Transcript:

Speaker What was it like when you were a girl? What do you remember?

Speaker Very lively city, a little bit different from now, I think. But the time is different. So every city changes change also very free. Very, uh, I had no idea what it is, really, because I was too small. I hadn't had no opinion about it. But I think it was a free city in this time for my free, not really politically, but for me. And I walked in the streets and it was a early, uh, very, very, uh, good atmosphere. And tell me about your apartment building and apartment building was a new apartment glad you went in there. It was built I was already there by the first Habitant and our apartment was on the second floor in the front, the front apartment. And that's typical for Budapest apartments. In the front is the beautiful apartment, the best one. And then came a little less good, little less fancy, and then even less fancy. And the apartment and directly near us was apartment from Friedemann, from the family of Friedemann family of of tapas. I talk about Bunday because he was for me, he was Bondie, you know. You know, his name was Andre and that nickname is Bond. The we called him Bond. He never koppa because it was much later came this name and Bond. He was our neighbor who came almost every day for a lap in our apartment. We've had three girls and he was a friend of of all of us. He was younger than I was like my younger sister. But we had a very good contact with him. He was very amusing. And there we had fun with him. He came to play, to do games, to talk, to laugh almost every day. What kind of games would you play and how much you don't know it that the children play? I can't tell you what it was. You had little. How do you call that from the client if you could kiss little fingers made from. And I don't know what you you had to say at all from the doubles, who knew me that from the diocese. Yes, diocese. And then you had a cot and there were times a normal child game. Very nice. Or we did outdoor games. I'm not sure my own spread my own very often together. And we talked and we laughed together.

Speaker And even when he was a boy, was he a good storyteller?

Speaker He was. He was a wonderful thought. I was very amusing. He was always very amusing, very, very bright and and and smart. And he had fun with him. We we we liked him very much. Did your parents approve of your friendship? No. No, because that's terrible. Because we were the. Family, a family who was in the front, the the wealthy family, and he was less wealthy family and we didn't care as children, but my mother was a little bit, um, didn't approve that this was coming every day. Did you feel that did that bother him at all? No, I don't think so. I don't think so. He perhaps she didn't even notice it, but my mother said sometimes don't play. Always responded well, we just let go. We love we like him so he can come and we play with him.

Speaker There was a story that you told us. I don't know if, as Richard Whalan, the cap, I had a fantasy of rescuing you or your sister. Yes.

Speaker And you can tell that that was a very, very romantic story. He wanted that one of us would begin, that we were three of us. And he told to me I was in love with all the three I never got. I couldn't choose. But either all this he was okay for me. And he said, perhaps some somebody will kidnap one of you and I will save this girl. And then your father would say one day, this girl is for you. Yes, very, very romantic. So he would win one of you with his. Yes, yes. Yes. That's really as little girls and a little boy. I think we were really the girl ideal for him in this time. But none of us or all of the three of us.

Speaker How much older than a couple?

Speaker How were you about all that? I was almost five years older than Cowpat, but I played as well with him. Made no difference. And when we were bigger, I remember very good, we went together to to try to make a ski experience. He couldn't ski and I did not. But we vigilante justice. And we went to a little hill near near Budapest and there was a ski piece there. How do you call that? Yes, and but very, very dangerous, and I said, no, I don't do this, I can't he said or I I can't answer that. That's nonsense. I try. And he went and that was it. He got far above me in this stairwell. Also, he dared things. He was very hard to call that. Yes, her fearless at all. He was absolutely fearless. That's for sure. He was absolutely fearless. Because later, that's a much later, but I asked him much later, how do you do it? The speed with which photograph you said I make my stative.

Speaker How do you call that? Tripod.

Speaker Yeah, I took out and they are shooting and then I make the photograph because then they have to load again and then I have the time to make the photograph.

Speaker Can you tell it again now that you know the word? So there won't be an interruption. Just the story about him in Spain. In Spain, what? You were the same thing where you were just triphones and he started. Hey, yeah. The tripod.

Speaker Tripod. Yes, that's what he did out the tripod and then shoot. And then he took the picture because then they have to load again. So in the meantime, he could make the picture. He did that.

