Rare and unpublished series of military photographs taken at the liberation of Colmar by the great German photographer Germaine Krull, then director of the photographic department of France Libre.

G. Krull. Colmar. 1945


[Military photographs]. Germaine Krull. World War II. Rhine and Danube. Liberation of Alsace and Colmar. General de Lattre de Tassigny in Colmar. Around 13 February 1945. 13 photographs from the time period, unpublished. middle format size : 9 x 12,5 cm.                      

Colmar’s pocket was surrended after heavy fighting between the First French Army associated with the XXIth U.S corps . and the XIXth German Army. The fighting took place from 20 January to 9 February 1945 in extremely difficult conditions in a winter, particularly rigorous this year, and beacause of the terrain that offered virtually no natural cover for the allied assailants. Colmar’s libération took place on 2 February, and was celebrated by a military parade in Rapp Square, as show the Germaine Krull’s photographs:

9 photos of general Lattre de Tassigny with general Valluy, and U.S. generals Milburn and O’Daniel, prefect Fonlupt-Esperaber, mayor Edouard Richard and Alsatians in costume (4 photos bear on the back a handwritten caption, the number 00833 stamped, the stamp “Copyright Germaine Krull “, and the stamp of authorization to publish put and signed by the head of U.S. military censorship, dated 13 February 1945).  

3 photos of the parade of tanks: an overview of the tanks before the parade, an American tank parading with French flag-bearer, and a tank parading with a superior officer [Schlesser ?] and his staff officers (all photos with the caption “Colmar handwritten, the number 00833 stamped, the stamp ” Copyright Germaine Krull “, and the stamp of authorization to publish put and signed by the head of U.S. military censorship, dated 13 February 1945). 

1 photo of American soldiers with a jeep in the background, with on back the handwritten caption “The last village of Alsace liberated “, the number 00833 stamped, the stamp “Copyright Germaine Krull “, and the stamp of authorization to publish put and signed by the head of U.S. military censorship, dated 13 February 1945.

On the same square, on 10 February, General De Gaulle decorated the generals de Lattre de Tassigny, Milburn, O’Daniel, Leclerc and Valluy, Colmar’s liberators. On 20 February, on the Champ de Mars, French and American will be gathered for a take-up that will testify to a brotherhood of arms unique in the course of the war and the fervor of the liberated Alsatians.


G. Krull. Libération de Colmar. 1945.

Germaine Krull (1897-1985), German photographer. Fleeing Nazism, she had left France in 1940 where she had been living from 1925 to the United States, then had moved to Brazzaville in Congo where she headed the propaganda service of France Libre. After a brief stay in Algeria, she accompanies the 6th Army Group during the Allied landings in Provence in August 1944, then the 1st French army until the end of the war. Her photos will be published in the book La Bataille d’Alsace, with a text by Roger Vailland. Ours are not included.

In 1927, she was one of the main representatives of the New Vision with the publication – by the Bookseller of Decorative Arts – of a collection of modernist photographs entitled Métal. Now supported by artists like Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Germaine Krull’s career as a photographer is launched. She contributes to the Salon de l’escalier in Paris, Fotografie der Gegenwart in Essen, Film und Foto in Stuttgart in 1929, Das Lchtbild in Munich in 1930, as well as to theInternational Exhibition of Photography in Brussels in 1932. Her photographs are published in all magazines, . Vu or Marianne, and in avant-garde publications such as Bifur or Variétés. Pierre Mac Orlan even dedicatesto her the first volume of the collection Les Photographes nouveaux, published by Gallimard in 1931.

She is then in Bangkok, where she collaborates with a photographic agency. In 1967, André Malraux asks her to illustrate a book on Buddhist art; an exhibition of her photographs from Thailand is organized at the Cinematheque. She later published numerous collections of photographs with texts by Jean Cocteau, Paul Morand, Georges Simenon and André Suarès.

Several exhibitions have been devoted to her : Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn in 1977, Christian Bouqueret, musée Réattu, Arles in 1988, as well as a retrospective in 1999, from her archives deposited at the Folkwang Museum in Essen (presented in Munich, San Francisco, Rotterdam, Paris) and finally Germaine Krull (1897-1985) Un destin de photographe, Musée du Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2 June-27 September 2015.

Pierre Mac Orlan, Germaine Krull, Paris, Gallimard, 1931 ; Germaine Krull, publication de la Cinémathèque Française, 1967 ; Christian Bouqueret, Germaine Krull. Photographies 1924-1936, exhibition catalogue, Musée Réattu, Arles, 1988 ; Elvire Perego, Germaine Krull, in Beaux-arts magazine n° 68, May 1989, p. 108 ; Kim Sichel, Germaine Krull. Photographer of modernity (cat. exp.), Cambridge (Mass.), The MIT Press, l999 ; Germaine Krull et les avant-gardes, University of Florida Symposium, May 2010.

Some yellow colored and accidents on the margins without gravity. Rare series.

950 €