Prisoners of war

Werner Bischof,

Werner Bischof, [Prisoners of war camp, Korea], 1951 (878.1974)

This dramatic image was taken by Werner Bischof during the Korean War. The war began when North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950 and ended three years later, leaving nearly five million soldiers and civilians dead with two countries divided. Fifty countries, including the United States, entered this war on the side of the United Nations and South Korea, and China sided with North Korea.

This picture depicts Chinese army prisoners of war captured during the 1951 spring offensive. They are standing in a row next to the river, wearing winter clothes, and waiting for ships that might take them to the prisoner camp. This picture shows a short moment of peace in a war with beautiful landscape but also suggests fears of another battle.

Hyungjo Moon, ICP-Bard 2017

About claartjevandijk

Assistant Curator, Collections at the International Center of Photography, New York
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