follow us in feedly
Inside the Warsaw Ghetto: Summer 1941
03.26.2015
07:10 am

Topics:
History

Tags:

0001warghet.jpg
 
Since 1596 Warsaw has been the capital of Poland. In Polish Warsaw (“Warszawa”) literally means “belonging to Warsz”—a 12th-13th-century nobleman who owned land in the Mariensztat district. Warsaw was home to Europe’s largest Jewish population—around 337,000 in 1939, and 445,000 by 1941.

When Germany invaded Poland in August 1939, the Nazis quickly surrounded the capital city and launched a deadly blitzkreig that claimed many lives and destroyed buildings. The Germans were now in control of the country and in November 1939, an edict issued by Hans Frank, the Governor General, decreed all Jewish men, women and children over the age of ten had to wear a Star of David armband to identify themselves. All Jewish shops had to be similarly marked with a Star of David, and severe restrictions were placed on the Jewish population. Further laws limited the amount of money Jews were able to withdraw, with strict rules on buying produce, letting and owning property and travel.

In March 1940, groups of Polish gangs launched a series of violent attacks on the Jewish population—stealing money, gold, food, clothes and anything they could find of any value. These attacks lasted for eight days until the Germans intervened.

In February 1940, the Germans proposed plans to create a Jewish quarter or ghetto, where all Jews would be contained. On the Day of Atonement, October 1940, a decree was issued establishing a Jewish ghetto. All Jews had to relocate to this ghetto, which meant 30% of the population of Warsaw was packed into only 2.4% of the city’s area—some 400,00 people living in 1.3 square miles, an average of 7.2 people per room.

By mid-November, a wall surrounding the ghetto was built. The wall was over eleven feet high with broken glass and barbed wire on top and was constructed by the German company Schmidt & Munstermann, who were responsible for building the Treblinka concentration. The wall was paid for by the same Jewish community it was built to imprison. Access to and from the ghetto was limited to mainly food and supplies. The Jewish population inside the ghetto were allocated daily rations of 181 calories. The Germans intended to starve the imprisoned population. During 1941 Jewish deaths rose from 898 in January, to 5,560 in August. The average monthly mortality rates for the seventeen months from January 1941 to May 1942 was 3882. But death was not quick enough for the Germans, and in May 1942, 254,000 Jewish ghetto inhabitants were transported to Treblinka for extermination.

Willy Georg was an old German soldier who made money taking photographs of young German soldiers. During the summer of 1941, Georg was given permission to enter the Jewish ghetto and take photographs of the inhabitants. Georg shot four rolls of film, but as he was shooting a fifth roll, a German military policeman stopped him and confiscated his camera, he was then escorted out of the area. However, the policeman had not searched Georg and he was therefore able to sneak out the four rolls of shot film. He developed these films and carefully stored them along with the prints for the next fifty years until the late 1980s when he met Rafael Scharf, a researcher of Polish-Jewish studies, to whom he gave his pictures. These photographs were then published in the book Warsaw Ghetto: Summer 1941 in 1993.
 
0002warghet.jpg
 
003warghet.jpg
 
0005warghet.jpg
 
More of Willy Georg’s powerful photographs of the Jewish ghetto, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Window-Shopping through the Iron Curtain’: Stark images of scarcity under communism
03.25.2015
02:49 pm

Topics:
History

Tags:


Moscow, 1990, Lipstick
 
One of the things people tend to overlook when skimming (or pretending to have read) Marx is his appreciation for the pleasures that industrial capitalism has bestowed upon us. The factory, for all its horrors visited upon the working class, also brought with it the mass production of food, valuable time-saving devices and more affordable basic comforts. Capitalism’s “invisible hand” made things quicker, and cheaper. The goal of communism was never to reverse that progress, but to socialize the means of production so that workers actually benefited from the wealth they produced.

Experiments in state communism tended to fail spectacularly on that front. Communist countries often dealt with shortages—some of them quite dire—due to blockades, mismanagement of resources, the limitations of their own geography, a poverty of resources and often simply the inability to industrialize fast enough (you’re not going to turn a rural region of Kazakhs into Detroit overnight). Photographer David Hlynsky’s fascinating new book Window-Shopping through the Iron Curtain is a stark look at life under communism from the POV afforded by the often threadbare, low rent storefronts of Poland, the USSR, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany. A far cry from the window-shopping most of us in the West are familiar with, the (usually) spare window displays don’t exactly inspire a consumerist frenzy—not that most citizens could indulge in a ton of casual consumption anyway. Some of the windows were actually so bare of goods that the businesses apparently attempted to distract the eye with cheerful, often quite dynamic decor, but the effort is a bit transparent, and it does little to alleviate the austere effect.
 

