‚A crime against sacred soil‘

17.12.2011                      21.Kislev. 5772                      Wajeshew

Israel fotografieren:

'A crime against sacred soil'

Czech-born Josef Koudelka chose to focus his lens on the separation barrier, because 'I grew up behind a wall and am very sensitive to all people who grew up behind a wall'.

Josef Koudelka closed a circle this year, perhaps the most important one in his life. He relates with pride that 43 years after the Prague Spring, and 41 years after he fled to the West, an exhibition of his photographs has been mounted in Moscow. And not just any exhibition: For the first time, Koudelka is showing his dramatic photos of the crushing by Soviet tanks, in the name of the Warsaw Pact, of Czechoslovakia's brief interlude of liberalization.
"These are not just about the Soviet invasion. It is a story about one man who has a gun and another who doesn't have a gun. This is something universal and therefore it engages me," says Koudelka, who traveled to the Russian capital for the opening of the exhibition. Do those historic pictures, which have been described as "one of the most important photojournalistic series in history," still have any resonance today? Koudelka believes they do. He says his hope is that there will be young people in Russia and elsewhere "who will see the Russian soldiers who arrived in Czechoslovakia and were put in the position of being the country's occupiers" – and draw conclusions….