“The Imperial Army Is Now Crusading”


Front, “The Imperial Army, the Corner-stone of Asia,” No. 3-4, 1942 (2006.6.2)

1940: In Asia… Japanese soldiers stand sentinel at all key points of East Asia.

Japanese troops advance to the Continent across the sea.

Are they “Aggressors of Asia?”

The real aggressor of Asia is to be adjudicated before the bar of history, not by mendacious propaganda to be let loose by false accusers, who have an ulterior motive.

Again we ask: Is Japan the aggressor of Asia?

Those real aggressors of Asia have mercilessly directed their attack at Japan.

We ask once more: Is Japan the aggressor of Asia?

It is the glory of the Imperial Army that it is charged with a lofty mission. It does not wage war for the sake of war, but on the contrary it stands for putting the house of Asia in order, for recovery of lost territories, for emancipation and for construction.

The Imperial Army is an army of discipline, an army of intelligence.

The Imperial Army is an army of the Emperor.


Front, “The Imperial Army, the Corner-stone of Asia,” No. 3-4, 1942 (2006.6.2)

A fresh gloom has come over Asia. Western Imperialism and the Red influence have started onslaughts upon Asia, by pursuing new tactics. One has been an international intrigue for weakening Japan’s military might under the pretext of disarmament, another establishment of anti-Japanese influences in China and Manchuria and still another inveiglement and winning of Asiatic peoples over to their side with monetary lure and other temptations. Japan has been compelled to rise again to combat this weakening and disintegration of Asia.
-From the Manchurian Incident to the Sino-Japanese Affair.


Front, “The Imperial Army, the Corner-stone of Asia,” No. 3-4, 1942 (2006.6.2)

The curtain has just risen on this gigantic war of emancipation which is being waged for the sake of the entire Asiatic nations to regain Asia’s unsullied independence – a struggle for the construction of a new order in the world, which is aimed at repainting the earth’s surface, which has got dirty with corruption of centuries’ standing. Japan’s mission is a lofty one. Asia’s enemies, both external and internal, have begun to offer a desperate resistance, but…


Front, “The Imperial Army, the Corner-stone of Asia,” No. 3-4, 1942 (2006.6.2)


Front, “The Imperial Army, the Corner-stone of Asia,” No. 3-4, 1942 (2006.6.2)


Front, “The Imperial Army, the Corner-stone of Asia,” No. 3-4, 1942 (2006.6.2)

The Imperial Army Is Now Crusading:
To rescue the oppressed Asia,

The Imperial Army Is Now Crusading:
To restore the pillaged Asia,

To administer a blood transfusion to the worn-out Asia.

1942: In Asia… Japanse soldiers stand sentinel at all key points of Greater East Asia, and…

JOINT DEFENCE… and JOINT CONSTRUCTION!

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Books not bombs


Harrison, [Holland House library damaged during Nazi Blitz, London], October 23, 1940 (2014.44.1)


Harrison, [Holland House library damaged during Nazi Blitz, London] [verso], October 23, 1940 (2014.44.1)

London Landmark After Bombing
London—The Roofless, Fire-gutted Library in Holland House, Lord Ilchester’s 17th Century House just off Kensington High Street, London, after being struck by an oil bomb and a “Molotov Bread Basket” during a Nazi Night Raid.

This intriguing and enigmatic photo, with painterly retouching, of the Holland House library (built in the beginning of the seventeenth century on “the grounds of Cope Castle, a large Jacobean mansion hidden in the woods” and damaged in the fall of 1940), was published widely; The Times published a variant view without homburg hat wearing book browsers. Books are better than bombs.


The Morning Herald, November 5, 1940

Hitler Again Burns Books – This Time in London

Incendiary bombs and fire have gutted London’s historic Holland House, but readers still trudge to it’s library. The famous London landmark on Kensington Road was built in 1607. Its library contains many books written by authors who once lived there, including Joseph Addison, founder of the Spectator, Sheridan, Sir Walter Scott and Lord Macaulay. Other famous residents were Oliver Cromwell and the Prince of Wales who later became George IV.


