A few weeks ago, dramatic image of Gerda Taro was diffused in some media while being attended by a brigadista, Doctor Kiszely, at hospital of El Escorial (Madrid), after fateful accident that cut short his life and a promising professional career. We saw doctor who cleaned photograph's bloodied face. An image in which stood out his eyebrows, his mouth profiled, his hair to garçon and, above all, his thin fingers posed inert, protagonists of an image, that of a metamorphosed chrysalis.
The photograph that opens this text is anor new image, recently identified among funds of documentary Center of Historical Memory. In it we see Taro portrayed in back, on June 12, 1937, photographing Dabrowski Battalion, who was honoring Hungarian general Lukacs (Máté Zalka), who died just a few days earlier in Huesca front. The snapshot is made by Emilio Rosenstein, a Polish Jew who left for Paris in 1928 in search of university studies which, in Poland, was made too uncomfortable, as a consequence of anti-Semitic environment. When Spanish Civil War erupted, and medical, decides to enter International Brigades and fight in defense of Republic, is n when it changes its name to that of Emil Vedín in order to protect his family in Poland. A unique testimony, that of Doctor photographer, that with almost a thousand frames guarded in file Salamanca presents an essential look of Civil war. It portrays front, rearguard and exile, with gaze and experience of Doctor, Jew who looks at persecuted, capturing precise moment, one that returns fragment of time, or a smile capable of humanising conflict. His file is preserved, after donation made by his daughter Yvonne Jane Rosenstein Azoulay, in CDMH in Salamanca and his images, in addition to enrich documentary heritage, do not cease to show great surprises.
Rosenstein catches figure and look of Taro, is projected with it and, in doing so, invites spectator to look with eyes of photographer. Just a month and a half later, in Brunete, a friend tank would reap that look forever. We do not know if doctor was aware of photographing petit blonde, as y called it; Did you know her? It is possible, since it also captured in that act its sentimental companion, photographer Robert Capa, in or unpublished image of Emil Vedín in this text. On this occasion, if shot was on purpose, it did not ennobles its figure, Desvaída in a barely recognizable background, only for accurate eye, digger.Expand Photo Robert Capa (left, sideways) with his camera, on June 12, 1937. CDMH EMILIO ROSENSTEIN
On contrary, gaze of Rosenstein is in parallel with that of Taro, invading its intimacy, although much less than in that photograph attributed to layer where photographer is shown in his sleeping room. The head so close to photographer, finger that is intuited stroking scene... did you shoot at that moment? Studying images of famous Mexican suitcase, we found a frame that takes us to visual line of photographer when capture Rosenstein.
Taro's back. Never a reverse was so true, so strong. Her, making those pictures so of her, so unique. His report is kept at International Center of Photography (ICP) in new York. On that day were Juan Negrín, red General, Vicente Uribe, Minister of Agriculture; and Jesús Hernández, responsible of education and health in government... who were objective of both Taro and Rosenstein. But she, in addition, included in report to some anonymous women, perpetuating nameless, anonymous of a war, victims and protagonists of that day of summer in which homage was paid to Hungarian general Brigadista and writer and in which a fascinated look Escorted Lady photographer.
María José Turrión belongs to optional body of archivists of state and is Director of Documentation Center of Historical Memory