Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Robert Capa.

Just watched a facinating documentary 'Robert Capa: In Love and War' about Robert Capa (1913-1954), possibly the most famous war photographer of the twentieth century - but someone I have only just found out about. He made his name with this powerful photograph above of exiled Leon Trotsky lecturing to an audience of Danish Social Democratic students in Copenhagen in 1932 on the fifteenth anniversary of the October Revolution in Russia. A few months later Hitler's Nazis took power - and Capa, a Hungarian Jew who grew up in Germany, chose to leave there. He became an intransigent anti-fascist, and went into journalism in order to fight fascism. When the Spanish Revolution erupted in 1936 against Franco, Capa - aged only 23 remember - went to cover the conflict. He later exposed the horrors of the Second World War, again braving fire from fascists. After the war, he lived in America but got bored of Tinseltown - calling Hollywood 'the biggest load of shit I ever stepped in'. He left to cover more international conflicts - and died covering the French war against Vietnam in 1954.

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At 7:49 pm, Blogger Ed said...

Yes, I saw that too. I knew nothing about the man before. Fascinating stuff. Those pictures of the Popular Front protests in France and the Spanish Civil war were quite something.

At 10:16 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

I thought it was quite cool that when he had the chance of getting some job back in Hungary (then under Stalinist dictatorship) he went and met up with one of the bureaucrats but saw right through them - just as he saw through capitalist society with its wars. It was a shame he died without seeing the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 - it sounds like he would have definitely been part of that if he had the chance.

At 3:01 am, Blogger syndicalist81 said...

Interesting post - I didn't know about his politics or this photo of Trotsky. I've only ever seen his most famous photo from the Spanish Civil War and his photos from the first wave at Omaha Beach on D-Day (1, 2, 3).u


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