War crimes

Aug31

Encountering violence and crimes in autobiographical narratives of Operation “Barbarossa”

Categories // War crimes

Gianluca Cinelli

Encountering violence and crimes in autobiographical narratives of Operation “Barbarossa”

On 22nd June 1941, the German armies overcame the Russian resistance on the river Bug and started to penetrate in depth in Russia in a drunken state of exaltation. The encounter with war was, according to published memoirs that account for those events, first of all an exploration of an unknown, hostile land. Passing from a victory to another, German soldiers advanced in a state of exaltation and self-confidence. Soon enough, though, the war became brutal: the campaign was not like the former ones in Poland and France: the loss were high and a general crisis of the Wehrmacht was avoided only by pouring more and more replacements in the decimated ranks. The first impact with such a brutal war of annihilation consisted in encountering the huge mass of Soviet POWs, in a horrific scene that recurs in many a narrative. It is rare to come across allegations directly written in diaries or memoirs. In general, the soldiers found it disturbing to show themselves in the garb of brutal and insensible killers, especially because they were fighting in a war largely justified by ideological hatred and contempt for the enemy, as well as by racial prejudice.

Apr30

Reading War Photographs: Who is the photographer?

Categories // Human rights, Refugees and asylum seekers, War and culture, War crimes, Justice and punishment, Conflict resolution, War and conflict

María Manuela Fernández Sánchez

Reading War Photographs: Who is the photographer?

In an interview published in the newspaper El País (April 17, 2015), José Palazón, president of the nongovernmental organization “Prodein”, and winner of the XVIII Luis Valtueña Humanitarian Photography Award, remembers a conversation that he had with a prosecutor, twenty years ago, when he was denouncing the abuses against immigrants in Melilla, the Spanish enclave on the North African coast. Palazón complained that his efforts to gain visibility were not getting anywhere, to which the prosecutor replied: “Look for evidences. Take photographs”. Since then, it seems that Palazón has learned his lesson and the photograph “Desolate landscapes”, which he submitted to the Luis Valtueña photography competition has travelled around the world.

 

The full text is followed by a brief biography of the author.

Original versions of these photos can be found here:

 

Verne El Pais

The Guardian

Caesar photos: inside Syrian authorities' prisons

 

 

 

Normandy landings

Troups marching in France

General Bernard Montgomery

Pilots in World War II