Sankova, Galina (b. 1904)

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Sankova, Galina (b. 1904)

Russian photojournalist, considered one of the finest to document World War II. Born in 1904 in Russia.

Born in 1904, Galina Sankova became interested in photography in the 1930s, but initially served the Soviet Union as a nurse when World War II began. She gained access to the Russian front after becoming a correspondent for the magazine Frontovaya Illyustracia (The Front Illustrated). Sankova endured great peril while documenting the war. Against orders, she stormed into battle in order to accurately record the western front and the Briansk and Don campaigns near Stalingrad. She was present at the 1944 northern offensive at Leningrad and even attended to the injuries of 100 wounded soldiers after a battle.

Sankova, who did not go unscathed, suffered serious injuries in an airplane accident, but she was photographing Russian children in a German concentration camp the following day. Her collection of war photographs—published as On the Trail of Horror—made her the preeminent Russian female war photographer, in the distinguished company of Natasha Bode, Olga Ignatovich, Olga Lander and Yelzaveta Mikulina . Her body of work also includes photographs taken in Siberia. Sankova joined the staff of Ogonyok magazine at the war's conclusion.


Rosenblum, Naomi. A History of Women Photographers. NY: Abbeville, 1994.

Ruth Savitz , freelance writer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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