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Imaging Resource unpacks the mystery of Robert Capa's 'Mexican suitcase'

By dpreview staff on Apr 6, 2013 at 00:20 GMT

Imaging Resource has published an interesting article by Steve Meltzer, which examines the mystery of the so-called 'Mexican suitcase' - a long-lost collection of images taken by the late Robert Capa.

Before escaping Europe ahead of the Nazi invasion of France, Capa entrusted a large number of negatives to a friend for safekeeping. The collection went missing, and was presumed lost for decades until being identified in Mexico in 1995. Robert Capa's brother, Cornell Capa, finally got to see the long-lost negatives in 1997 - forty three years after his brother's death.

One of the 4500+ images found in the Mexican suitcase, this shot shows a Republican soldier carrying a wounded boy in Teruel, Spain in 1937. Photo © International Center of Photography / Magnum

The negatives in the so-called 'Mexican suitcase' were from Capa's coverage of the Spanish Civil War. He travelled to Spain in 1936 and shot hundreds of rolls of film during the conflict, which these days is relatively little-known outside Spain.

At the time, thousands of young people from all over Europe joined the socialist Rebublicans in a doomed effort to stop General Franco's Nationalist forces - who were militarily supported by the Nazis - from taking control of the country. Among Capa's companions were author and correspondant Ernest Hemingway, and Gerda Taro - a young photographer with whom Capa had a passionate relationship before she was killed in 1937, while covering the Battle of Brunette. British author George Orwell was also among the anti-Franco combatants (although he later became a fierce critic of Soviet Communism). 

Capa (right) and Gerda Taro, in Paris in 1935. Capa and Taro worked together as photographers during the Spanish Civil War and had a passionate relationship until she was killed in 1937.

Photo © International Center of Photography / Magnum 

The contents of the 'Mexican suitcase' are now in the hands of the International Center for Photography, in New York. They comprise more than 4500 images on 126 rolls of film. You can learn more about the story of the long-lost suitcase on their website

Comments

Total comments: 95
fastprime
By fastprime (Apr 11, 2013)

Last night I watched an excellent documentary on the Mexican Suitcase on Netflix.

0 upvotes
dtimoce
By dtimoce (Apr 10, 2013)

For those interested, in Paris there's currently an exhibition dedicated to the mexican suitcase at the Museum of Jewish Art and History http://www.mahj.org/fr/3_expositions/expo-Valise-mexicaine-Capa-Taro-Chim.php?niv=2&ssniv=1

0 upvotes
boothrp
By boothrp (Apr 7, 2013)

Nice to read about pictures instead of cameras.

7 upvotes
Osscat
By Osscat (Apr 7, 2013)

Anyone notice that the picture of Taro and Capa is printed the wrong way round.

Well done IR :(

1 upvote
cjep1
By cjep1 (Apr 7, 2013)

If you look at the images on the ICP website you can see that the printed text in top is wrong way round, but in the buttom the KODAK print is right way.

I think ICP know what they're doing :-)

2 upvotes
Rick Knepper
By Rick Knepper (Apr 8, 2013)

The International Center of Photography provides many ways for like-minded folks to communicate. I'm sure you'd be free to be as pretentious as you would like.

2 upvotes
EYap
By EYap (Apr 9, 2013)

It's clear that it's not a literal presentation of the negative chip. The film is a negative but the inset photo (stripped in, of course) is a positive image. I believe the container negative with the sprocket holes is what is called a graphic device.

I don't see why we need to point out errors that are not errors.

1 upvote
boothrp
By boothrp (Apr 20, 2013)

If you hadn't seen "panchromati" reversed, I bet it wouldn't have mattered that the picture was the wrong way round. Therefore, who cares ?

0 upvotes
ThomasSwitzerland
By ThomasSwitzerland (Apr 7, 2013)

Remarkable pictures that reflected a generation.

Can digital express this that way?

Not now. We have to learn the meaning behind posing. To learn about true expressions.

Being optimistic. Even with a Smart Phone it is possible now to capture those rare moments of life.