Moscow, 1990, Uniforms
 

Crakow, Poland, 1989, Vase with small shoes
 

Moscow, 1990. Poultry and eggs
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Vietnamese Buddhists decide ‘crazy’ Allen Ginsberg must be a government spy
03.24.2015
10:17 am

Topics:
Belief
History
Literature

Tags:


 
A dedicated student of meditation throughout most of his adulthood, Allen Ginsberg fell into Buddhism fairly early on in life, well before the mysticism craze of the 1960s, to be fair. He was even instrumental in bringing Buddhist thinkers and writers into the mainstream—hardly a shallow New Age dilettante. That doesn’t mean he didn’t have super goobery white dude moments early on in his quest for spiritual education.

In this fantastic little 1963 item from The New York Times (cheekily titled “Buddhists Find a Beatnik ‘Spy’”), Ginsberg finds himself in the midst of a government/religious conflict that he clearly hadn’t anticipated.

SAIGON, Vietnam, June 5 - The Buddhists, who are in conflict with the South Vietnam Government, asserted today that they believed the Americans has sent a “spy to look at us.”

A Buddhist spokesman told this to newsmen. The newsmen, incredulous, asked if the spokesman would be good enough to describe the “spy.”

“Well, he was tall and had a very long beard and his hair was very long in back and curly,” the Buddhist said. “He said he was a poet and a little crazy and that he liked Buddhists. We didn’t know what else he was so we decided he was a spy.”

At this point his listeners burst out laughing and said the “spy” was the American poet Allen Ginsberg, a well-known beatnik. Mr. Ginsberg was here briefly for several days on his way to British Columbia after a long stay in India.

The Buddhist controversy with Government involves their resentment over Government curbs on their activities, including a ban on raising the Buddhist flag.

 
Via New York Times

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Foxy Lady’ revealed
03.23.2015
01:51 pm

Topics:
History
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:


Detail from inside gatefold of Electric Ladyland record sleeve

Lithofayne Pridgon has led a truly extraordinary life. She was the lover and muse of some of the greatest musical icons of our time – Jimi Hendrix, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, “Fever” singer Little Willie John and Eddie Hazel, visionary guitarist of George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic family tree; she was the best friend of Etta James, hung out with James Brown and Ike Turner and lived with Sly Stone in Bel Air at the height of his There’s a Riot Going On drugs-and-guns craziness. She was also signed on the spot to Atlantic Records by Ahmet Ertegun for an album that was recorded with Shuggie Otis, but never released. But it’s Hendrix with whom she is inextricably tied, becoming his lover in 1963 in his pre-fame Harlem years through till his death in 1970.

Dangerous Minds pal Chris Campion met Lithofayne Pridgon for a very rare interview and argues in the Guardian that, she was the inspiration for not only “Foxy Lady,” but a number of other of songs on Are You Experienced:

The profound influence she had on his life has been so sorely overlooked, it’s likely his love for Lithofayne inspired other songs, too. Certainly, a number of cuts on his debut album, Are You Experienced, seem to have been written with her in mind: the love he clearly felt was written in the stars, destined to last for eternity, of which he sings in “Love or Confusion”; the desperate plea for his devotion to be recognised in “Can You See Me” in which he wails, “Can you hear me cryin’ all over town?” (“If he couldn’t find me,” Lithofayne recalls, “everybody in Harlem knew he was looking for me.” She would visit her usual haunts and people would tell her, “Girl, Jimi, was by here, you better go.”) “And ‘Fire’, in which he determinedly edges every rival suitor for the subject of his affections out of the way.

 

Lithofayne and Jimi experience the food at Wells Chicken and Waffles in Harlem with Albert and Arthur Allen

The piece includes not only the revelation that she first met Hendrix at an orgy:

That day, she had gone out to run an errand for her mother and, on her way back home with the change, had stopped by one of Fat Jack’s apartments. She asked one of his men who was inside.“This little musician cat,” he told her. “I said, ‘Is he a virgin?’ He said, ‘No, but you’ll like him. He’s your type.’ He just knew what I liked.

“I liked skinny, raw-boned, over-fucked, underfed-looking guys,” she laughs. Hendrix, she says, was “my type.”

... but also that she may in fact be the great granddaughter of Henry Ford:

She was raised, for the most part, in a more well-to-do section of the city called Crosstown, by her paternal grandmother, said to be the illegitimate child of Henry Ford who kept a winter home in Georgia, several counties north. “Old man Henry Ford is supposed to have been my great granddaddy,” Lithofayne says. Although the Ford lineage was never definitely proven, her grandmother had a sizeable portfolio of land in Moultrie for reasons that couldn’t be explained — she earned money by taking in washing at a dollar a load.