The New York Times, November 3, 1940 (photos: Times World Wide, passed by British censor)

After German Planes Passed Over Historic Holland House

Gaping windows and chipped and stained masonry of the famed London structure on Kensington Road which was set afire by a shower of incendiary bombs. Built in the seventeenth century, it was the home of Charles James Fox and, later, Joseph Addison, founder of The Spectator. Among its notable visitors have been the Prince of Wales, afterward George IV; Sheridan the dramatist, and Sir Walter Scott.

Debris carpets the stairs.

Charred timbers and burned books line the once-mellow interior.


Harrison, [Holland House library damaged during Nazi Blitz, London], October 23, 1940 (2014.44.1) [detail]

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Weegee’s camera, camera case, and secrets…


Graflex, Inc., [Weegee’s Speed Graphic camera], ca. 1945 (2007.13.1)


[Weegee’s camera case], ca. 1948 (22666.1993)


[Weegee’s Photoflash Secrets and Westinghouse sign], 1953 (25392.1993)

Three things (no photos) for the third (like a dessert) of three Weegee birthday blog posts.

“To me, a picture is like a blintz… eat it while it’s hot…” Weegee by Weegee, p. 82.

Until next year: Happy Birthday Weegee!

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Happy Birthday to the “The Genius of the Camera”


Weegee, The Genuis of the Camera, ca. 1938 (19916.1993)


Weegee, [Weegee in his nightly tour of the city gets a tip from a PM newspaper seller, New York], August 10, 1941 (19644.1993)

Weegee Lives For His Work And Thinks Before Shooting

By Ralph Steiner

Many people have asked me to write a piece about Weegee, the free-lance crime photographer whose pictures and stories appear so often in PM.
It is hard to write anything less than a book about Weegee, but I can say something about why he is a great photographer, which he certainly is.
His greatness as a crime photographer grows out of three things: First, his willingness to live entirely for his work. Second, his ingenuity in carrying it out. Third, his very intelligent approach to a kind of material which other photographers treat in a routine manner. […]

Some photographers might say that Weegee’s success is solely because he is Johnny-on-the-spot, but that’s not so. Early in his career he discovered that most corpses and fires look pretty much alike. Now he looks first for the human element, for anything incongruous, for little points which may be more interesting and revealing than the main event.

And there is the all-important fact that Weegee, unlike the majority of photographers I have met, is a rich personality. You can’t squeeze blood from a stone; nor can an editor squeeze good pictures out of a stony photographer. Weegee moves in a world of violence, brutality, bloodshed and horror, but the pictures he brings up out of it do not depend entirely on the drama of the event. They are good because Weegee adds a little of himself, and a little of Weegee is really something. […]


Weegee, [Weegee assisting a woman with a camera, New York], ca. 1937 (20140.1993)


Weegee, Weegee and Renee Parsons, First Prize Winner at Art Students League Ball at Roosevelt Hotel, March 1941 (20141.1993)

Weegee’s Comment On His Craft:

“Most photographers always use the same old methods. We’ll assume that a horse-drawn wagon is going over the Williamsburg Bridge. A car hits it and the driver is tossed into the water and gets killed. The other photographers will take a picture of the bridge and then have an artist draw a diagram showing how the guy fell into the water. What I do is go and see what happened to the poor old horse.

“News photographers should not act like they are in the movies. Everyone will be co-operative if you just show a little consideration.”

“When I take a picture of a fire, I forget all about the burning building and I go out to the human element. If I see a woman standing by a fire engine and crying, it’s much better than a picture of the building. The building is just a spectacle.”