I am happy to have my Android.

2 upvotes
Alejandro del Pielago
By Alejandro del Pielago (Apr 7, 2013)

In the context, it´s a must to watch "The shadow of the iceberg", "a 2007 documentary film that claims the photograph The Falling Soldier by Robert Capa was staged" (Wikipedia).

I watched the film yesterday and talked with the director, Raul Ribenbauer. The story is AMAZING. You can find the film in youtube

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Joe Sesto
By Joe Sesto (Apr 10, 2013)

If you follow the links to IR then follow the links in their article you end up with a 100 page PDF doc about Gerta Taro. (It is an English translation of a Spanish presentation and a page mihght consist of just 1 frame.) Keep going and you will run into a study proposing the soldier was slipping on the rough terrain...not near the battle...in a practice exercise...and his Mauser was not cocked to fire. A detailed study of the image has strongly suggested that it was taken by Gerta Taro. It was reported that Capa would never discuss the matter. I'm just relaying what I read in the last couple hours...I found her story fascinating...but trajic

0 upvotes
xc1427
By xc1427 (Apr 7, 2013)

was he close enough ?

0 upvotes
stevo23
By stevo23 (Apr 7, 2013)

This is lovely! It's great to find stuff like this. The series from Vivian Maier is also compelling in a similar way. I could look at both all day long.

0 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (Apr 6, 2013)

What a wonderful discovery!

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Stacey_K
By Stacey_K (Apr 6, 2013)

Imagine how small the likelihood of these being preserved in a digital format would have been. Does anyone actually believe the digital files we have today will still exist or be readable in 50 years?

2 upvotes
Erik Johansen
By Erik Johansen (Apr 6, 2013)

Yes! I do.

11 upvotes
elihu252
By elihu252 (Apr 6, 2013)

What kind of question is that. Of course they will. It's called replication. Nobody shoots to an SD once then stores it away like a roll of film.

Plus, many of our current storage mediums are likely to last longer than 50 years, but they haven't been out very long so we won't know for sure until another 40 years.

3 upvotes
filmrescue
By filmrescue (Apr 6, 2013)

elihu I believe is right. One advantage digital has over film is that it gets copied and shared a good deal more than film prints did and to add to that, important images are copied and shared even more.

4 upvotes
Bruce McL
By Bruce McL (Apr 6, 2013)

Today these photos would not have been lost in the first place. They would have been uploaded to an agency a day or two after they were taken, probably before the photographers left the war zone. The photos would have had a greater impact on society in the past 50 years if that technology was available back then.

And yes, I believe that Getty Images and other companies that archive photos will be around in 50 years in some form.

3 upvotes
taotoo
By taotoo (Apr 6, 2013)

Today these photos would be insignificant as they would be dozens out of millions.

9 upvotes
tongki
By tongki (Apr 7, 2013)

It's all about HABITS and DICIPLINE

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Apr 7, 2013)

You are absolutely right taotoo. The threat against today's images is not if any (or most) of them disappears. Its al that do survive that is the real threat. Its simply too many.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Apr 8, 2013)

i do

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Apr 8, 2013)

I wouldn't want to be the judge but digital or film, photos that are truly one of a kind would seem inherently more valuable than stuff everybody takes pictures of. Here, we have a unique historical record. OTOH, if we lose somebody's shots of Yosemite, life will go on.

0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (Apr 8, 2013)

Already made 2-3 backup copies of my photos. Upload a lot to Flickr, then some to 500px and Facebook. Plus some people making copies for themselves. So I think some will survive after 40 years.

0 upvotes
rrr_hhh
By rrr_hhh (Apr 6, 2013)

"The negatives in the so-called 'Mexican suitcase' were from Capa's coverage of the Spanish Civil War. He travelled to Spain in 1936 and shot hundreds of rolls of film during the conflict, which these days is relatively little-known outside Spain."
What !? Relatively little-known ? This can only be true for the Americans who were brainwashed by years of anti-communist propaganda and whose government cared for good relationships with fascist Franco government.

