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- 03 -202015

“One hundred years of photography in the French Armed Forces”. Fourth episode. Liberations through photographs.

Louis Viguier emerged as a photographer with the armed forces film service (SCA) between November 1944 and May 1945.

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In Cernay, in the Colmar pocket, in February 1945, the troops of the 4th Moroccan mountain division (DMM) pass through the town they have just liberated. Viguier captures a variety of expressions on the faces of a watching family: a little girl, intrigued, a woman — perhaps her mother — smiling hopefully. But it is above all the severe expression of the grandmother and the man, staring at the liberators and unconscious of the photographer’s presence, that catches our attention: faces exhausted by five years of war, no doubt wondering what tomorrow will bring.

MA BA 100ansphoto04 2 20150224 286x300 One hundred years of photography in the French Armed Forces. Fourth episode. Liberations through photographs.Viguier produced several reports on the liberation of Alsace. One, shot in Mulhouse, draws the viewer’s eye: the men of a special platoon attack a building where Germans are holed up. The Germans finally surrender and Viguier photographs a terrified man on the ground:

”Arrested, the SS officer, in civilian clothes, begs our soldiers not to kill him” he writes in his caption
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In mid-April 1945, troops of the 9th colonial infantry division (DIC) pass through the town of Kehl. Louis Viguier takes an explosive, comical image of a jeep’s passengers, doubtless amused, passing an effigy of Hitler, his arms in the air in an attitude of surrender.

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Viguier shares in the fighters’ daily lives, and sometimes, clearly, the risks to which they are exposed. Back in France, he produced a few more reports on the reconstruction of the country before disappearing from view.

Photo credit : © ECPAD / Louis Viguier

 

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