"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Truth - the first casualty of war. More lies about the Reichstag on fire

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On the morning of May 2, 1945 a 28 year old Russian photojournalist Yevgeny Khaldei had gone to the Reichstag, the German parliament building in the center of Berlin. Three hours earlier the last German commander left in the capital had capitulated, but there was still sporadic fighting going on. Khaldei had his Leica camera with him, a full roll of film - and a Soviet flag.

That night he flew to Moscow with a ful roll of 36 exposures - the above iconic image appeared in the magazine Ogonjok on May 13, 1945.

But like many such war images, Capas's dying soldier (Capa one of the founders of the MAGNUM agency was in fact a Hungarian Jew, Endre Friedmann), the raising of the Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima, it concealed a lie.

In reality the soldier who is supporting his comrade with the flag had a watch on each wrist. The Soviet soldiers had looted their way through Berlin when they arrived. Khaldei admitted later that he had scratched out the watch on the man's right arm in one of the negatives using a needle.

Using the post war methods of photoshopping later versions had dark clouds of smoke added and for a final version there was a new flag, billowing dramatically in the wind.

This story is revealed in a Khaldei retrospective opening on May 8, the anniversary of the end of World War II, at Berlin's Martin Gropius Bau museum. The exhibition will show photographs from the "Great Patriotic War" -- the Red Army's conquest of Sofia, Bucharest, Budapest and Vienna, the Potsdam conference and the Nuremberg trials. It will also feature photographs of everyday life in the Soviet Union, from before and after the war.

"Yevgeny Khaldei -- The Decisive Moment. A Retrospective" will show at the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin from May 9 to July 28.

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Also UPDATE story in Independent Thursday Missing suitcase of Capa war photos is found after 70 years - By Elizabeth Nash in Madrid - Wednesday, 7 May 2008

"A suitcase containing thousands of undeveloped photographs of the Spanish Civil War shot by the great war photographer Robert Capa has reappeared after being lost for 70 years." ...The cut shots in the envelopes already scrutinised have revealed previously unknown images of the brutal closing stages of Spain's civil war in 1939.

They date from 1937, and do not therefore include any that might form part of the sequence containing the famous "falling soldier" picture taken in Cordoba in 1936. A negative of the controversial shot has never been found (it has long been reproduced from a vintage print), and the discovery of one, especially in the original sequence showing all the images taken before and after the shot, could end the debate.

Apparently Capa's friend and assistant Imre "Chiki" Weisz entrusted the suitcase (including 3,500 pictures – 120 rolls of film and sheaves of envelopes of cut negatives – taken by Capa, his companion Gerda Taro (real name Gerta Pohorylle, he died in Spain in 1937 in a tank accident while taking pictures.)and fellow photographer David "Chim" Seymour ) in 1940 to a Mexican diplomat in Paris, General Francisco Aguilar Gonzalez.

The general took it home to Mexico, where it reappeared among his possessions decades after his death in 1967. The New York based International Centre of Photography recently acquired the "Mexican suitcase" after protracted negotiations with the General's descendants.

This story was covered in more detail in the Lost negatives of Robert Capa finally end up in New York International Herald Tribune January 29th 2008. It appears General Francisco Aguilar Gonzalez had been stationed as a diplomat in the late 1930s in Marseille, where the Mexican government, a supporter of the Republican cause, had begun helping anti-fascist refugees from Spain emigrate to Mexico. Finally curator curator and scholar, Trisha Ziff, who has lived in Mexico City managed to ensure the suitcase was handed by the family to the ICP.

Stunning slideshow here

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One caption ...

Capa practically invented the image of the globe-trotting war photographer, with a cigarette appended to the corner of his mouth and cameras slung over his fatigues. His fearlessness awed even his soldier subjects, and between battles he hung out with Hemingway and Steinbeck and usually drank too much, seeming to pull everything off with panache. William Saroyan wrote that he thought of Capa as “a poker player whose sideline was picture-taking.”

See also New York Times 27th January 2008 The Capa Cache by Randy Kennedy

TRisha Ziff was English now naturalised Mexicam stunning V&A show on Che here

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