This tragedy is well known in the EU, where official government kept quiet while the progressists and democrates were massacrated. The controversy is still raging in Spain, where the history of those crimes need to be revisited.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
25 upvotes
beckmarc
By beckmarc (Apr 6, 2013)

I agree. It is very well known. Perhaps in the US it may not be well known but even then if you study English literature even at a high school level it usually comes up when discussing George Orwell and related authors. A basic high school European history course usually covers it as part of WWII. A lot of idealistic young men and women went to defend socialist & democratic ideals including the US Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

9 upvotes
Petrus Magnus
By Petrus Magnus (Apr 6, 2013)

Indeed, and not only did British writer Orwell write about the Spanish Civil War, but also Hemingway, who is of course American--in his celebrated novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls", which also made it into a well-known film featuring Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035896/?ref_=sr_1

8 upvotes
Maaku
By Maaku (Apr 6, 2013)

"Americans who were brainwashed by years of anti-communist propaganda"...? Communist regimes murdered 100-150 million people, taking and maintaining power.

13 upvotes
John Koch
By John Koch (Apr 6, 2013)

Oh, yes, foreigners know all about Spanish politics and history! Oh, yes, by way of old novels and movies. And Americans were "brainwashed" to prefer a Spain that was neutral in WWII and pro-West during the Cold War, rather than a failed state disputed between Anarchists and Communists. Oh, yes, and it is well-known that the alterative to Franco was a progressive commune of artist-workers. A nasty brute, that Orwell, for having some qualms about that vision. To this day, many literati conserve quaint ideas of "the cause," judged on very scanty grounds.

Fortunately, both the PSOE and PP are more enlightened than their ancestors--and certainly better informed than foreigners, other than perhaps H. Thomas.

Unfortuntately, history is nearly always taught as hagiography, hero stories, or fables of light and darkness.

5 upvotes
SheikYerbouti
By SheikYerbouti (Apr 6, 2013)

I see the dumb-brigade is out again in full force. Really, Maaku, you have obviously no idea what you're talking about otherwise you wouldn't repeat such outrageous and long disproved lies. You have probably never bothered to inform and educate yourself about history about Marxism, about Anarchism ... couldn't be arsed to read? Instead you have developed strong opinions on subjects you know nothing about. What has happened to you? Been robert-conquested? Been propagandized to the hilt?

11 upvotes
l_d_allan
By l_d_allan (Apr 6, 2013)

Agree with Maaku. In hindsight, Stalin was at least as bad as Hitler, if not worse. While Capra, Hemmingway, etc. may have been idealists, the commies thought of them as "useful idiots" and uninformed, naïve "fellow travelers".

4 upvotes
roustabout66
By roustabout66 (Apr 6, 2013)

Count me as part of the "dumb brigade" but maybe you can enlighten me. How many of his own citizens did Stalin kill? How many of their own citizens did the Khmer Rouge kill? How many of their own citizens have the Communist Chinese killed?

2 upvotes
Russ Houston
By Russ Houston (Apr 7, 2013)

Wow, nice anti-American screed. Ignorance knows no national boundaries.

I thought that statement about the Spanish Civil War being "little known" was very misguided, but your response takes the cake.

0 upvotes
contadorfan
By contadorfan (Apr 7, 2013)

I find Robert Conquest more convincing than SheikYerbouti.

0 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Apr 7, 2013)

A lot of stupid people here, how many has america killed? After all the us Wiped out two CITIES in japan with nukes, ripped teeth out of the japanese, and are now committing war crimes equal to stalins and hitlers.

3 upvotes
Raincheck
By Raincheck (Apr 7, 2013)

What a load this thread is. Can someone get a shovel and clean this crap up? Actually, one can clean it up with first-hand historical coverage and (thank God) photographs, but it stinks too bad, so just grab a shovel.

0 upvotes
facedodge
By facedodge (Apr 7, 2013)

How did this turn into an anti America rant? Talk about propaganda! Next we'll hear about the great satan.

