Hello, here is my slightly late pixeLess Thursday. Today I like to tell you about Tony Vaccaro, a WW II photographer who later became a fashion photographer. He happened to be with the 83rd Infantry Division all across Germany during the last days of the war and the early days of the post-war era. Now, you might say there are a lot well known photographers who went overseas – but to me Tony Vaccarro is a very special photographer, not only due to his remarkable style but also he was one of the first soldiers to enter and to free my home town Neuss.
I first learned about Tony Vaccaro in some TV portrait and immediately got attracted to his photography Shortly after I found an article in the Globalist, where Tony describes himself:
“Like the other GIs, I carried a rifle in my hands. But what set me apart was the Argus C-3 35mm camera hanging around my neck — always ready for the next shot. By the end of the war, I had taken nearly 7,000 photographs.”
Of course I had t get his book “Entering Germany”, a volume of 192 pages published by Taschen with stunning images, depicting not only the horror of war, but also showing human dignity, hope and even fun. The scenery of post-war Germany is almost surreal, t’s hard to believe that t’s only a few years ago. It is still available, I think, at least Amazon gives us a link and allows to peek at some images. I highly recommend it – in my eyes it’s a documentary masterpiece.
So who ist this Tony Vaccaro? I’ve asked Wikipedia and learned that Vaccaro, an orphan raised in Italy and the USA, was drafted in 1943, he must have been only 21 years old at this time. He fought in Normandy, Luxembourg and Germany and always had his camera with him, documenting the action unfolding in front of him. By the end of the war Vaccaro stayed and photographed throughout Germany and Europe, documenting post-war life, before returning to the USA in 1949. He then worked for Flair, Look and later even the famous Life magazine.
On YouTube you’ll find some documentaries about Tony Vaccarro. One that has caught my eye is this one here: