Wounded German Soldier

A wounded German soldier discovered by American troops in a barn, Robert Capa, September 30, 1943, photograph, International Center of Photography



We should appreciate this picture for all of its worth due to its illustration of a horrific aspect of war that can sometimes be overlooked and too grotesque for most history textbooks. The holocaust and the battle on the German front made it impossible for American troops to see the German opposition as human beings. Surpassing the conflict between the two sides, it appears the pain and the cries of this wounded soldier turned fierce warriors into compassionate human beings. It is apparent that the kneeling American soldier pities the German. After losing many of their fellow comrades in the war, the Americans could have empathized with him. A different take on the photo is that the soldiers were keeping the German man alive in order to interrogate him and would eventually torture him after they received the information they wanted. It is a photo that captures the horrors of war, but leaves a huge chunk of the story to the imagination. Everyone’s interpretation of the picture will be different and that is what makes the photographer so creative. I have seen many photos of war, but this one has left me with the most questions.  


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