0 upvotes
Maaku
By Maaku (Apr 8, 2013)

HA ha ..! A true believer in 2013..? Sorry to give you bad news Comrade Yerbouti , but Capitalism won. If you were better informed you'd know that the Soviet Union is no more the followers of Chairman Mao are the Earths greatest capitalists and Russian millionaires are buying mansions in Miami Beach.
I know the history of Marxism , It barely lasted 100 yrs at gunpoint.

2 upvotes
Crac1
By Crac1 (Apr 6, 2013)

Excellent article. Thank you.
While the professional photographer dies quickly, it recalls that photography has shown human history for many years.

3 upvotes
Mike5076
By Mike5076 (Apr 6, 2013)

Interesting read of the comments.

1st Civil War - Is the penultimate contradiction of terms.
2nd Every image showing the atrocities is worthwhile.
3rd True Bravery - is awe inspiring - a photographer taking pictures, knowing the great peril of capture - is inspiring - regardless of "the side" they are on. This is not the same as the soldier stoked by hate committing an atrocity.
4th In the U.S. the Spanish Uncivil War is effectively unknown by anyone under 50 and most certainly under 30.
and lastly, and most importantly, the sharing of an image is one of the most powerful thing anyone can do. Please take a moment to ponder how the speed of shared images has changed the world landscape over the 36 months, 36 years. Images = information and information is power. The more that is shared the better for all of us.

0 upvotes
Paul JM
By Paul JM (Apr 6, 2013)

Goodness Mike. The 'penultimate contradiction of terms'. I think you need to pick up your dictionary and confirm exactly what 'penultimate' means.
The 'second last' contradiction of terms ? What on earth do you mean ? Perhaps you should 'ponder' that one.

3 upvotes
Mike5076
By Mike5076 (Apr 6, 2013)

Thanks for the corrections - lazy on my part. Ultimate contradiction perhaps.

Reminds me of the misused "Peruse" which means to study carefully.

I have been known for my malapropisms - though this time it is not the case.

0 upvotes
D300SandV1shooter
By D300SandV1shooter (Apr 8, 2013)

I found the description of civil war as "the penultimate contradiction of terms" thought-provoking.

1 upvote
tazmac
By tazmac (Apr 6, 2013)

Lot of early sd cards! :)

0 upvotes
mariatxe
By mariatxe (Apr 6, 2013)

As we say in spanish "una imagen vale más que mil palabras" (something like; an imagine is worth more than a thousand words).
Thanks to these imagines we do not forget our past. Nowadays we find out stories in our families about this war that we never know and were there.

This story reminds me another person, Francisco Boix. He was a prisioner in the camp of Mauthausen-Gusen and the photograph of the camp. Thanks to his brabery and his friends who knew its value, some copies of the photographs were hidden.
I will always remerber the first time I saw the photograps about holocaust, incredible to believe what a human being can do.
Sorry my english.

10 upvotes
dmartin92
By dmartin92 (Apr 6, 2013)

Time is the greatest artist. Even some of the mundane photos we take today will be fascinating in 125 years. Already some of the mundane digital photos I took with my Canon G2 in 2002 are starting to become interesting for me. With the years piled on top of the years, that will only increase...

5 upvotes
John Koch
By John Koch (Apr 6, 2013)

...until the person who took the pictures is gone, and no one remembers the people or scenes in the pictures, or whether there were any pictures on the HDD of a junked PC or some sack of discs.

0 upvotes
everiman
By everiman (Apr 7, 2013)

My money would be that digital media stored on the internet, especially on social sharing sites will be preserved for as long as Homo technologicus survives. Our ability to increase and add digital storage continues to outpace our ability to fill it :-)

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Apr 6, 2013)

Amazing how images imbeded on film media would last for decades, free from being made obsolete and useless by constant digital upgrades and never ending newer software versions of image readers.

.

11 upvotes
elihu252
By elihu252 (Apr 6, 2013)

Your files don't magically become obsolete when a new software version is released.

