Besides being a great photographer of war, Robert capa was a photojournalist in the broadest sense of the term who knew how to capture emotions, dramas or joys with the same talent and give the world a look that is not without humor, but always benevolent.

Pre-war Europe, 1932-1939

Hungarian Endre Friedmann, immigrant, embarked on reportage photography with talent, brilliance and courage, which made him the father of all photographers. In 1931, when he was only seventeen, Endre was arrested for participating in activities hostile to the Conservative government of Admiral Miklós Horthy.

robert capa photos

robert capa photos

A young immigrant ...

Robert capa s’est donc rendu à Berlin en juillet, où il s’est inscrit à l’Université de politique afin d’étudier le journalisme plutôt que le photojournalisme, ce qui lui aurait permis de concilier son amour de la politique et de la littérature. Peu de temps après, la crise économique mondiale a contraint ses parents à ne plus payer ses études. Robert capa a donc quitté l’école et a obtenu un poste d’assistant à Dephot (Deutscher Photodienst), une agence de premier plan pour le photojournalisme, qui a été fondée en 1928 par l’un de ses compatriotes, Simon Guttmann.

Là, Robert Capa a appris les bases de l’impression et du développement, a été rapidement promu assistant et photographer intern, awarded to him by Simon Guttmann. In November 1932, the Dephot, whose members were not available, sent Friedmann to Copenhagen to photograph Trotsky and give a lecture on the Russian Revolution. This report on the revolutionary in exile was successfully published in the Welttspiegel of December 11, 2008 with the credit “Friedmann-Degephot”.

 

robert-capa-photos

robert-capa-photos

If these photographs Leaving something to be desired from a technical point of view, they already show an intensity and a proximity which then become the “label” Capa. Before he could use this emerging fame, he had to flee Germany. The economic and financial crisis that hit the country since the early 1930s created a favorable situation for the rise of National Socialism and Hitler became Chancellor on January 30, 1933.

Tripled as an immigrant, as a Jew and as a leftist, Endre fled to Vienna and left for Paris in the fall of 1933. He met other photographers, some of whom had become his friends: André Kertész among them. With David Szymin (Seymour), known as “Chim”, a Polish Jewish refugee who worked for the communist weekly Regards, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, he formed a trio of friends who responded to the nickname of “Three musketeers”.

All three, who differed widely in social, religious and geographic origin, were nonetheless bound by a sincere friendship that was to lead to the founding of the Magnum agency after World War II with a few other accomplices. In September 1934, Endre, who was then called André, met Gerda Pohorylle, a German-Jewish refugee three years older of Polish descent, with strong left-wing political views.

 

robert-capa-photos

Robert capa

"La pequeña rubia"

Deeply seductive with her face with green eyes, crowned with red hair (the Spaniards should call her “la pequeña rubia”), André won over. She was not only a companion to him, but also a wise agent. She typed in the captions for his photos, in return he taught her how to shoot.

En octobre 1935, Gerda a commencé à travailler pour Maria Eisner, fondatrice d’Alliance-Photo. L’agence a prospéré suffisamment pour exiger l’utilisation d’un assistant. Au printemps 1936, les ventes étant rares, André et Gerda utilisent une ruse pour redéfinir la légende d’un photographe américain respecté du nom de Robert capa. Gerda a suggéré des photographies d’Andrés comme celle de Robert capa. Les éditeurs ont été tentés de les acheter et de les publier.

The birth of robert capa photos

For his pseudonym Capa, André Friedmann was apparently inspired by the name of Frank Capra, an American director of Sicilian origin whose film New York-Miami (It Happened One Night) received an Oscar in 1934. According to other sources , he was called "Cápa" (shark in Hungarian) since his childhood.

The first name has a similar origin since it was borrowed from Robert Taylor. At the same time, Gerda adopted the pseudonym Taro. Gerda Taro's name loosely matched that of Greta Garbo. In 1934 or 1935, Capa kept a report in Lisieux during one of the many religious ceremonies linked to the cult of Saint Thérèse, of which the National Library acquired a series of "volumes" from France in early 2004.

