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GALLERY: Incredible photos of Afghanistan before the wars

Dr Bill Podlich took hundreds of photos while working with UNESCO in 1967 and 1968. Here’s what he saw.
Feb 16th 2013, 8:45 AM 30,042 62

BEFORE THE AMERICAN invasion, before the Russian war, and before the Marxist revolution, Afghanistan used to be a pretty nice place.

An astonishing collection of photos from the 1960s was recently featured by the Denver Post.

Amateur photographer, and college professor, Dr. William Podlich took a leave of absence from his job at Arizona State to work with UNESCO in Kabul, bringing his wife and daughters with him.

Later, son-in-law Clayton Esterson revived the later doctor’s photos and put them on the web.

The response was amazing. Esterson told the Denver Post:

Many Afghans have written comments [on our website] showing their appreciation for the photographs that show what their country was like before 33 years of war. This makes the effort to digitize and restore these photographs worthwhile.

Esterson has kindly given us permission to reproduce Dr Podlich’s photographs here on

More of Dr Bill Podlich’s photographs of Afghanistan, taken in 1967 and 1968, can be seen at his son-in-law Clayton Esterson’s website here.

- Geoffrey Ingersoll

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