Any digital image from any time period can still be accessed today on just about any computer. You can also create copies / backups / conversions of digital images very easily.

Film is a wonderfully stable medium, but it doesn't compare to having digital files with the now abundant forms of cloud backup.

2 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Apr 7, 2013)

Tell me what digital images files you have found that now are unreadable.

0 upvotes
RoelHendrickx
By RoelHendrickx (Apr 6, 2013)

Great story, and it was pleasant to see that that first frame was apparently shot on stock from Gevaert in Belgium. My late father-in-law used to work there.
A bit of trivia with regard to the second photograph featured here (Hemingway is in the full article): listen to the song "Taro" by Alt-J.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
h2k
By h2k (Apr 6, 2013)

I find it interesting that you link to stories on Imaging Resource.

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Apr 6, 2013)

It's a nice piece, an interesting story, and great pictures - why wouldn't we? We've always been big fans of IR.

9 upvotes
dmartin92
By dmartin92 (Apr 6, 2013)

Look at the old black and white film "Miracle on 34th Street", from 1947. The Santa Claus from Macy's, on 34th Street, starts sending some of the customers to Gimbel's department store, and that turns out to be good for business at Macy's.

0 upvotes
Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee

I've read extensively about the Spanish Civil War. Both sides behaved very badly. Franco was a psychopath. So were many of the leaders on the other side. How otherwise could you explain the castration and crucifixion of priests, the throwing of prisoners into the Ronda Gorge and so on? On one side you had the Beast, Hitler supporting the Army, on the other the Beast Stalin.
That, unfortunately is how most civil wars are. We had a small civil war in Ireland after Independence and though only about 500 people were killed, it was not a shining example of fair fighting on either side.

7 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (Apr 6, 2013)

F***ing hot!

This is a part of history, this is where all started for the WWII, this is where dictators put europe and then the world in fire! This is guernica.
I remind that George Orwell go to spanish war too, where it has been hurt, while fighting against dictator's Franco.

Robert Capa, as famous other people, from europe, fought against dictor, and the tragedy that occured in spain. Guernica is the most troubling witness for an artist (at least I see it personnaly that way).

I hope there will be gentlemen (and women) all around the world to fight against dictatoriship, against army state, to promote democraty and human rights. Robert Capa, Gerda Tao, Geroge Orwell, Pablo Picasso are the one that gave us memories about that part of history.

8 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (Apr 6, 2013)

I was living in france, my father was a spanish teacher and translator, with spanish friends, and we began to go each and every summer after Franco's death.

I didn't understand on the 70's why at some point we did go to spain each summer, I discovered it later.

1 upvote
steelhead3
By steelhead3 (Apr 6, 2013)

It is a great commentary of the last generation's response to the forces of left and right being played out before WWII. Most people seemed to be in the antifaciest mold after the war, but we allowed Franco to persist for 30 years. Many now seem to support the right as correct, not realizing hate is not going to earn you a ticket to heaven.

2 upvotes
fad
By fad (Apr 6, 2013)

The headline is highly misleading. There has been no mystery to unpack for quite a few years. ICP had a major exhibition last year. There is no news in the article that is linked to. Who edits this website? Do they not follow what is going on at ICP?

I don't thank any well-educated person is unaware of the Spanish Civil War and how equally vile both the fascists and the Communists were.

A good friend from college was named after one of the martyrs of the Abraham Lincoln brigade, but by the time I met him, he and his father were dedicated, idealistic anti-communists.

3 upvotes
John Koch
By John Koch (Apr 6, 2013)

What camera, please? What film and lens specs?
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4f/Gerda_Taro-Anonymous.jpg/220px-Gerda_Taro-Anonymous.jpg

0 upvotes
ryanshoots
By ryanshoots (Apr 6, 2013)

Yes, because that is the most important thing about these photos. Oh and they should have jazzed them up with Silver Efex. The contrast is way too low.

And whatever camera did the shooting, we should say that's nothing I couldn't do with my phone in good light.

On a more serious note, nice to see these photos.

