Gerda Taro: Photojournalist
Gerda Taro was killed at the Battle of Brunete in July 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. She was 26 years old.
Born in Germany, in 1910, to a family of German-Hungarian Jews. Her early life was uneventful until Hitler came to power and, in 1933, she was arrested for anti-fascist activism. On her release in 1934, she escaped to Paris, never to see her family again.
A year later, she met Hungarian photojournalist Endre Friedmann (later changing his name to Robert Capa) and fell in love, but their French idyll was not to last. In 1936, civil war broke out in Spain and the couple traveled to Barcelona and together covered the war in Aragon and Córdoba, including iconic images of the bombing in Valencia.
The images here are far less brutal in their depiction of bloodshed and the terrifying vulgarity of war than could have been chosen.
To capture the rawness, the intensity of conflict — the struggle against mighty oppression, the honesty of cruelty — she got as close to the action as front-line fighters earning the respect and admiration of such anti-fascist intellectuals as Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell who crusaded particularly for the Spanish Republic.
After her death, the French Communist Party gave her a grand funeral in Paris and buried her at Père Lachaise Cemetery. They commissioned Alberto Giacometti to create a monument for her grave.
Originally published at rivenrod.com on November 1, 2016.