With the outbreak of hostilities in Israel in 1948, Robert Capa came to the country to witness and photograph the ceremony of the declaration of the State and the War of Independence. Over the following two years, Capa re-visited Israel a number of times to document the waves of immigration, the transit camps, and the deep uncertainty facing the new-born Jewish nation. Despite Capa’s fame as a photographer of wars, these pictures represent a part of his work which is marked by immediacy, warmth and intimacy with his subject. Here, playing chess on the beachfront of Tel Aviv, 1948.

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Robert Capa
© Robert Capa | Magnum Photos
Born Andre Friedmann to Jewish parents in Budapest in 1913, Robert Capa studied political science at the Deutsche Hochschule für Politik in Berlin. Driven out of the country by the threat of a Nazi regime, he settled in Paris in 1933. After his companion, Gerda Taro, was killed during the Spanish Civil War, Capa travelled to China in 1938 and emigrated to New York a year later. Often referred to as the ‘greatest war photographer’, Capa documentation of the Second World War—including the landing of American troops on Omaha Beach on D-Day, the liberation of Paris and the Battle of the Bulge—have become genre-defining. In 1947, Capa founded Magnum Photos with Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour, George Rodger and William Vandivert. On 25 May 1954, he was photographing for Life in Thai-Binh, Indochina, when he stepped on a landmine and was killed.
© Robert Capa | Magnum Photos

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