Sunday, July 31, 2011

When An Icon Is A Fake

The most iconic photograph taken during The Spanish Civil War was Robert Capa’s photograph known as “The Fallen Soldier”, a photograph first published in French newspapers in 1936.

More than one year after the photograph appeared in the European press, the photograph appeared in LIFE magazine. From that moment, the photograph came to epitomize The Spanish Civil War in the eyes of many Americans.

In 1971, Barcelona newspapers revealed that Capa’s photograph was a fraud, and that the photograph had been staged for the camera. This news from Barcelona became widely known in the U.S. only in 1975.

Over the ensuing years, numerous attempts to “rehabilitate” the photograph have been made by various Leftists. All such efforts have been in vain.

It has been conclusively established that the photograph does not depict the person Capa claimed had been depicted. It has also been conclusively established that the photograph does not depict a second person Leftists had seized upon as the prospective subject once the first subject had been conclusively eliminated.

Further, it has been conclusively established that the photograph was not taken at the place Capa claimed. The location of the photograph has been conclusively identified by Spanish academics—and the location was more than 35 miles from the location claimed by Capa. Moreover, it has also been conclusively established that the nearest Nationalist forces were more than 35 miles away on the day the photograph was snapped—and, further, that there had been no fighting in that particular province on the day of the photograph.

Consequently, Leftists who continue to insist that the photograph is genuine have been reduced to an absurd argument: that the photograph may indeed have been staged for the camera, but that a lone sniper somehow infiltrated secure Republican territory and fired a single shot at the man posing for the photograph at the very moment Capa snapped his shutter, miraculously turning a staged photograph into a real event.

Is it any wonder there are no Leftist think tanks?

Of course, we now know that many of Capa’s D-Day photographs were also fakes, yet Leftists choose not to attempt to rehabilitate the D-Day photographs.

As for Capa himself: he had the good sense to die before his widespread fakery became a matter of public knowledge.


  1. That certain factions continue to argue on behalf of the validity of the photograph does not reflect credit upon them.

    Note the white dress shirt. Neither faction wore light-colored clothing in battle situations or in hostile territory.

    Note the camera angle. We are to believe that the photographer was in the direct line of fire, shooting film from the very midst of an engagement? The photographer himself would have been a sure victim, and never survived the skirmish.

    Capa himself was always cagey when asked about the photograph, odd behavior from such a ruthless self-promoter. He knew the photograph would never hold up to close examination, and became tight-lipped and inscrutable on the subject of one of his most famous works.

  2. And allow me to add one very, very obvious observation: the “lone sniper” theory advocated by some on the Left is preposterous. Would a sniper have stopped at one victim? And would not Capa himself have been the next target in a sniper’s turkey shoot?

  3. 100% genuine - Capa describes how he took the photograph here starting are around 11min into the recording

  4. Do you have reading comprehension problems?

    Capa, a notorious liar (as well as master of the staged photograph), died in 1954, unaware that his fraud would be uncovered.

    In the interview you cite, not one word of what Capa says is true, including the words “and” and “the”.

    Professor Susperregui’s 2009 book devoted to the subject covers this matter exhaustively.