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Ernst Haas


Als der Krieg zu Ende ging…


Ernst Haas is considered one of the most internationally renowned color photographers. The Austrian, who has lived abroad for decades, began his photographic work in Vienna immediately after the end of the war. His documentation of the »Heimkehrer« [returnees], the waiting women and the beginning of reconstruction, first published in the magazine »Heute«, established his worldwide success. The pictures in this exhibition contain the majority of this series.
»The homecoming story was more of a symbolic story that didn’t have that much to do with the returnees. I actually wanted to show the fate of the women, that’s what interested me at the time. […] You never knew who was imprisoned, who was starving, who was wounded, and that’s why they kept coming to these transports. I was on five or six of these transports to take these pictures, and I kept seeing the same faces, they kept coming back with the same picture. The picture was no longer a picture, it no longer had any resemblance. Those were the most moving scenes. […] I photographed with the Rolleiflex, there were only twelve shots per film, which is terribly little. There were so many possibilities, you didn’t know whether I should take a picture or not; it was very exciting.«
from: Michael Mauracher in conversation with Ernst Haas, FOTOHOF Info, issue 2/1982