What happened to the people in some of the most famous photographs in history (2023)

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    Polish girl mourning her sister survived until 2020 and never forgave the Luftwaffe

    What happened to the people in some of the most famous photographs in history (1)

    Photo: Julien Bryan /Wikimedia Commons/public domain

    One of the most famous photos of World War II.it was taken just two weeks after the start of the conflict. It shows a young woman, Kazimiera Mika (née Kostewicz), kneeling in horror over the corpse of her sister Anna della, who has just been shot by a Luftwaffe fighter pilot.

    The photo (actually a still image from a film) was taken byJulian Bryan, an American photographer and filmmaker who had been documenting life in Poland and Third Reich Germany since the mid-1930s. When the conflict began, he went to Warsaw, where he continued his work as Poland fell under German rule. He put some photos together in oneshort documentarywhich was exhibited in the US in 1940. Bryan, who died in 1974,I remembered to take the photo:

    As we were driving through a small field on the outskirts of the city, we arrived a few minutes late to witness a tragic event, the most unbelievable of all. Seven women dug potatoes in a field. There was no flour in their district and they were desperate for food. Suddenly, two German planes appeared out of nowhere and dropped two bombs on a small house just 200 meters away. Two women from the house were killed. Potato pickers dove to the ground hoping to go undetected. After the suicide bombers left, the women went back to their jobs. They had to have food.

    But the [German] airmen were not satisfied with their work. Within minutes, they turned and descended 200 feet to the ground, this time sweeping the field with machine gun fire. Two of the seven women were killed. The other five escaped somehow.

    While photographing the bodies, a 10-year-old girl ran up and was delighted next to one of the dead. The woman was her older sister. The girl had never seen death before and couldn't understand why her sister didn't want to talk to her...

    The boy looked at us confused. I put my arm around her and held her tight, trying to comfort her. She cried. Me and the two Polish officers who were with me too...

    Mika survived the conflict.. She kept in touch with Bryan, who returned to Warsaw in 1958 and 1974, shortly before his death. Later, Bryan's son Sam continued the relationship and visited her in 2019. Of the Air Force pilots,she said, "I can't forgive them even after all these years." Mika died on August 28, 2020 at the age of 93, surviving her sister by almost 81 years.

    2,258 votes

  • 2



    The man with the bottle on the beam of a skyscraper returned home to Slovakia and was killed in a World War II bombing raid

    What happened to the people in some of the most famous photographs in history (2)

    Foto: Charles Clyde Ebbets /Wikimedia Commons/public domain

    The famous photo of construction workers from 1932Lunch on a steel beamHundreds of feet in the air does not show the Empire State Building under construction, as some have assumed. The workers are on the 69th floor of the unfinished RCA Center at Rockefeller Center (now known colloquially as 30 Rock). The image was also staged to advertise the construction effort.

    It took some detective work to uncover the identities of the men in the photos. The guy on the far right was a Slovak immigrant namedGustavo Popovic, whose wife Mariska stayed home while he came to the United States to earn money. Popovic sent Mariska a postcard with the photo, with this note:

    Don't worry my dear Mariska, as you can see I still have the bottle. your taste.

    The implication is that the bottle contains alcohol, although it's hard to tell. Popovic returned to Slovakia before World War II and bought farmland with his money. Unfortunately, he did not survive the conflict. As Rebeka Jakubová does itSlovak startup news sitewrite (translated viaGoogle):

    Gusti returned to Slovakia from the United States before World War II. With the money he earned, he bought forests and fields to cultivate. When the war ended and the front crossed Slavkov, he died during the shelling. He came out of the basement and when he was going to his house he was killed by a grenade.

    1,429 votes

  • 3



    The 'Napalm Girl' underwent 17 surgeries, converted to Christianity and started a charity

    What happened to the people in some of the most famous photographs in history (3)

    Photo: Nick Ut /Wikimedia Commons/public domain

    On June 8, 1972, Vietnamese-American photographer Nick Ut captured the infamous photo of Vietnamese children fleeing the town of Trang Bang, which had just been hit by a South Vietnamese plane carrying napalm. In the center of the photo, a naked girl, crying in pain, walks forward with her arms outstretched.

    Ut's photo, one of the most famous of the Vietnam War, was titled "The Terror of War" and won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography. Decades later,recalled the circumstances surrounding the photoin interview withvanity fair:

    When I first saw the napalm explosion, I didn't think there were civilians in the town... Then I started seeing people coming out of the fireball and smoking. I took out my Nikon camera with a 300mm lens and started taking pictures... First it was a grandmother carrying a baby who died in front of my camera. Then I saw the naked girl running through the viewfinder of my Leica. I thought, “Oh my gosh. What happened? The girl has no clothes." I kept shooting...

    I almost took a roll of Tri-x film off of her, then saw her skin was peeling and stopped taking pictures. He didn't want her to die. I wanted to help her. I put my cameras on the street. We throw water at this young woman. Her name was Kim Phuc. She was yelling "nong qu" (too hot). We were all shocked.

    Kim Phuc, who was nine years old at the time of the attack, survived but was in chronic pain from her burns. Over the next few years, she underwent 17 surgeries. Eventually, he settled in Toronto after being granted political asylum in Canada.

