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The Last Man To Die

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  • snafu
    Senior Member
    • Aug 2013
    • 2825

    The Last Man To Die

    Photographer Robert Capa took a series of photographs in Leipzig, April 1945, that showed the death of a young American soldier by a German sniper and which he (incorrectly) titled The Last Man To Die.
    WARNING - IMAGES OF A DEAD BODY ON THIS LINK - http://www.democratandchronicle.com/...many/30409517/

    On New Year's Eve, 2011, an apartment block in Leipzig suffered a fire which devastated the interior. It was a few weeks away from demolition when a group of Leipzigers, who wanted something to commemorate the fact that - embarrassingly to the East German rulers that they had grown up under - the town had been liberated by the Americans, and this famous set of pictures (banned by the East German government, since the Russians didn't arrive until July 1945) became an icon for the end of the war to them, something to remember: the room in which Capa had stood and photographed this soldiers death on the balcony (which had been removed years before as unsafe) was fairly complete and certainly restorable.
    Capa Haus, as it is now called, has been give a 9m makeover and now has a cafe with a permanent exhibition at street level. In addition, the soldier who was killed now has a road named in his honour, as has Capa.

    Click image for larger version

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    Lehman Riggs (left) and Raymond Bowman, just before Bowman was killed by a sniper

    The full story, including the shocking revelation that his mother refused to believe he was dead because the army didn't send anyone to tell her, despite identifying him from the pictures by the badge visible in the above image on his lapel, and the memories of the friend who had been beside him, Lehman Riggs, is a fascinating read.
    WARNING - IMAGES OF A DEAD BODY ON THIS LINK - https://www.theguardian.com/artandde...cond-world-war
  • Beermat
    1 Registered Rank Loser
    • Oct 2009
    • 3602

    #2
    This tells me that documentary photography has incalculable value. For all the lies the Soviet state fed the children of that city for generations, the truth prevailed - through those images.

    Maybe this thread should be called 'Truth, lies and reality' instead.

    Thanks Snafu.
    Last edited by Beermat; 13th September 2016, 08:18.
    www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
    It's all good. Probably.

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    • Creaking Door
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Sep 2006
      • 9813

      #3
      The most amazing thing to me was the testimony of the other man in the photograph, Lehman Riggs, who, immediately after Raymond Bowman had been shot by the German sniper, manned the machine-gun because 'I had to carry on in his place, as I’d been trained to do'.

      It is that sort of suicidal bravery by the ordinary soldier that always amazes me!

      An incredible documentary photograph by 'the great American war-photographer' Robert Capa...

      ...or perhaps how he should be viewed in modern America: a lying eastern-European with different religious and cultural values who should have been stopped at the border!
      WA$.

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