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Shots of War (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – September 2004


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Gebundene Ausgabe, September 2004
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From Normandy to Berlin 25. Januar 2004
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
The book SHOTS OF WAR was published on the occasion of Mr. Vaccaros 80th birthday which was celebrated in Luxembourg at the prestigious Musée d'Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg with an exhibition of more than 200 photos documenting the bitter fight of the GI Vaccaro with the 83rd Infantry Division from Omaha Beach to the Elbe River and Berlin.
Danièle Wagener, curator of the museums of the City of Luxembourg wrote in her introduction to the catalog:
"Tony Vaccaro, one of the most widely respected American magazine photographers of the 50s and 60s, is hardly an unknown as the photo-chronicler of the Second World War in Luxembourg...His war photos are unpretentious and yet with a high quality of composition. Sometimes the pictures themselves portray the difficult conditions in their making: double exposures, blurredness, spots... Vaccaro worked with a simple camera and sometimes had to develop the pictures in the helmets of his comrades! Already the technical aspects of his photos speak to their extraordinary authenticity. The motifs he used captured this closeness to reality in special ways: quite the opposite of taking snapshots for the photo album of some veteran, Tony Vaccaro strived to document the day-in day-out war he was in. Often there are images -uniquely composed- taken in passing that capture a tense calm without making war itself aesthetic. Even in battle Vaccaro finds that moment of gathering melancholy that brings us closer to the terror and butchery of war than, say, standard highly detailed battlefront photojournalism."
The book was produced by GALERIE BILDERWELT, Berlin and serves as a catalogue for its travelling exhibition SHOTS OF WAR which will be shown this year during the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of France. It has already been on tour throughout Europe in a different format. In Belgium where it openend on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War 2 in 1994 it is considered a classic with more than 30 presentations. In France Mr. Vaccaro he received the medal of Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur from the president of France, Francois Mitterand and was made a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres. Mr. Pierre Buhler stated during the medal ceremony in New York:
"It was the war which made your talent known throughout the world, and from which originated your passion for life and your desire to champion it. Recruited in 1943, you took those familiar images of the front which give witness to the war era, of the soldiers' courage and also of the joys that you and your companions sowed on your path during the liberation. Everyone remembers the photograph you took of a GI on his knee, giving a kiss to a little girl in St-Briac."
"„My approach was this," Tony Vaccaro explains about how he was able to document his experience in World War II as a soldier. „I said to myself, Tony, don't worry about how good the picture is going to be under difficult conditions and light. Take it, no matter what. If the eye sees it, take it.""
Timothy Cahill wrote in : SUNDAY - A Stars and Stripes magazine, November 6, 1994
"At this point, 56 years later, it feels like we've seen all the photos of World War II: Joe Rosenthal's shot of the flag on Iwo Jima, Robert Capa's blurred shots of the D-day landings on Omaha Beach (darkroom incompetence melted most of the negatives), Edward Steichen's starkly etched shots of those impossibly young pilots on the aircraft carriers of the Pacific...
In Vaccaro's war, it's understood that civilians are shot, bombed, starved, blown apart. Orphaned and otherwise swept up and victimized by armed combat. Their snuffed-out lives inhabit his shattered cityscapes like smoky ghosts. The war-crippled -both physical and spiritual - move among them like guilty contradictions."
Ken Ringle, "The Horrors of War, the Agony of Peace" (WASHINGTON POST)
"... defeated Wehrmacht soldiers; displaced persons and children; and a destroyed landscape. While I doubt reading any such book will take the reader vicariously back in time, this one provides an appreciation of war as it was‹total war‹for the U.S. Army and our enemies."
Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA Ret., former Chief of Staff of the Army (ARMY MAGAZINE)
The book with its 163 duotone photos is the best visual account so far of life and death on the Western front in those decisive months when the Nazi Wehrmacht was defeated in France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands and the war brought to an end on German soil.
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