Speaker To to get the time and what he and then when he put the tripod up, then would he go down?

Speaker Yes, of course, yes.

Speaker You would hide. Yes.

Speaker OK, you were talking earlier about nicknames for Cornell and for Cornell was was Krokodil Crocodile and Koppa as seen? I am not sure. Not far from us. That's a family name not we have given it there had this name crocodile and crocodile, huh. Yes.

Speaker And I guess that he was the shark and shark is a Hungarian Sopore. See. Are we are she happy. So koppa that makes koppa that's my my explanation of the name.

Speaker And was cappa at all like a shark?

Speaker No, we didn't call him in, we didn't call him at this time. So but I guess the family called him what we called Gardendale because we called crocodile. Crocodile, that's for sure. And why was Kornel nickname nickname? I don't know why. What was your nickname? My nickname I had. I am. Oh, yes. Yes. My mother called me little ass. Yes, because I was, uh, we were three girls, very bright, and I was not so bright, so I was a little, uh, not a very bad girl as.

Speaker Very nice.

Speaker Yeah, I did, I didn't mind you didn't mind? No, not at all.

Speaker Well, I guess it was a term of affection.

Speaker Just something she's got to change, but the parents and I did, I did, I met them already and I just feel it all right through the. I didn't meet I didn't meet the family, really. We have really the contact with him and not this other person a little bit with Cornell, but Courtney was a very nice little boy, too young for us only to to, uh, to hatch Etzel how to call that. But on the savannah and the second or two and just Borrell and it was a little toy for us little puppets. And Bunday was really a little friend of ours in on the same level. He was much younger. And the older one we have never contact with who died very early. We didn't know him, really. I don't know why he came out always to us. They were nearby, we were nice girls. That was the reason, I think. And you didn't go to his apartment very much and never went and never went, not once. Never. But I think my mother wouldn't approve. But I want to, but it came not up if he came to us behind the big apartment and we have a very big room to play so he can be in our apartment.

Speaker Do you remember well, I'll just ask you some of the things I'll ask you, I know, but I won't. Yes. I'll ask you, what did his parents do for work?

Speaker The father was a tailor, a very good tailor, and was a very good business. But he played God in the night. So what he owned in the time he spent in that time and that I met that shit, one guy, and that was the mother who was very steady and strong woman. He she took the family and she hold the family upright.

Speaker I'm just going to ask you that again, because there was a what was this airplane, airplane, airplane noise? There was an airplane going over when you were saying that. So I'll just ask you again, if you don't mind, especially tell us about the father, what he did.

Speaker The father was a dealer, a good, very good tailor who has a very good business. But but he played cards in the night. So you spent all his income in the night and the mother saved the day. Hold it in the air. How it evolved in. Imbalance. So they manage that a little bit, but it was never a big business because because of him and was cappa like more like the father or more like the mother, I don't know because I didn't know. I didn't met father and mother. I thought they were neighbors, but I didn't know them. I never talked to him. I think that the mother was a little bit he has something from the father also. Father played God and and Boundy drank a little bit so that there was something from both that scene. Their mother was very steady, very strong woman, and Bundy was also a very strong boy, but these Fondas, both are bright. I don't know, because she was a very smart boy, very intelligent, very, very bright, really, and very amusing. And she had a big, big, big, big sense of humor, humor.

Speaker Did he play jokes or tricks? Yes. Yes, you remember.

Speaker And no, not so long time ago. But I remember that we had fun together that I know.

Speaker Did you ever go to their salon, the dressmaker's salon?

Speaker No. No. Well, I never went to that house, even though they had not show a big apartment and we had a big apartment, so he came to us.

Speaker Came to you, did Kepa, or when it was under Friedemann then, did he gamble and play cards when you knew him in Budapest or in Berlin?

Speaker I that they got yeah, no, I don't know. No, I don't I don't think so, but I am not sure. OK, I couldn't tell you. OK, um.

Speaker OK, now I'm going to start asking some questions about what was going on politically in Budapest when Andre was a teenager and you were both teenagers in your teens in Budapest. So I guess, first of all, I'll ask you who was who was called and talk a little bit about Horthy, the fortune Horthy, the the Admiral Horthy.

Speaker The leader, then the dictator, oh, haughty or not, I was very I had no at all political interest or. Idea about something political? He did he was involved in a in a group who called a work group supposed to work, and he was a member of Fichte and that was a pretty leftist group. He was also arrested once. I don't know if you know that.

Speaker Yes, I do. But I love you to tell the story, why he was arrested and what happened when he was arrested.

Speaker And now I don't know why he was arrested, how that it came that I don't know. I only know the story. What he told me that when he went, he was taken to a police station and became in he got a big a big, very hot stroke or blow. A blow, blow, blow, a very big blow. And he said, what have you done? I laughed. And I get out of arm and I laughed, and that's that's Bondie really.

Speaker Yes, I think I read that they really beat him up.

Speaker Yes. Yes. But that was that was common in Hungary. And this time we had the same fascist, uh, government party who was a very rightist and he was in a leftist group. So that was dangerous. But in the time that I lived in Hungary, I had nothing to do with politics. I was really very naive. Now, it is good.

Speaker Yes, and why do you think that we'll just call and up for some? Because it's simpler to say Cappa instead of Andre. But anyway, why do you think Cappa as a boy? Was. Became political, and why was he what was he protesting against?

Speaker I don't know if you want to know if you have the kind of fascistic regime and he he. It was interesting, I was too naive in this time, I, I was too, too, too young perhaps in my mind, but he was very bright and he and there is also a difference. I came from a wealthy family. I had never trouble this money or something he had because of his father. So he had a different attitude in society. And seeing that made a big difference.

Speaker Their life was harder than yours.

Speaker Yes, life was harder, harder for him. Also in his shoes, I think sometimes they have our very own problems with money and seeing because of the firer.

Speaker Yeah, it's too bad you don't remember.

Speaker The father sounds like he had that fun loving spend all your money now kind of attitude that Cappa had a little bit later. Yes. Yeah.

Speaker Um, yes. I think he had much from the character of the father in one aspect, that he was stronger. He was steadier. But he has something of. Gambling of of of drinking and all of this, that was not from the mother, the mother. Was a very steady.

Speaker Um.

Speaker I have some notes about you were mentioning a group called Work, is that is that Muka? Muka, yes. Maybe you could tell.

Speaker I don't know how much I was not involved in this stuff. Not at all. I was too naive in this time, but I heard that later. I didn't even know in this time because I didn't know that it exists and that was up in this time, we were not so often together. And they had contact all the time, but not really deeply talking about things, because he was he lived in an Arab world then in the in the when he was 15 to 16, I lived in a very different world as he had more separated. What was your world? My world was a very familiar Jewish family, a steady Jewish family. We share very intellectual to learn them, to learn everything and to make music a cultural interest, a bourgeois bourgeois family, really bourgeois family. And he was not a Borshoff family. It was different.

Speaker And well, you probably didn't know then, but what do you think he was doing that while you were doing your cultural things? What where was where was Kapa? What was he doing?

Speaker And I must say that that we were older and in school. He was quite other school. I don't know which school he did. And I did in a gymnasium. And I had to learn and my father was very severe. In this respect. We have to learn and to be good, good scholars and to have good, uh, how difficult that exam and exams and everything must be good. I don't know if that. I don't think so. That was so important in the family of Friedman, but in our family it was very important.

Speaker Why do you think? Well, I won't say that. I'll start by saying what did happen as a boy?

Speaker What did he want to be when he grew up and at the zoo and know nothing about this thing? They have not talked seriously as children. We played and we made jokes and made fun, but we have never talked about life. But I think that in this time I didn't talk about life, it was very, very young and very naive in this time it came that in my life it came later. All these things I had to learn and to make my exams and to make music and to I had a very strict program also. And I think he was more free as I was.

Speaker And maybe this is a naive question, but especially for an American audience, they don't really understand what fascism is, the younger generation. So maybe you could talk about the Kuwaiti government and. Why capital would have been against it.

Speaker I'm not sure it was very oppressive of close, but I didn't know I was not aware of it, I was not interested in this time. But couple of us, he was, I'm sure, of course, because he was vicious group and that that was a political group. It was a cultural group. But the background was politics. So he was aware of the situation. He was he was more developed as I was intellectually. I was too childish. I didn't realize all these things because of my situation also and a very comfortable life. So I didn't think about these things.

Speaker I I've read that he wanted to be a writer.

Speaker He wanted to be a writer. Oh, I don't know, we never talked about it. The first time that we talked about these shootings was in Berlin when I was already in Berlin and I was photographer already.

Speaker No, I'd love to hear about how you became a photographer.

Speaker Oh, that's very simple. I had a little box cutter brownie as a young girl of 15 and that made nice photographs, was it? And when I finished my school, my father asked, what what do you want to become? I said, I don't know. No idea. And then I had to, um, uh, how they it and inspire. Her brother in law, yes, a brother in law, my my older sister was married very young. I had a brother in law and he said, why don't you be right? Do you want to be a photographer? You make such nice photographs. And I said, photography is a profession for me. It was a pleasure to make some photographs and never realized that there can be a profession. Was a new profession in this time. You said, yes, you can be a photographer. I thought that. It seems to be very nice, so it was the beginning and I came to a very good photographer. And the best one in Budapest and in Hungary, and after three, four weeks, I said, yes, I am a photographer. I liked it very much. I was very happy with it.

Speaker You wrote somewhere or somebody interviewed you, you said something about photography, woke you up something?

Speaker Yes, I said always. I don't know, Shehada this.

Speaker What you know, let's how you. Yes, Sleeping Beauty, can you start again?

Speaker And there is a little. And for how long and viable and viable, this is a fairy tale, a fairy tale that is a fairy tale about Snow White. You know, Snow White, who up near Dawn Rawsthorne, Sleeping Beauty, Sleeping Beauty, about people, I thought about the Sleeping Beauty who were awake, this photography. And that's true. I became a real person, a thinking and and and, um, yeah, a real person. When I became a photographer, my eyes went open and my whole mind went open. I changed completely when I became a photographic photographer, that's for sure.

Speaker That was wonderful. And why, though, did you see things differently?

Speaker I was very late. I have. It was very interesting about the middle see girls, younger and older girl, I was in the middle and therefore all the two girls were very bright and I was a dreaming girl. I was bright. I was not interested in school, and I was not interested a really. Nothing, nothing was. It's what what I could see, something that I could see. Oh, that's interesting. That's for me. I was. Uh, slumbering called you call that dreaming, they are dreaming. Yes, and when I became for the man, I learned photography. My eyes went open. I became aware of things. I looked at things. It made a big difference for me.

Speaker It's interesting to me, looking at the book of your photographs, which is very beautiful, that what you chose to photograph were not the parties, the cultural events, the, you know, the gay bourgeois life. You chose a whole other subject to photograph.

Speaker Yes, now, ma'am, my favorite subject was the street life on the street, because I was a girl who was always at home and very hard to protect it from from the for the world around me. And then I came out and I saw the world I didn't see the world about at school. I had my family. I had a very nice family life and very leisurely and nice. But I didn't I didn't realize what the world is about. And when I became a photographer, I looked around and saw things that I didn't see before. My eyes ready. Yeah, this I can only see. I walk.

Speaker That's wonderful.

Speaker And do you think that any of Capa's photographs are like yours in any way or.

Speaker No, they are totally different and he was not at all interested in that kind of photography because we assured him later when he was the big photographer for travelers, that nice, nice shot. But he was not interested in this kind of photography, didn't interest him. I was sometimes I was disappointed about it, but that was a fact.

Speaker Would you say your pictures are more artistic?

Speaker Yes. This time I was very hard. You called up beautiful pictures, making beautiful pictures. That citizen was very important in this time to me. Later came, I changed. But that was later in this time. It was a beautiful. A terrible world, but artistic photography, and that is not his cup of tea, I understand it also as he was not interested in it, were you or I should say.

Speaker Are there photographers that influenced you? Maybe you could name tell us the name of the person, your teacher and some other photographers that may have influenced you or taught you?

Speaker I don't understand the question and continue to tell them to have the information.

