ITEM: Original News Photo Service photograph, 1918. 8x9 inches. Very good condition. $275.00
In continuing series of posts on Blank and Empty Things is this image on fading, disappearing German prisoners of war. The French had been pounding them in western France in the summer of 1918, and Germans were surrendering and being captured by the thousands. This news service photograph shows one of the assembly camps with about 10,000 POWs--I made a heavy scan of the group of soldiers in the distance and was a little taken aback to see that the men had lost their human forms, looking like bacteria, fading into their future.
The full image is impressive, and shows just a small fraction of the men taken prisoner during 1918; and it shows even a lesser percentage of those killed.
This detail of the foreground shows the familiarity necessitated by the men being pressed so closely together--there was little free ground.
Also, I thought that the French soldiers in the midst of the prisoner might've been feeding them, but it seems as though they were just walking in their midst.