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9789493039438 9789493039438_01 9789493039438_02 9789493039438_03 9789493039438_04
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All At War

Photography by German soldiers 1939-45

ISBN: 9789493039438 (HB - E)

In September 1939, thousands of German soldiers were turned loose on Poland. In 1940, they descended on Holland, Belgium and France. In 1941 they went to the Balkans, and then to the USSR. Armed with Leica and Rolleiflex cameras, some of these soldiers were officially commissioned as photographers, while others were asked by their commanders to snap records of events. Among them were trainees who knew about the Bauhaus, and other, older, men who could remember Weimar. Some excelled at formal portraiture, others were storytellers, stylists or humanists who wept at what they saw. The style and content of their work changed along with the collective mood after 1942, a change that is discernible in the photographs themselves.

Celebrated author and art historian Ian Jeffrey - author of How to Read a Photograph and The Photography Book - has trawled through these albums, picking out the most compelling of these works to create an intimate record of anonymous lives experiencing the unprecedented. In september 1939 werden duizenden Duitse soldaten op Polen losgelaten. In 1940 overrompelden ze Nederland, België en Frankrijk. In 1941 waren de Balkan en de USSR aan de beurt. Sommigen vertrokken met de officiële opdracht om foto's te nemen, anderen legden gebeurtenissen vast op vraag van hun aanvoerder. Hun wapens voor deze activiteiten waren Leica- en Rolleiflexcamera's. Sommige soldaten kenden het Bauhaus, de oudsten zelfs nog uit zijn Weimar-periode. Sommigen waren goed in het maken van formele portretten, anderen waren verhalenvertellers, stilisten of humanisten die huilden bij wat zich voor hun ogen afspeelde. Het waren stuk voor stuk anonieme mensen die met het ongehoorde geconfronteerd werden. Samen met de algemene sfeer veranderden na 1942 ook de stijl en de inhoud van hun werk. De bekende kunsthistoricus Ian Jeffrey, schrijver van How to Read a Photograph en The Photography Book, heeft de meest aangrijpende beelden uit bestaande fotoalbums samengebracht in een boeiend naslagwerk en vergezeld van verhelderende commentaar.

Ian Jeffrey taught in the art department of Goldsmiths College at the University of London during the 1970s and 1980s. In the early 1990s he lectured at the Central European University in Prague. In 1975 he organized and curated an exhibition of British photography, The Real Thing: An Anthology of British Photographs, 1840-1950, for the Arts Council of Great Britain. The same year Thames & Hudson published his Photography: A Concise History. In the 1980s he wrote for Alan Ross's London Magazine. In 1999 he assembled and introduced Revisions: An Alternative History of Photography for the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television. He wrote The Photo Book for Phaidon in 1997, and expanded it in 2014. In 2008 Abrams, Ludion, Schirmer/Mosel and Thames & Hudson published his How to Read a Photograph. 'Fatal Praise: John Ruskin and the Daguerreotype' appeared in John Ruskin: Artist and Observer, prepared in 2014 by the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, which also published his article 'Bohemian Odyssey: Josef Sudek's Publishing Projects' in a Sudek catalogue of 2016.

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