Gerda Taro took some of the most dramatic wartime photos ever seen before her life was cut tragically short.
Taro fearlessly turned her lens on conflict to capture arresting but sensitive photographs of fighting at the front in the Spanish Civil War. Widely considered the first female photojournalist to cover a war, she was also the first to die doing so.
To honor Taro's dedication to delivering images of the war to the world, Wednesday's turned its focus on the pioneering photojournalist on her 108th birthday.
Born Gerta Pohorylle in 1910 in Stuttgart, Germany, she fled Hitler's Germany after being detained for distributing anti-Nazi propaganda in 1933. After settling in Paris in 1934 she began studying photography under Endre Friedmann, a Hungarian photojournalist who would also become her romantic companion. Eventually she adopted the professional name Gerda Taro, although much of her work was published under the pseudonym Robert Capa -- the name adopted by Friedmann.
During the Spanish Civil War, her photos were in high demand by the international press, and her reports from the Brunete region for Ce Soir, a leftist French newspaper, were the only coverage to contradict Nationalist propaganda that the region was under its control.
"She shouldn't have been there. It was a far too dangerous part of the battle," Jane Rogoyska, author of a recent biography of the photographer, told the Guardian earlier this year. "But she got into this conviction that she had to bear witness. The troops loved her and she kept pushing. Capa warned her not to take so many risks."
Taro died on July 26, 1937, at the age of 26 when a tank crashed into a car carrying soldiers that she had jumped onto the side of. After a funeral given by the French Communist Party, Taro was buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris on what would have been her 27th birthday.
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