“When a crowd sees a camera they all turn around and say: ‘Go ahead and take the picture, Mister. What paper will it be in and what page will it be on?’ People always think a photographer knows what page a picture will be on. I say ‘Forget about the camera. Editors don’t like posey pictures.’ And I set my camera down. Pretty soon they get bored waiting for the picture and start watching the action. Then I take my picture.”

“One time one of the newspapers assigned me to a three-alarm fire. […] I came back with a picture of a monster whale that had drifted into Sheepshead Bay. I got the whale picture exclusive.

“A photographer should have confidence in himself and if he gets a good idea he should go take it, even if everybody laughs at him.”
PM, March 9, 1941 , pp. 48-51


Arthur Leipzig, [“Bowery Discotheque”: Weegee and Edith Smith dancing at the Naked City book party, Sammy’s Bowery Follies, New York], 1945 (20076.1993)


Weegee, [Weegee lying on bed in his studio, New York], 1941 (19633.1993)

Weegee was born 120 years ago today, June 12, 1899.


Weegee (1899-1968), Famous Photographers Tell How, Candid Recordings, 1958.

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An investigator, a detective, and a curious bystander


Weegee, Investigator, (who looks like & is Weegee) at Manhattan Police Headquarters…, 1940 (19731.1993)


Weegee, Investigator, (who looks like & is Weegee) at Manhattan Police Headquarters… [verso], 1940 (19731.1993)

Investigator, (who looks like & is Weegee) at Manhattan Police Hdqs, looks over fragments of broken glass, & metal from scene of bombings, for clues, in 2 bombings at German Consulate Bldg, & Daily Worker, note piece of wood, from German Consulate Bldg bombing.


Weegee, Loot, ca. 1938 (19744.1993)


Weegee, Loot [verso], ca. 1938 (19744.1993)

A detective at Manhattan Police Hdqs, Practices up on a fiddle, part of loot stolen from parked autos, a couple were arrested.


Weegee, 6 ft. Snake found at Broadway and 78th St… , ca. 1938 (19721.1993)


Weegee, 6 ft. Snake found at Broadway and 78th St… [verso], ca. 1938 (19721.1993)

6 ft. Snake found at B’way & 78 st, … Curious bystander looks over snake.

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“Face of New York on Invasion Day”


PM, June 7, 1944, p.20, Photos by Weegee

Face of New York on Invasion Day
The crowds in Times Square were serious yesterday – glad that D-Day had come and yet solemn at the thought of the boys in the fighting. Below you see some of the faces turned up toward the electric sign on the Times Building as bulletins of Allied progress were flashed out.
PM, June 7, 1944, p. 20


PM, June 7, 1944, p.20, Photos by Weegee


Weegee, [Woman looking at electric sign on New York Times building showing D-Day progress of Allies in Europe, New York], June 6, 1944 (WN.3144)


Weegee, [Woman looking at electric sign on New York Times building showing D-Day progress of Allies in Europe, New York], June 6, 1944 (WN.3145)


Weegee, [Woman looking at electric sign on New York Times building showing D-Day progress of Allies in Europe, New York], June 6, 1944 (WN.3131)


Weegee, [Woman looking at electric sign on New York Times building showing D-Day progress of Allies in Europe, New York], June 6, 1944 (WN.3151)

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June 6, 1944


Robert Capa, [American soldiers landing on Omaha Beach, D-Day, Normandy, France], June 6, 1944 (2007.17.1)


Robert Capa, [American soldiers landing on Omaha Beach, D-Day, Normandy, France] [verso], June 6, 1944 (2007.17.1)


Robert Capa, [American soldiers landing on Omaha Beach, D-Day, Normandy, France], June 6, 1944 (1962.2005)


Robert Capa, [American soldiers landing on Omaha Beach, D-Day, Normandy, France] [verso], June 6, 1944 (1962.2005)


Life, June 19, 1944, pp. 26-27

The first wave of U.S. assault troops race through boiling surf to the beach. From the higher ground tapping machine guns have brought down several men in the water. This landing was one of the U.S. sea-borne attacks made on June 6 between St. Vaast-la Hougue and Isigny.