Speaker Oh, no. The first one, you are impressed by your charanga patch. I don't know if you know that name. That's a German photographer who made a lot of material material on it, huh? Very. How do you call that? Not the form, but the material of things was interesting for him and therefore something quite new for me and I was very impressed by it, but I didn't make that myself I, I was really interested in. In its streetlife life as it goes around me, normal. All the five things, what copper did also, but much worse, sensational way in the very difficult circumstances, man, was the normal circumstances and that was something Koppa was not so interested in it, but that was great.

Speaker Did you know? I don't know if I'm pronouncing it right.

Speaker About that, about I don't know if you know one fact. On it, I can see that the fact that there was a photographer made him a photographer because we had he came went to Berlin after making two years of photography, learning photography in Budapest. I went to Berlin to to see world and to develop my my photography. Father and von Capa came to Berlin because I went to Berlin. I told him I go to work. Oh, yes, good idea. I shall go to Berlin also. I did a half a year later than I, than I. I came he came and visited me and he said to me at his photography, a nice profession. Just like this. And I said, buddy, you can't speak about photography on this manner, and he said, oh, never mind, can you help me to get somewhere as a photographer to learn photography? And indeed, I brought him to the fort that was a German company because a friend of mine, Umberger. And he called he was called Zombo bus photographer there, and I said, I have a very nice boy, very intelligent and smart guy, and you gave him some job, you said, okay, let him come. And he came there in the dark room. But this story, you know, he began there to learn. So I was really the person who brought him to photography. And I am very proud of it.

Speaker Oh, say that again, because I interrupted you. What did you just what was the last thing that you said ever? You're proud of it? Is that what you said? Yes, because I didn't get a little bit.

Speaker Oh, I brought out to photography, and I'm very proud of it.

Speaker You should be. And when you when you told them you can't talk about photography like that, what did you mean?

Speaker I mean, that is a sacred object you can't talk of. Is it nice to be. Isn't that nice? There's not nice. That is much more much deeper as nice. That's what I meant. Visit.

Speaker And it certainly became deeper, deeper for him. Yes. Did you not, Kossak? I don't know if I'm pronouncing it right. Kossak Moshiach OK. Yes. So can you talk about him?

Speaker No, I have never talked to Korshak. I was not in this group. It was a savvy political group. And I told you in Hungary I was not at all interested in politics, but that was a cultural artistic group, artist group and very political leftist political. And he was, I think, a time member of it. I am not sure, but I think so, but that was the time we had no not so many contact with each other.

Speaker Right. OK, so so back to Berlin. Did Harper leave Hungary because of being arrested and jailed and all that? What made him leave?

Speaker Yes, I, I think yes, but he said also when I went to Berlin, oh, that's a good idea. I go also to Berlin and I don't believe that he did it because of me, but it gave him the idea.

Speaker OK, I don't have a camera problem on that left, so I was just again, if you could repeat why Cappa went to Berlin, because I know I wanted to leave Hungary.

Speaker And in any case, and that was an idea came up perhaps because I told him about Berlin and made him think that. Now it is not. So it is very easy to tell why, because in this time, Berlin was the center of cultural and artistic life. As so as Paris was before, so was Berlin in this time, so it was very. You could see very off very quickly I go to Berlin because it is interesting that everything happens there.

Speaker And how did I get to Berlin?

Speaker Do you remember? Oh, he told me he went by the Jewish community and he went from one city to the other a little. I think he did four days about it. The Jewish Committee took him from one city to the other that he get food and sleep at an event and that event further. So very complicated. But first, in this time, very expensive to make this trip. But he went on for days. He went to Berlin. And you talked about how poor he was in Berlin, if you could tell a little bit about everything he told the Jewish community, he wants to study the Berlin. Because he came in, I said, but I'm studying. I don't study, I'm not crazy, I don't study. I've got a photo. And then he asked, is photography a nice profession? And so it came.

Speaker So this organization helped him finance.

Speaker Yes. Took to come from one not once from Budapest to Berlin, that was a big, big trip north from Budapest to Vienna, from Vienna. I don't know how, but very slowly. And for this, he came to Berlin.

