Life-Sized and See-Through Body Display in Cairo, Egypt, 1954

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During the Cold War, East and West Germany competed against each other with espionage – and exhibitions. To win the favor of politically important Egypt, for example, each country staged industrial expos in Cairo.

At a 1954 exhibition shown here, East Germany showcased products ranging from porcelain to streetcars. The biggest draw, however, was the life-sized, see-through body display. Its transparent, illuminated body showed bones, veins, organs, and arteries in optimum working condition, suggesting the inherent superiority of the communist country’s standards of health and fitness.

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