6 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Apr 8, 2013)

No, because cameras are a less ideological topic we can all see, touch, and test. A bloody conflict that ended 75 years ago is much more difficult to assess on the basis of ghostly images fetched from a long-lost suitcase. Were the photographer franquista, the images might be similar, but (oh, boy) imagine the shift in sentiment. Physical attributes of the camera are also underrated, if you think there would be any photos at all without cameras. Another advantage of discussing old cameras, as opposed to explicitly political photos, is that fanboy wars of the 1930s have certainly all been forgotten.

0 upvotes
Joe Sesto
By Joe Sesto (Apr 10, 2013)

If you are asking what camera Gerta used...there are shots of her using a Leica. I doubt there is any info on the camera that Anonymous used...except it obviously was a 35mm. Though Leica had to be the most common in Europe at the time.

0 upvotes
NotSteve
By NotSteve (Apr 6, 2013)

Geez, who wrote this and where are you from?:

"which these days is relatively little-known outside Spain."

Please don't ascribe your level of ignorance to your readership, or even the general public. The Spanish Civil War is well-known around the world, not the least of which because progressive people from all over the world came to Spain to fight against the fascists and they are remembered for their heroism.

One COULD say that the history of those who were part of the fascists and rose to prominence later, like Juan Antonio Samaranch, has been sanitized/covered up and thus is not well-known.

My criticism also applies to the peeps at Imaging Resource, whose silly ignorance you've happily repeated in this post.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
14 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Apr 6, 2013)

Well, actually, I disagree - I would say that the Spanish Civil War is relatively little-known, since WWII came so quickly on its heels, and partly, too, because its causes were so incredibly complicated (and historic) and its aftermath was equally complex.

'relatively' would be the key word here.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
14 upvotes
John Koch
By John Koch (Apr 6, 2013)

"The Spanish Civil War is well-known around the world..."

Humbug. Poorly understood at the time, and even worse now. Exactly what is "progressive"? Spanish Republicans were quite divided and not all were innocent of attrocities. Check Hugh Thomas.

1 upvote
Joe Wiegman
By Joe Wiegman (Apr 6, 2013)

In America at least, the dumbed down and politically correct history taught in schools barely educates students about WWII, much less the Spanish Civil War of the '30s.

9 upvotes
kodachromeguy
By kodachromeguy (Apr 6, 2013)

Joe is right. If you said "Spanish Civil War" to the typical high school student in the US, they would have no idea what you were talking about. And a majority would not be able to identify the country on a map. Non-US readers here would be shocked to know how badly education has been dumbed down in the USA. US readers already know...

8 upvotes
NotSteve
By NotSteve (Apr 6, 2013)

Barney, I would say that the Spanish Civil War is "relatively" more well-known than Robert Capa and his Mexican suitcase, even on a photography website.

John (and Barney), I won't contradict you on the fact that the Spanish Civil War may be poorly understood. However, as for saying that complexity correlates with or even leads to obscurity, there are any number of examples to disprove this. One COULD say that complexity correlates with how misunderstood something is amongst the general public and that seems to be what you are saying. But that was not my point.

And yes, the poor state of education in certain countries was a point I was making in my original post.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Apr 6, 2013)

I'd agree with NotSteve that the Spanish Civil war is quite well known throughout Europe at least, because so many families outside of Spain were touched by it. And anyone who has some interest in arts must have heard of Picasso's Guernica.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Apr 6, 2013)

@ kodachromeguy...

you wrote:

" If you said "Spanish Civil War" to the typical high school student in the US, they would have no idea what you were talking about."

Sadly.... if you said "American Civil War" to tjhe typical high school student in the US, they would also have no idea what you were talking about. We stopped teaching history in our schools years ago, to enable us to spend more time teaching about global warming, diversity, recycling and self esteem.

