Saturday, June 21, 2008

Andre Zucca

Andre Zucca: Paris During WW2-current exhibition at the National Library Paris

The photographic show has caused offence by depicting the French capital in the Second World War as a sunny place, where people enjoyed life alongside their Nazi occupiers.
Bertrand DelanoĆ«, the Mayor, ordered a notice, in French and English, to be handed out at the door of the municipal exhibition of colour photographs that have stirred ghosts that Paris preferred to forget. The 270 never-published pictures avoid the “reality of occupation and its tragic aspects”, says the warning.

The differences are the absent traffic, the Wehrmacht uniforms and red swastikas hanging from the grandest facades. In one sinister picture – taken in the street beside the gallery – an old woman wears a yellow Star of David, the insignia that Jews were forced to display. According to critics, the organisers at the Paris Historical Library neglected to make it clear that Zucca, a respected prewar photographer, was working for the German propaganda machine.

The exhibition reminds viewers that Paris was relatively comfortable under the Nazis because Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda chief, decreed that the capital should be “animated and gay” to show off the “new Europe”. Theatres and cinemas were kept busy; Edith Piaf sang, and Herbert von Karajan conducted.
~from London Times Online

War rationing led to women having to wear wooden-soled shoes. These women here made them rather stylish, but still unconfortable as I have heard.

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