Today many of you have been shocked by the atrocities depicted by painter Francisco de Goya in his series of etchings called The Disasters of War. This series of etchings has been considered to be a precedent of war photography. Many war reporters have drawn inspiration from Goya´s harsh representation of violence in wars. Their cameras have reflected how human beings of different parts of the worlds have treated their fellow men and women when words were not able to stop violence. Here you have some of the most famous pictures of several recent wars:
The following two pictures belong to a book called War Against War, a collection of forbidden pictures of World War One published by the German anti-militarist Ernst Friedrich in 1924. When the war broke up u¡in 1914 he refused military service and was imprisoned until the war finished in 1918. After the war he compiled all the ghastly pictures of the war he could find and published them with the purpose of showing the inhumanity of war and human behaviour when people are supposed to fight for their homeland. Some years later Friedrich also founded an Anti-War Museum in Berlin, destroyed by the Nazis, and reopened in 1981.
If you want to see more censored pictures of World War 1, here you have some links:
- War Against War:
- Covenants With Death:
- Censored images of WW1 in France, published in the magazine Témoignages in 1933:
- Censored images in Germany, also published in Témoignages de Notre Temps:
- The Brutal Reality of the War, a book published by German war photographer Hermann Rex in 1926:
- A complete Dutch website about WW1. The collection of pictures Bloody Picnic shows the ugliest face of this war:
Here you have some examples that will remind you of Goya´s etchings:
Here you have some pictures of World War 2 and a link where you will find more pictures of this war:
The head of a Japanese soldier hanging from a tree
Croat Ustashi torturing a Serb with a saw before executing him
You can see more pictures of this war on the following link:
The different armies of the world tried to censor the most dramatic pictures of wars, because they wanted to keep morale and hide the worst face of war to their populations. But secrecy ended with Vietnam War. Different war photographers contributed to people´s knowledge of war and their pictures had a strong influence in the beginning of pacifist movements and anti-war reaction in the USA. Here you have some of the most hair-raising pictures of this conflict:
- This picture was taken by Eddie Adams and shows the in cold blood execution of a Vietcong member by the chief of police of Saigon in February 1968.
This picture represents Kim Phuc, a little girl whose body was burnt by a napàlm attack of the USA Army. This picture was taken by photographer Nick Ut and contributed to accelerate the end of Vietnam War, due to the increasing rejection of the USA population to what their army was doing there:
Here you have more Vietnam War pictures:
And finally, these are pictures from different recent conflicts:
- A USA soldier playing with the corpse of an Afghan insurgent. This photo belongs to a collection of photos taken by the soldiers themselves, censored by the Pentagon:
- An recent image of Syria´s civil war. It show a member of the government security force beating handcuffed and blinded prisoners. You can see a complete series of pictures of this conflict if ypu click on the link below the photograph:
All these pictures show us that war continues to be as cruel as it was two centuries ago and human beings don´t learn.