Allemagne Après la Guerre

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Taschen Benedikt Verlag Gmbh., 2008 - Photography - 285 pages
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Germany after the war 1952 - 1967 It was no more than eight years after the surrender of the Nazi government when Josef Heinrich Darchinger set out on his photographic journey through the West of a divided Germany. The bombs of World War II had reduced the country's major cities to deserts of rubble. Yet his pictures show scarcely any signs of the downfall of a civilization. Not that the photographer was manipulating the evidence: he simply recorded what he saw. At the time, a New York travel agency was advertising the last opportunity to go and visit the remaining bomb sites. Darchinger's pictures, in color and black-and-white, show a country in a fever of reconstruction. The economic boom was so incredible that the whole world spoke of an "economic miracle." The people who achieved it, in contrast, look down-to-earth, unassuming, conscientious, and diligent. And increasingly, they look like strangers in the world they have created.

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About the author (2008)

Josef Heinrich Darchinger started working as a freelance photojournalist in 1952. Darchinger's photographs began to regularly appear in reputable German print media starting in the mid-1960s. In his years as a photographer for Spiegel and Die Zeit, Darchinger had a formative influence on the magazines' national news coverage of Bonn. He also presented his work at exhibitions and in collections of photographic portraits-for instance of Helmut Schmidt, Willy Brandt, Richard von Weizsäcker, or of Henrich Böll. Darchinger received numerous awards, among which was the prestigious Dr. Erich Salomon Award from the German Photographic Association.

Frank Darchinger was born in Bonn in 1949. In 1977, after having finished his studies in English and German literature, he began his career as a photojournalist, while also assisting his father, Josef Heinrich Darchinger, with the classifying and updating of his legendarily vast and efficient photographic archive. It was through his endeavours to make his father's work accessible to the general public that the organizing of photographic exhibitions and the designing of photographic books and catalogues became one of his main activities. Today Frank Darchinger works as a freelance photographer in Bonn.

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