubbed with some brief exposure, a couple of photographs removed, else Very Good overall, used to completion with a few items loosely laid in. Contains 103 original black and white photographs and 104 pieces of ephemera, chiefly color postcards. Also includes four leaves of manuscript text, including a dedication page to the compiler's mother (photograph lacking); and twenty-three original color illustrations on all tissue guards.
Scrapbook and photo album compiled by a young Soviet soldier during his two years in service in Ohrdruf, the former Nazi concentration camp in East Germany turned into an army training camp during the Soviet occupation. From the opening page of text: "This album is from the part of my life spent far from the motherland, in the city of Ohrdruf in the German Democratic Republic. Through the many [two] years affixed to this album's pages, I remember the sleepless nights, anxieties and upheavals, the dusty roads to the firing ranges and proving grounds that we endured for over two years in the detachment of Soviet soldiers in Germany. Remembering that little town in Germany, where I longed for my beloved girlfriend, motherland and friends, where I gave two years of my youth, I will never forget the 730 days, all expressed in a single harsh word - Army." Despite these words, the contents of the album appear much jollier than anticipated, the compiler often posing with his pals, the photographs dotted with photographic postcards of idyllic German villages interleaved with his crude cartoons, perhaps the most compelling depicting a line of Soviet soldiers marching down the street, all their heads turned to ogle a big-bosomed woman in a pink dress. An entertaining compilation produced out of the Cold War thaw. (Kind thanks to our colleague Joseph Kellner with help on the translations.).