Speaker Yeah. Did they also pay for his school? But did they pay for his schooling for the school that he was supposed to go to? No, no, no, no.

Speaker Maybe you could talk about I mean, I think you said he didn't have money for food, he didn't have shoes, you know, things like how poor was he? Was he?

Speaker I never I never asked it very much because that is very interesting. I was not poor and I didn't even think about it, that he's poor. Later, I realized that he was poor, but I didn't realize it this time. So I didn't talk about money ever. Anberlin Berlin, very. I don't know why we lost contact. I have not seen him anymore almost after this time that that he was by default. He has a very busy time and I was very busy and had new friends and everything, and I lost contact with him and contacted him again in an imperative. And he was in Paris and in Holland. And. But I wanted to tell, because that's very typical for him. He went with the first Canadian troops in Holland after a while. In forty five and he's out of the officer's mess and I visited him that there I had just have had my boy, my first child, and he saw that first. And he said, very interesting. This is your best work. This is your best work. I was not very nice for my photographic work, but he was chanted about that boy. Everyone's wonderful that I had this boy. But then I visited him in the officers mess and he brought me back on a jeep. Of course, they were always with Jeep and he brought me at home. And when I arrived, he gave me a basket and this basket, various films and cigarettes and chocolate. These were the things you never had in this time. And he didn't ask, what do you need? No, it was full of these things. It was real, a copper. It was very hard to call that. Bright hearted, you can say that very. Competitive, very, very warm, very warm. Compassionate is that way.

Speaker Yes, yes, yes, yes. Maybe that's those are both great. The story of the basket. Was it a surprise when he because I remember reading that, that you found those things in the basket after he left?

Speaker Yes. Yes, I was. I was very pleased because I had other people who knew me better. And they asked, what do you need? And it's nothing that we hadn't we had nothing and he didn't ask. He gave the things we didn't have and we had no cigarettes, it's not so important. And this time it was not not so estimate as a bad habit to smoke. That was. So we had no cigarettes, we had no chocolate, and we had no for my work. I had no films. So he didn't ask these things out yet that are the things you can need. And he never asked to give. He was very, very bright hearted. You can say bright hearted, I think.

Speaker You mean generous. Yeah, very generous. Very generous. And he didn't have to march himself.

Speaker He was a funny guy. He had and he had nothing. But later he could have everything. But he was he lived on a matter that he never had, something that he was never reach. He could be reached, but he was not rich. And why not? Is it because he didn't interest him? He wanted a good life. He had a good life because the last time that I was with him in Paris, he lived at George san, was a very, very fancy hotel. And he gave cocktail parties and he lived in a kind of life I, I didn't like. And he didn't neither. But he did it. And what is very tragical. But I know about it. He went to Vietnam to make photographs, to get out of this atmosphere from see to do nothing. And it was tragic that a finish like this, because he could have again, they're happy to to make photographs.

Speaker Yeah. Why do you think he did go to Vietnam?

Speaker Why he went to Vietnam to avoid this kind of life. I am sure he couldn't he was a little bit too am. This is not a good word, but he couldn't get out of it. He had to. Well, wealthy life. He didn't want deep of his heart, he didn't want it. But it was easy and it came up. What was the real cappa then, the real cop of us to the man who I think the best time of it was with Gardot at title in Paris in Spanish. That was his best. He cried because he could make what he believed, he believed in it and he could have a. Dangerous life, he liked to have a date that he liked the challenge. To to be at the border of life and death, I think that was something he needed.

Speaker And. When he didn't lie, he didn't leave this kind of life.

Speaker He was bored. This drunk with drinking and only to have everything around him, but that was not the worst kind of life. Not his life. But it came up. And he was not strong enough to to get out of it simply, and he hoped to get out without going to Vietnam.

Speaker I had a question, I just.

Speaker But that's something that is more also. These are not facts, what I am telling these are, but I think. About the situation, but perhaps persons who knew him in this time, as Katja Brasov of other people know better about the case.

Speaker Did you ever see him with Cartier-Bresson?