Troops crouch behind shallow-water obstacles installed by Germans. Tanks out of camera field to the right move up to silence German fire. These men waited for second wave of boats, then followed the tanks up the beach. Two landing craft may be dimly seen at left.

Crawling through the water, U.S. soldier edges toward the beach. Immense excitement of moment made Photographer Capa move his camera and blur picture. The Germans were still pouring machine-gun and shellfire down on the beach, apparently from concrete pillboxes.

Men in the second wave also take cover until all their boats have come in. Behind them men are jumping into water up to their necks. Their heads can be seen just above surface. Combat engineers cleared lanes through obstacles farther offshore so that boats could get in.
Life, June 19, 1944, pp. 26-27


Life, June 19, 1944, pp. 25-37

…Our preinvasion breakfast was served at 3:00 A.M. the mess boys of the U.S.S Chase wore immaculate white jackets and served hot cakes, sausages, eggs, and coffee with unusual zest and politeness. But the preinvasion stomachs were preoccupied, and most of the noble effort was left on the plates.

At 4:00 A.M. we were assembled on the open deck. The invasion barges were swinging on the cranes, ready to be lowered. Waiting for the first ray of light, the two thousand men stood in perfect silence; whatever they were thinking, it was some kind of prayer.

I too stood very quietly. I was thinking a little bit of everything: of green fields, pink clouds, grazing sheep, all the good times, and very much of getting the best pictures of the day. None of us was at all impatient, and we wouldn’t have minded standing in the darkness for a very long time. But the sun had no way of knowing that this day was different from all others, and rose on its usual schedule. The first-wavers stumbled into their barges, and – as if on slow moving elevators – we descended onto the sea. The sea was rough and we were wet before our barge pushed away from the mother ship. It was already clear that General Eisenhower would not lead his people across the Channel with dry feet or dry else…

My beautiful France looked sordid and uninviting, and a German machine gun, spitting bullets around the barge, fully spoiled my return. The men from my barge waded in the water. Waist-deep, with rifles ready to shoot, with the invasion obstacles and smoking beach in the background – this was good enough for the photographer. I paused for a moment on the gangplank to take my first real picture of the invasion. The boatswain, who was in an understandable hurry to get the hell out of there, mistook my picture-taking attitude for explicable hesitation, and helped me make up my mind with a well-aimed kick in the rear. The water was cold, and the beach still more than a hundred yards away. The bullets tore holes in the water around me, and I made for the nearest steel obstacle. A soldier got there at the same time, and for a few minutes we shared its cover. He took the waterproofing off his rifle and began to shoot without much aiming at the smoke-hidden beach. The sound of his rifle gave him enough courage to move forward and he left the obstacle to me. It was a foot larger now, and I felt safe enough to take pictures of the other guys hiding just like I was.

It was still very early and very gray for good pictures, but the gray water and the gray sky made the little men, dodging under the surrealistic designs of Hitler’s anti-invasion brain trust, very effective.

I finished my pictures, and the sea was cold in my trousers. Reluctantly, I tried to move away from my steel pole, but the bullets chased me back every time. Fifty yards ahead of me, one of our half-burnt amphibious tanks stuck out of the water and offered me my next cover. I sized up the situation. There was little future for the elegant raincoat heavy on my arm. I dropped it and made for the tank. Between floating bodies I reached it, paused for a few more pictures, and gathered my guts for the last jump to the beach.

Now the Germans played on all their instruments, and I could not find any hole between the shells and bullets that blocked the last twenty-five yards to the beach. I just stayed behind my tank, repeating a little sentence from my Spanish Civil War days, “Es una cosa muy seria. Es una coas muy seria.” This is a very serious business…

Robert Capa, Slightly Out of Focus, 1947, pp.139-140

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