 

With James Brown
 
Lithofayne Pridgon is said to be writing a memoir of her life in Harlem during the fifties and sixties. You can see her starting just before the one-minute mark in the trailer for the 1973 Jimi Hendrix documentary (look out for a pre-glam early 70s Lou Reed):
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Crime Wave: Vintage photos of when Chicago was a gangster’s paradise
03.21.2015
12:56 pm

Topics:
Crime
History

Tags:

00copgun.jpg
Stick ‘em up!: A cop with a gun.

Watching too many Jimmy Cagney movies as child made me think being a gangster might be a possible occupation. It was easy to imagine myself in charge of some numbers racket, or selling moonshine, riding the running board while blasting the competition with a machine-gun. Even the names sounded exotic: Al Capone, Bugs Moran, John Dillinger, Tony Accardo. Then I turned six—discovered soccer and the fancy footwork skills of players like Jimmy “Jinky” Johnstone and Harry Hood who made me think playing for Celtic would be better.

Gangsters and Grifters is a book of photographs compiled from the extensive crime archive of the Chicago Tribune. The book contains a collection of rarely seen photos of infamous gangsters, murderers, thieves, pickpockets, bandits, molls as well as the cops who brought them to justice from 1900-1950. These vintage glass-plate and acetate negatives captured many legendary moments in criminal history—from which this small selection has been culled.
 
002capon.jpg
Al Capone making an appearance in court, date unknown. Capone had a seven year reign of terror on the streets of Chicago during the 1920s. He was believed to have been responsible for the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. He was eventually busted for tax evasion and sentenced to gaol. He suffered from tertiary syphilis and died of cardiac arrest in 1947.
 
004valenguns.jpg
Cops examine guns suspected of being used in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, when six mobsters where shot dead—you’d have thought the cops might have been grateful. One of the shooters was thought to be mob enforcer Tony Accardo.
 
018hooch.jpg
Prohibition helped the rise of gangsters like Al Capone, who ran hooch and illegal drinking dens. Here cops inspect some of the alcohol Capone and his associates were running.
 
012alcapbeer2.jpg
Capone on another visit to court.
 
 
More vintage crime shots, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Beautiful hand-colored portraits of Native Americans 1898-1900
03.19.2015
07:30 am

Topics:
Art
History

Tags:

003narhine.jpg
Brushing Against, Little Squint Eyes, San Carlos Apaches, 1898.
 
In 1898, Frank Rinehart was commissioned to photograph Native Americans attending the Trans-Mississippi Exposition and Indian Congress in Omaha, Nebraska. Together with his assistant, Adolph Muhr, Rinehart produced a series of portraits that has been described as “one of the best photographic documentations of Indian leaders at the turn of the century.” Many of these graceful and dignified portraits were taken by Muhr, of whom former photographic curator at the University of Kansas’ Spencer Art Museum, Tom Southall said:

The dramatic beauty of these portraits is especially impressive as a departure from earlier, less sensitive photographs of Native Americans. Instead of being detached, ethnographic records, the Rinehart photographs are portraits of individuals with an emphasis on strength of expression. While Muhr was not the first photographer to portray Indian subjects with such dignity, this large body of work which was widely seen and distributed may have had an important influence in changing subsequent portrayals of Native Americans.

Frank Rinehart started his career as a photographer with his brother Alfred in Denver, Colorado in the 1870s. Together they formed a partnership with explorer and photographer William Henry Jackson—famed for his photos of life in the American West and for creating the image of “Uncle Sam.” It was under Jackson’s tutelage that Rinehart developed his craft.

Today the Frank A. Rinehart Photograph Collection consists of 809 glass plate negatives that depict many of the Native Americans who attended the Trans-Mississippi Exposition and Indian Congress, as well as those whom Rinehart photographed at his studio in Omaha between 1899-1900.

More from the Rinehart Collection can be viewed here.
 
009narhine.jpg
Calls Her Name, Sioux, circa 1989-1900.
 
007narhine.jpg
Ahahe & Child, Wichita, 1898.
 
012narhine.jpg
Black Horse, Arapahoe, 1900.
 
Many more after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Portraits of inmates from a ‘Lunatic Asylum,’ 1869
03.17.2015
08:46 am

Topics:
History

Tags:

006inmatesyork.jpg
 
In 1796, Quaker businessman and philanthropist William Tuke opened the Retreat in York, England, for the care of the mentally ill. Prior to this, those with mental health or behavioral issues were treated worse than the most heinous criminal—they were usually locked-up in bedlams, imprisoned in cells or chained to walls in workhouses. As a Quaker Tuke believed in the sanctity of life and of behaving kindly and morally to all humanity. This led him to build a hospital for the care of those suffering from mental health problems. At first, the Retreat was only open to fellow Quakers, but it soon opened its doors to all.