4 upvotes
Bali_Mirage
By Bali_Mirage (Apr 6, 2013)

"thousands of young people from all over Europe joined the socialist Rebublicans in a doomed effort to stop General Franco's Nationalist forces - who were militarily supported by the Nazis"

Why didn't you mention the fact that the "socialist Rebublicans" were militarily and politically supported by the Soviet Union? Quite a few of those "young people" ended up being executed by Stalin's commissars.

4 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Apr 6, 2013)

Camera website... photography-related story...

4 upvotes
Bali_Mirage
By Bali_Mirage (Apr 6, 2013)

The article about Capa is political. Or didn't you notice?

0 upvotes
mark murphy
By mark murphy (Apr 6, 2013)

I think it would be better to describe those brave young people as Idealists. Their later betrayal shouldn't undermine the hope they represented at that time in a battle against Fascism.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
9 upvotes
NotSteve
By NotSteve (Apr 6, 2013)

Your post is irrelevant because the DPR post is about is about photography from the Spanish Civil War, not gratuitous, anachronistic, Cold War trolling. Plenty of places you can sow doubt about the need to oppose fascism elsewhere on the internet, mein Herr.

3 upvotes
Luke Kaven
By Luke Kaven (Apr 6, 2013)

It's unfortunate that DPR thinks of itself only as a camera website. With a properly-developed side specialty in editorial photography for art's sake, DPR could raise awareness of photography itself as well, to the benefit of all concerned. Simon knows I have tried for over a year to make this work for you.

2 upvotes
Marcin 3M
By Marcin 3M (Apr 8, 2013)

Yes.
And also for Your information - a military commander who was in role shooting to workers in Gdynia, Poland, in 1970, was also fighting arm in arm in republican forces in Spain.
Lots of polish members of republican forces played its role in enforcing comunism in Poland after WWII.
Nazis, fascists and communist are all the same. It is a joke of history, that some of them were fighting one against others. But the winners are not better.

0 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Apr 6, 2013)

The ICP had an exhibition of these in NYC a little while ago. It was fantastic because they showed prints along with entire contact sheets and his handwritten notes, so you could see everything he shot and how he marked it up to pick the frame he wanted to print.

There is also a documentary film of The Mexican Suitcase, but I haven't seen it yet.

0 upvotes
WT21
By WT21 (Apr 6, 2013)

To be really superficial, I think the name "Cornell Capra" is pretty cool :)

1 upvote
John Koch
By John Koch (Apr 6, 2013)

Capa, not Capra. No connection to the Hollywood director.

Comment edited 8 seconds after posting
1 upvote
M. Mitchell
By M. Mitchell (Apr 6, 2013)

The comments to this article appear to say that the war vas started as a battle between communists and the forces of democracy. On the contrary, it was a war between a democratically elected government and the forces of fascism. Nazi Germany and fascist Italy supported those who rebelled against the left leaning Spanish Government. The rebels were also supported by the Catholic Church which at that time supported the anti-democratic and antisemitic statements espoused by the Nazis and called the forces of the elected government 'the Reds." . Only the Soviet Union and Mexico supported the democratically elected government. It is true attrocities were committed by both sides, but mostly by the rebels. Had the democracies of the world intervened on the side of the elected Spanish government, World War 2 might have been prevented.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
13 upvotes
Jule
By Jule (Apr 6, 2013)

Nice writeup Mitchell, thx!
At least here in Europe the Spanish civil war is well known as the prelude to WWII, nuf said.

Regards

3 upvotes
beckmarc
By beckmarc (Apr 6, 2013)

Great summary of the issues M Mitchell. I was educated in Australia and it was covered in English and History classes at high school. The historical analysis in the article was a bit off the mark as you point out.

1 upvote
HL48
By HL48 (Apr 6, 2013)

OK so at least one person isn't ignorant of modern history. Thumbs up for you.
There is a great deal to be said on this topic but alas this is a photography forum. I commend Mitchel for some key points even in this context.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Moto1d
By Moto1d (Apr 7, 2013)

Photography will never be like that ever again. To be a photographer back then way before high tech took over was something special. Today every man and his dog has a camera and Im one of them. To each of us many of our images are special but to the passer by it takes a special photo to make you stop, look and think. This is exactly what these have done. Amazing

0 upvotes
Marcin 3M
By Marcin 3M (Apr 8, 2013)

Mitchell, sorry, but Germany and Soviet union were allies untill 1941!
Decision about starting WWII was in fact taken by Ribbentropp and Molotov in 1939. The secret part of this treaty was about invading Poland, and it was entered into force.

