Gerda Taro

Picture of Gerda Taro

Who: Gerda Taro, one of the first female photojournalists to cover the front lines of war and the first female war photographer killed in action; a pioneer in war photography

Why She Dazzles: Gerda, born Gerta Pohorylle, fled Nazi Germany after she was arrested for distributing anti-Nazi propaganda. She moved to Paris where she changed her name to be more marketable and to hide from the anti-Semitism of Hitler’s regime. She learned photography and began shooting the Popular Front in France and the Spanish Civil War, and her courage and bravery took her to the front lines of the Spanish Civil War where, unfortunately, she was killed doing what she loved most at the young age of 26.

Why You Need to Know Her Today: What is believed to be the last known photo of Gerda resurfaced in January 2018 when the son of the doctor who cared for Gerda after her deadly accident found the photograph’s inscription “Brunete Front, June 1937 (in Torrelodones) Mrs Frank Capa = of Ce Soire of Paris, killed at Brunete.” Gerda never married, but many people mistakenly believed she was married to her longtime partner and fellow photojournalist Robert Capa. The name “Frank” may have been due to a mixup between the names Robert Capa and Frank Capra, a famous film director.

What She Would Say—Because She Said It Then: “Did they take care of my camera?” These were supposedly her final words before she passed away from injuries sustained from a car collision with a tank; she cared about her work to the very end.

Picture of “La Petite Tribale” earrings by Christian Dior
Gerda was often known as “la pequeña rubia,” or the petite blonde.


What She Would Wear to a Photo Exhibition Tonight: “La Petite Tribale” earrings from Christian Dior. Gerda wore her hair short, reflecting her independent spirit. These earrings with a gold-tone finish and white, lightweight beads add a delicate touch beneath her berets. The superb accessory for transitioning from working day to night.

Picture of a card that features vintage cameras
Gerda used a Rollei camera, which rendered squared photos, and a Leica.

What She Would Send to Her Friend: Gerda’s favorite accessory? Her camera. Her professional partner and companion Robert Capa taught her his photographic technique when she assisted him and wrote captions for his pictures. They covered war assignments as a team, often publishing their work under Capa’s name, but her photos are distinguishable because she shot with a different camera than his. Gerda and Robert worked together as equals, and she attained great independence and even traveled and covered assignments alone. She would certainly send a reminder of her beloved object of desire.

Picture of a beach and city in Valencia, Spain
Gerda was a fearless war photographer who shot pictures of what it was like experiencing the war, from civilians to the front line.

Where She Would Instagram: Spain. But let’s be real, she would Instagram from everywhere she traveled for her assignments. Gerda would have a massive Instagram following and curate fascinating Instagram Stories of her up-close account of events that influence public opinion. Her most famous pictures documented the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, capturing emotional, powerful imagery of the war’s impact on humanity.

Tweet This: The documentary film, “The Mexican Suitcase,” tells the story of thousands of lost negatives taken by Gerda Taro, Robert Capa, and David “Chim” Seymour during the Spanish Civil War #anewlady

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