    As a teenager, Kim harbored resentment for her fate. She "she built Me up with hate, bitterness, and anger."she remembered"I only live with the question of why me. Why did this happen to me?"

    Soon after, Kim converted to Christianity and found solace in the teachings of the New Testament. "I forgive everyone who caused my suffering, including the pilot, the captain and the people who control me," she said. In the years that followed, she had a son and founded acharitable foundationto help children affected by conflict.

    • To change:59
    • Place of birth:Bezirk Trang Bang, Vietnam

    2,414 votes

  • 4



    The man who pointed a gun at a child in the Warsaw ghetto was executed in 1969

    What happened to the people in some of the most famous photographs in history (4)

    Photo: Unknown /Wikimedia Commons/public domain

    It's an indelible image of the Holocaust: a boy stands with his hands up, a look of horror on his face, while a German soldier stands off to the side, rifle casually in hand.

    The photo was taken during theLiquidation of the Warsaw Ghettoby German troops in April and May 1943, a response to theUprising in the Warsaw Ghetto, the most important act of civil resistance under the rule of the Third Reich. In harsh retaliation, the Germans expelled all the Jews from the city, killing many and deporting the rest to concentration camps. The photo is one of many included in an accompanying album.a reportpresented by SSGen.Jürgen Stroop to his superiors. "There is no longer a Jewish quarter in Warsaw," Stroop wrote in the album's caption.

    The child's identity isnot known, but it is speculated that his age should have been under 10, since that is the threshold below which Jewish children were not required to wear the Star of David on their clothing.

    The man was identified asJosef Blosche, an SS soldier whose notorious cruelty earned him the nickname "Frankenstein." He surrendered to the Soviets in May 1945 and after a while was placed as a prisoner of war and later in a forced labor camp in East Germany. In the 1960s, after the publication of the Stroop Report, he was exposed to Blosche's role and was arrested by the East German police. Convicted of war crimes, he was executed on July 29, 1969.

    • To change:Ten. before 57 (1912-1969)
    • Place of birth:Fredlant, Czech Republic

    1,679 votes

  • 5



    Working girl Sadie Pfeifer married at 17 and died of a stroke at 51

    What happened to the people in some of the most famous photographs in history (5)

    Foto: Lewis Hine /Library of Congress/No known launch restrictions

    Photographerlewis hine, working for the National Committee on Child Labor, captured numerous photographs of children in unsafe or distressing conditions in the early 1900s. Hine often had to go undercover to take the photos, which helped turn public opinion against child exploitation, and their work led to new child labor laws.

    One of his most famous songs wasSadie Pfeifer, which he photographed in 1908 at a cotton mill in Lancaster, SC. flutistdid not attend schoolbeyond the second series. She married at 17 and had a son. In the 1920s and 1930s, Pfeifer continued to work in cotton mills. He died of a brain hemorrhage in 1950, at age 51.

    Decades later, Pfeifer's great-niece, Vicki Pilkey, recounted in an interview what family information she had received about her great-aunt. She said that according to her father, Pfeifer "spoke very slowly and moved very slowly." When she was asked about Pfeifer's untimely death, Ella Pilkey replied: "She's worked in the cotton mills all her life and she'll make you old."

    1,128 votes

  • 6



    The 'Migrant Mother' was identified in the 1970s and complained that she 'couldn't get a penny' out of the photo.

    What happened to the people in some of the most famous photographs in history (6)

    Photo: Dorothea Lange /Wikimedia Commons/public domain

    Dorothea Lange was documenting migrant farm workers for the federal government's Resettlement Administration when she took this stunning photo of a migrant woman and her two young children in 1936.remember:

    As if drawn by a magnet, I saw the desperate and hungry mother and approached her. I don't remember explaining my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember that she didn't ask me any questions. I took five photos, working closer and closer in the same direction. I didn't ask her name or her story. She told me that she was 32 years old.

    With her face wrinkled prematurely, the woman looked much older than she was; The photo has become one of the indelible images of the Great Depression.

    The identity of the "migrant mother" remained unknown for decades, until 1978, when theThe woman herself wrote a letter.Forthe modest bee. Her name was Florence Owens Thompson. Thompson, a purebred Cherokee, supported her six children by picking cotton after her husband's death. She would have two more children with another man when her picture of Lange was taken. After World War II, she married George Thompson, a hospital administrator, and settled in Modesto, California.

    Thompson's letter was published in an AP report entitled "Women fighting wildly for a famous depression photo". In the story, Thompson complained, "I wish she hadn't taken my picture. I can't make a penny out of it. She didn't ask my name. She said she wouldn't sell the paintings. She said she'd send me a copy. She never did that's it.

    When Thompson, 79, was diagnosed with cancer in 1983,his son Troy Owens told his storyfor himSan Jose Mercury News. When the public learned of his situation, donations of $35,000 were made to help with medical expenses.

    Despite the help, Thompson died in September. Still, her family was delighted with the great support she received. Owens recalled:

    None of us understood how much people were moved by Mom's photo. I think we were just seeing it from our perspective. The photo has always been a little curse for mom and us. After all those letters arrived, I think it gave us a sense of pride.

    • To change:Myth December 80 (1903-1983)
    • Place of birth:indian territory

    1,451 votes

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