Claud Cockburn and Gerda Taro - The Mexican Suitcase

The Independent

"Special report: How my father's face turned up in Robert Capa's lost suitcase.The great war photographer was not one person but two. Their pictures of Spain's civil war, lost for decades, tell a heroic tale."
by Patrick Cockburn

"In July Taro and my father went together to cover the Brunete offensive by the government forces, which was intended to relieve Nationalist military pressure on Madrid and Bilbao and persuade the rest of the world that Franco's victory was not inevitable. After his experiences in the anti-Franco militia, Claud found that the "makeshift, ramshackle quality of the Spanish War could be terrifying because it kept reminding me of the odds against our sort of forces being victorious over the trained troops of the other side." This is what happened at Brunete where Franco's Nationalists launched a devastating counter-offensive backed by the air power of Germany's Condor Legion. Claud and Taro reached the front on 22 July and were promptly strafed in a field by German aircraft. Capa's biographer Richard Whelan cites Claud saying that he and Taro came "around to the calculation that we had, this time, very little chance of getting out alive. She then stood up and began to take photographs of the planes, saying 'in case we do get out of this, we'll have something to show the Non-Intervention Committee'." The committee, on which many countries were represented, was meant to prevent both sides receiving military aid, but ignored massive German and Italian support for the Nationalists."

full article here

Gerda Taro © International Center of Photography