Dmitri Baltermants was a prominent Soviet photojournalist. He was born in Warsaw, Poland. His father served in the Imperial Russian Army and was killed in the First World War.
Baltermants graduated from the Moscow State University to become a math teacher in a Military Academy, but fell in love with photography and began a career in the field of photojournalism in 1939. He was an official Kremlin photographer, worked for the daily Izvestia and was picture editor of the popular magazine Ogonyok.
During World War II, Baltermants covered the battle of Stalingrad, and the battles of the Red Army in Russia and Ukraine. He was twice wounded.
Just like his fellow photographers covering the Red Army during the war, Baltermants’ images were always censored by Soviet authorities in order to select only the ones that reflected on the positive sides of service in order to help boost morale. Some of his most captivating photos were suppressed, and became public much later, in the 1960s.
One of the more famous images, called “Grief”, depicts a 1942 Nazi massacre of Jews in the Crimean city of Kerch. It shows the grief of village women as they search for the bodies of their loved ones. A powerful oversaturated sky above, burnt in during the printing of the photo, makes the image even more dramatic. This Image was used on the cover of the Dir En Grey album, The Marrow of a Bone.