The Retreat changed the way mental health was treated in England, and in 1818 the first of four hospitals, the Stanley Royd Hospital in Wakefield, was built under the aegis of the West Riding General Asylums Committee. A further three hospitals were built between 1872 and 1904—the South Yorkshire Asylum built in Sheffield, the High Royds Hospital in Menston and the Storthes Hall built in Kirkburton—which became villages for patients and all four hospital together formed the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum.

Inspired by the Retreat, the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum pioneered the care and treatment of the mentally ill during the Victorian and Edwardian era. Gone were days of brutality and fear. Patients were cared for as best as was then able and according to the available medical advice. It may seem strange and harsh to us today—especially the use of confinement cells to hold some violent, paranoid and delusional patients—but in relative terms, our treatment of the mentally ill will no doubt be seen as harsh by future generations.

These hospitals were open to all who needed treatment, and by the late 1800s, the demand for support from the impoverished and mentally ill outstripped the number of places available, leading to more hospitals built. By the turn of the 1900s, with the rise of psychiatry and the “tendency to herding and regimentation” asylums “lost much of their early high ideal of individual concern and care.” Standards basically fell, as the patients greatly outnumbered staff, leading to inadequate care, which didn’t change until later in the 20th century and the beginning of the National Health Service.

This selection of portraits show patients of varying ages from the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum in 1869. Some of the pictures detail the patient’s illness—“organic dementia,” “general paralysis of the insane,” “imbecility,” “simple mania,” “consecutive dementia,” “mono-mania of pride,” “mania of suspicion,” “chronic mania,” “mono-mania of pride,” “acute melancholia” and “senile dementia”—but each photograph tells its own sad tale.
 
002inmatesyork.jpg
 
012inmatesyork.jpg
 
001inmatesyork.jpg
 
More inmate portraits, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Renaissance portrait or rapper?
03.17.2015
07:00 am

Topics:
Animals
Art
Hip-hop
History
Music

Tags:


 
NYC advertising creative director Cecilia Azcarate has an apparent fondness for the art of the Renaissance and a gift for connecting it to the present-day. Her Tumblr Ikea B4-XIV cleverly identifies centuries-old analogues to Swedish housewares in Renaissance paintings, and she curates a Twitter feed that’s heavy with the art of that era as well. But she’s hit on a rich vein of astonishing material with her Tumblr B4-XVI, wherein she highlights “an invisible conversation between hip hop and art before the 16th century.” The connections Azcarate identifies between painted portraits from the Renaissance and photographic portraits of 21st Century rappers are, at times, frankly amazing.
 

“The Adoration of the Magi” by Hugo van der Goes VS Wiz Khalifa
 

“Portrait of Henry the Pious, Duke of Saxony” by Lucas Cranach VS Takeoff of Migos
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
New York City squatters from the 1990s
03.17.2015
06:53 am

Topics:
Class War
History

Tags:


“Beer Olympics 1”
 
It’s strange to think of the 1990s as a bygone era, but artist and photographer Ash Thayer’s new book Kill City: Lower East Side Squatters 1992-2000 shows a New York that simply no longer exists. Thayer began living in a Lower East Side squat in 1992 after being kicked out of her Brooklyn apartment. As a young art student, she recorded the (mostly young and white) inhabitants of these crumbling buildings with a keen photographer’s eye and an unflinching focus on the decidedly unglamorous wreckage.

There is an optimism to the collection though; so many squatters looked at absolutely unlivable conditions and saw renovation potential—the picture of the pregnant women installing windows is particularly striking. Living in these buildings wasn’t even legal—they rarely had water or electricity, and were often infested with rats or roaches—so Thayer’s record of the LES squatters of the 90s is particularly precious, considering how covert many of these squatters had to be to evade eviction.
 

“Famous Pregnant and Building Windows”
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Amazing photographs of Harlem during the summer of 1970
03.16.2015
08:38 am

Topics:
Art
Fashion
History

Tags:


 
Captivating photographs of Harlem in July of 1970 taken by French photographer Jack Garofalo for the October issue of Paris Match magazine. Garofalo was sent on assignment to document the changes happening to the neighborhood after the 1960s.

Here are a few statistics about Harlem in the 1960s per Wikipedia:

...about 75% of Harlem students tested under grade levels in reading skills, and 80% tested under grade level in math.In 1964, residents of Harlem staged two school boycotts to call attention to the problem. In central Harlem, 92% of students stayed home. In the post-World War II era, Harlem ceased to be home to a majority of the city’s blacks,but it remained the cultural and political capital of black New York, and possibly black America

As the 1960s ended, many Harlemites were able to escape the crumbling, crime ridden neighborhood in search of better school systems, safer streets and more livable homes.

Jack Garofalo‘s photographs documented the people who stayed. A snapshot in time we’ll never see again.


 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Page 7 of 168 ‹ First  < 5 6 7 8 9 >  Last ›