Map & Cities



Lotte Jacobi visited these seven cities, from which she also made day trips, in the Soviet Union in 1932-33. 

Moscow, the capital of Russia and the USSR (August 23-October 21, 1932, January 1933): On August 23, 1932 Jacobi arrived in Moscow, where she was based until moving on to Dushanbe (Stalinabad), Tajikistan, on October 21st. The photographs Jacobi made in and around Moscow include St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Kremlin, Hotel Metropol, and other architecture; the Sickle and Hammer (the Moscow Metallurgical) plant; and portraits of artists and writers, politicians and people on the street. 

Michurinsk, Russia (September 5-8, 1932): From her base in Moscow, Jacobi made a three-day trip 250 miles (400 km) southeast to Michurinsk from September 5th-8th. She focused her work on agriculture, both workers in cotton fields and the laboratory and specimens of the celebrated botanist Ivan Vladimirovich Michurin, after whom the city of Kozlov was renamed in 1932. She made a number of portraits of Michurin as well.

Stalinabad (Dushanbe), the capital of Tajikistan (October 27-December 3, 1932): On October 21st, Jacobi left Moscow for Stalinabad (now Dushanbe), the capital of Tajikistan. After an 1860-mile trip (2991 km) south, she arrived in Stalinabad on October 27th and stayed until November 25th. Beyond scenes of tradesmen and women in the bazaar, the capital of Tajikistan offered opportunities for Jacobi to observe leaders of Tajikistan, an October Revolution Day parade, a women’s institute, a private home, classes for both adults and children, a cotton kolkhoz (collective farm), a club in a cotton factory, a party for local communists, and the theater. 

Bukhara, Uzbekistan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (ca. December 5-6, 1932): Jacobi set out from Stalinabad and arrived in Bukhara, one of the celebrated sites on the old Silk Road, for a short stay on December 5th. Before the Soviets destroyed much of Bukhara in the 1920s, the city’s splendor revolved around an astonishing array of Islamic monuments. By the time Lotte Jacobi arrived there, it had become the capital of the Uzbekistan Soviet Socialist Republic. Jacobi photographed Islamic monuments and scenes of daily life on the streets of the city.

Samarkand, Uzbekistan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (December 7-10, 1932): From Bukhara, Jacobi went to another historic Islamic city on the Silk Road, Samarkand. In addition to being an important center for trade, Samarkand was the agricultural center of Central Asia due to the rich soil in the area. Timur made the city his capital in 1369 CE, and during his thirty-five-year reign, he spared no expense on the city, bringing in craftsmen and scholars from across the empire. Samarkand’s rich cosmopolitan atmosphere made it one of the artistic and scientific capitals of the world. As in Bukhara, Jacobi photographed Islamic monuments and street scenes, in addition to a silk factory and its daycare center.

Khodjent (Khujand), Tajikistan (December 13-20, 1932): After visiting Bukhara and Samarkand, Jacobi went back to Tajikistan, this time to Khodjent, a historic site at the western end of the fertile Ferghana Valley. Khodjent had been part of the Uzbekistan Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) until the USSR redrew the boundaries of its Central Asian states and transferred it to Tajikistan in 1929. Jacobi made candid photographs of various people on the streets, collective farms and factories, and the historic district, with its crumbling mosque and fortification walls.

Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan (December 21-28, 1932): Lotte Jacobi arrived in Tashkent, located in an oasis on the Chirchik river at the foothills of the Tian Shan mountains, on December 21st. The ancient city was a welcome stop for caravans of traders traveling the ancient silk road. As the capital of the Uzbekistan Soviet Socialist Republic and the largest city in Central Asia, Tashkent was an ideal place for Jacobi to photograph what she referred to as “Tashkent contrasts and types [of people].” She photographed both local and Russian leaders, a high school, a “communist university,” and people in the Chorushu; meaning “four ways,” this was the huge marketplace at the center of the city. 

Moscow, Russia, again! (January 1 to February 1 (?), 1933)After spending the rest of October, November, and December in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Jacobi returned to Moscow for the rest of her stay in the USSR, from January 1 to around February 1, 1933, when she returned to Berlin.