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Unknown Photographer

German father watches his two children in their quarters in an unused mine. 1,700 Germans hid there in defiance of a Gestapo order to evacuate near Saarlautern., December 1944
Vintage wire photograph on paper
10 5/16 x 7 1/2 in. (26.19 x 19.05 cm)

Creation Place: Europe
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted Gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, and Daniel Mattis, in honor of Kathleen Stewart Howe
Accession Number: P2019.21.273

They defied Gestapo order to retreat: A German father watches his two children in their quarters in an unused mine on the estate of Franz von Papen, German diplomat. 1,700 Germans hid there in defiance of Gestapo order to evacuate their homes near Saarlautern. Behind them is furniture carried from their home. They were found by the advancing U.S. 90th Division, December 1944.

Sheet: 10 7/16 x 7 9/16

Wire photographs were originally transmitted over phonelines, then later, by satellite. They were first used in the early 1920s. Associated Press became a leader with this. After pigment touch-ups, etc., the print is put into a drum (like a drum scanner). The image gets converted into audio tones that are transmitted. The tones are received and beamed onto photo-sensitive paper. Wire photographs are copies without originals---they are hybrid, transmitted objects. (Britt Salvesen, Curator and Department Head, Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 30-31, 2022)

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  • Image Dimensions: 10 5/16 x 7 1/2 in. (26.19 x 19.05 cm)

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