0 upvotes
Marberas
By Marberas (Apr 8, 2013)

Gran resumen de M. Mitchell de una guerra civil Española que al igual que la guerra civil Americana tiene heridas abiertas.
La exposicion, como toda obra de arte hay que verla muchas veces y digerirla para disfrutarla, la he visto dos veces en Barcelona y en Bilbao, espero volverla a ver cuando vuelva a España (aunque lo que realmente me gustaria es verla en Nueva York).
Los Norteamericanos a veces tienen complejos de no conocer la historia y geografia del resto del mundo, no se preocupen, en Europa tampoco se conoce.

2 upvotes
M. Mitchell
By M. Mitchell (Apr 8, 2013)

At the time of the Spanish civil war, Germany and the Soviet Union were certainly not allies. They were opposed to each other, each supporting opposite sides in that war. It was on August 23, 1939 that the world was surprised to hear that the Soviets and Germans had signed a pact to take no military against each other for 10 years. Stalin signed this pact to give the Soviets time to build up their army. Hitler signed it to allow him to invade Poland without Soviet opposition.They also secretly agreed upon how they would carve up eastern Europe. Hitler broke the treaty by invading the Soviet Union in June 1941. But World War 2 is considered to have started the year before when Germany annexed Austria and invaded Czechoslovakia. The formal declarations of war, of course, came after Germany invaded Poland.

2 upvotes
Marberas
By Marberas (Apr 8, 2013)

Great summary M. Mitchell. A Spanish Civil War which, like the American Civil War has open sores.
The exhibition, like any work of art, you had to watch many times, and enjoy it.
I saw it twice in Barcelona and Bilbao, I hope to see her again when return to Spain (although what I'd really like is to see it in New York) .
Americans sometimes have "complex" of not knowledge the History and Geography of the rest of the world, do not worry about it, in Europe either.
The result was 40 years of underdevelopment by a terrible dictatorship that still marks the politics and economics.

2 upvotes
Marcin 3M
By Marcin 3M (Apr 8, 2013)

Sorry again, Mitchell, I can not agree.
German-Soviet collaboration in 1920's and 30's was very close on both military and economic field. Lot's of german officers were trained in Moscow (hence deep knowledge of soviet strategy). 1933-1939 (mainly 1934-39, since Polish-German non-agression pact) was a time of loss of understanding, but in 1941 Stalin was so confident in RM pact, that German attact was a total shock for him. However, there were no problems for economic cooperation in mid 30's (raw materials from su and loans from germany).

0 upvotes
M. Mitchell
By M. Mitchell (Apr 8, 2013)

Marcin 3M, I do not understand why you are trying to rewrite history. It is true that the Soviets collaborated with the German Weimar Republic. But this collaboration ended in 1933 when Hitler came to power, years before the start of the Spanish civil war.

2 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Apr 8, 2013)

Outsiders forever imagine the war in Spain in terms of general European power struggles and ideologies of the era. But that was only 10% of the story. The war occurred for very Spanish reasons: conservative religious, monarchist, and military fears of a coalition government of anticlerical socialists and liberals who might unseat the Church, nationalize property, and break the military class. The Right declared war in 1936, as officer assassinations, church burnings, and property seizures escalated. The government Loyalists had little consensus and, after most of the military defected, little chance of victory. On the other hand, the secular fascists, led by JA Primo de Rivera, were a minority in the Franco faction; and they were largely dead, or displaced, after the end of the struggle. What followed, until 1976, was a conservative Catholic monarchy. Spain's two major contemporary parties are, fortunately, vastly transformed from the days of their great grandparernts.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 95