These very modern photographs were neither published in the “good press” nor in the general press of the time, which preferred general views to local subjects, showing the scale of the demonstrations and the influx of pilgrims.

robert capa photos

Robert capa

The Spanish Civil War

It was the Spanish Civil War that allowed Capa and, to a lesser extent, Gerda Taro to appear as photo reporters. War broke out on July 17, 1936. From August 5, Capa and Taro, sent by Vu editor-in-chief Lucien Vogel, arrived in Barcelona and began photographing the fights, Capa with a Leica and Taro with a Rolleiflex. In the minds of young people, these cameras were not only a means of subsistence but also a weapon to gain international support for the Republican cause.

At Barcelona train station, they photographed the soldiers who left for the Aragon front and separated from their wives or fiancees. They then traveled to Huesca and Zaragoza, an area where many German refugees served in the militias, which facilitated trade.

On his first trip to the Cordoba front, Capa took the famous photo of the Spanish militia being hit by a bullet, and the photo has toured the world and garnered enthusiastic comments. Although very controversial, it is the origin of the Capa myth. It was first published by the French magazine Vu and a year later by Life and is one of the most important images in the history of photography.

Ils sont arrivés à Madrid le 18 novembre; Robert capa a passé la plupart du temps avec le XII. Brigade internationale, dont le commandant, un homme énergique et charismatique, le général Lugar Lukács et le commissaire politique Gustav Regulator, que Robert capa avait rencontré à Paris, faisaient partie d’une association d’écrivains allemands émigrés. Ils ont ensuite photographié les réfugiés d’Almeria et de Murcie.

At the beginning of March 1937, Capa and Taro began working at Tonight, a popular front-line magazine of the youngest creation, whose editor was Louis Aragon. They photographed the battles near Bilbao (an industrial region Franco was interested in resources for) and the Battle of Sollube on May 7. They returned to Madrid at the end of May and settled in the Hotel Florida, the headquarters of journalists and intellectuals, where they met Hemingway.

On May 31, Capa and Taro were in Paso de Navacerrada, near Segovia, to report on the unfortunate Republican offensive described by Hemingway in For Whom the Bell Tolls. Hemingway himself was not present in the operating room and relied not only on the photos of eyewitness Capa, but also on written reports. Back in Madrid, they photographed the Battle of Carabanchel and reported the funeral of General Lukács, killed in Huesca on June 12.

Indochina In April 1954, Capa was invited to host the Manaichi Shimbun in Japan for three months to help start a new photo journal. Life asked him to take the place of an American colleague in Indochina for a month. He agreed despite the objections of some friends.

Overwhelmed by various issues (he had gained weight, suffered under his back and, most importantly, needed money), Capa wanted to prove that he was still the best war photographer. He was a prisoner of his legend. For those who know the end of the story, it's impossible to retrospectively uncover anything preliminary in Capa's latest photos: These women are crying in a cemetery, this sign points to the direction of Thai Binh where he should fall These soldiers from seen through the grass behind.

On May 25, he was accompanied by two Americans, accompanied by a convoy of French soldiers who, after the surrender of Diên Biên Phû, were busy evacuating two now defenseless fortresses. There he died jumping on a mine with a camera in each hand. The French conferred military honors on him in Hanoi. In addition to a giant war photographer, Robert Capa was a photojournalist in the broad sense of the term who knew how to capture emotions, dramas or joys with the same talent and give the world a look that is not without humor, but still benevolent.

 

robert-capa-photos

robert capa photos

robert capa photos

robert capa photos

robert capa photos

robert capa photos

robert capa photos

robert capa photos

robert capa photos

Robert capa

robert capa photos

robert capa photos

robert capa photos

robert capa photos


 

Eric CANTO Photographer: Concert photos, portraits, album covers.

 

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