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The Commissar Vanishes
But Yezhov's violent methods eventually provoked a backlash, and in the late 1930s he fell out of favor. He was arrested in 1939 and executed in February 1940. In a subsequently released version of the Moscow-Volga canal photo (bottom), Yezhov was no longer present. He had been removed by political censors.
This pair of images gave its name to The Commissar Vanishes, a book (and later museum exhibit) by David King that explores the history of Soviet photo falsification. It has become one of the most famous examples of how totalitarian regimes often doctor photos in an attempt to rewrite history.
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