Imaging Resource has printed a fascinating story regarding lost Spanish civil war photos taken by Robert Capa. One of the great photojournalists of the 20th century, Robert Capa is renowned for his coverage of WWII and many other world conflicts.
NOTE: There is a movie also about this discovery, called “The Mexican Suitcase“. It can be viewed via Netflix or other sources.
From Imaging Resource’s Story:
“Fleeing the war, leaving his files behind
Hemingway and the others then decamped for Paris as tens of thousands of Republican fighters and ordinary Spaniards crossed the Pyrenees, fleeing Franco. Many ended up in internment camps in France — in places such as Barcarès and Argelès-sur-Mer, not far from where I live. The unlucky ones were sent north to German concentration camps, while a few lucky ones survived and later settled in France.
When he returned to Paris, Capa realized he was in jeopardy. The Nazis began their occupation of Paris in 1940 and were sure to arrest him, so he stayed as long as he could before leaving for New York. He entrusted his studio and Spanish Civil War negatives to his friend the photographer, Imre “Csiki” Weiss. Although he returned to Europe two years later and extensively photographed the war, and accompanied American troops landing in Normandy on D-Day
, he apparently never made a effort to retrieve his Paris files.
Cornell Capa, Robert’s younger brother and the founder of the International Center of Photography in New York City, told me in 1973 that Robert had taken “other Spanish pictures” but he had no idea what had happened to them. That was until 1975, when he received a letter from Imre Weiss: “In 1939, when the Germans approached Paris, I put all Bob’s negatives in a rucksack and bicycled it to Bordeaux to try to get it on a ship to Mexico. I met a Chilean in the street and asked him to take my film packages to his consulate for safekeeping. He agreed.”
Read the full amazing story of the the missing negatives, their travels and eventual discovery, on Imaging Resource’s website.