Speaker No, not with him. I met Cartier-Bresson once, but not with him. When I went to Paris and I met him, I met him simply to to to to meet and to talk. And that he came to Holland, he came very often to visit me, but very shortly because I was always busy, of course. Can you imagine the friendship between Harper and Cartier-Bresson are so different and I don't know if I have a chance to Cartier-Bresson, so I don't know him. I think it's a quite different person, but doesn't mean that you can't be very good friends. Perhaps just interesting to have several characters and so they'll be each other's life. Let's talk about Garita, what what you know, I didn't and I had never met Gaddar personally, but I know that was really a very important person in his life. But I never met her. She was a very strong character, I think, and. In there, in a can stronger than copper, she was more steady, more and she and more a certain goal before her and Gappah was not sure and doable was hard to call that. Yes.

Speaker Focused. Yes. Yes. Could you say that again? He was not. So you can just say what is the word like. Like focus the lens.

Speaker He was not focused. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. A couple of hours I guess. I was a very strong person. I had really goals before, uh, before her and Kaposvar, somebody who was not so focused on things. He, he was more let's go live as it came.

Speaker When Garita met Cappa, what do you think his life was like?

Speaker I, I heard I had and I have not had no contact in this time. And he was. Not very well condition here, but what is very, very bad, he had to call half a pound for pound.

Speaker Oh. Now, we just want the camera here to football. Oh, yeah, you want to punch, you want to punch, OK.

Speaker Can you tell us that. Yes. How he brought to a pawn shop in here. But is it all over you? As you can see from this camera, it was better, he says she says pawn shop.

Speaker It's called a pawn shop. Uh, you know, um, the yeah. The pawn shop. And I have to go on to talk about. Yeah. So we brought this camera to a pawn shop.

Speaker He brought this counterpuncher. I had no money. He did nothing. He had no he went to from Berlin and he couldn't make his life there. And that was always a very difficult point. You should live. And he has no goal. He he lost his, uh, he couldn't live with it. He drank. And then you drink, you don't do anything. So it was a vicious circle and vicious circle, and that was the person who took him out of it and who made the whole story. The story is known about the name Koppa came up in this time he was killed. This time he was Friedman. And she made the koppa for him. And he she made a whole story about him. But that is no, I have not to tell. And so she saved him from this situation. She was a very strong girl, not unlike his mother.

Speaker Excuse me. I need the punch card again. I know. Can you say again he took his camera to the pawn shop.

Speaker Uh, yes, because she didn't get it.

Speaker Oh, yes, and he he had no money and he gave his camera to up in the shop, starting a pawn shop for Pawn like he like Peter W. and.

Speaker Uh, pawn pawn shop and that and never I never heard you say for this poor little animal.

Speaker No, it's what you do if you have to if you don't have money and you sell something temporarily this morning or pawn shop, no new world for me.

Speaker And he said he had no money. He had he brought his camera to a pawn shop and so he couldn't work. He did nothing and he drank. And as I guess she didn't eat, drink, and that was very, very bad situation, and this person he met there, the anger that took him out, you have to make plans. But that's a story with what is known about his life, his gather. And this is something I didn't I from from this man's story, not my story, because I was not there. I heard about it.

Speaker But you did see him right after her death.

Speaker And I saw him when I saw him and I saw him. And I don't think that as soon as I saw him in Paris once, but very short. Uh, I know I don't know which year it was. But that was not a big. Vitit or something, I show my very shortly, I think I don't remember, but not this scared.

Speaker No, but as I understand it, right after she was killed. Yes, he went to Amsterdam.

Speaker Yes. But then I had I didn't meet him and I know he was in Amsterdam. Hasti that while in Amsterdam, these friends. But he was, he was really not in the mood to make a visit or something. I heard it later that he was in Amsterdam and my father, my husband met him and told me about him.

Speaker Because they were together in China later and we'll talk about that, but how do you think that Gerda's death affected Cappa and she that was really a.

Speaker Atlatl, you can see we got to share because it made him another person, I think he changed very much indeed after this.

Speaker And it was.

Speaker I don't think we can understand what he went through, but I think he's all his hope. And all these future ones disappeared even once, and they had a different side about life and everything.

Speaker How did I think you said in another interview his spirit was broken or he said something like, it's finished for me or something like that? He said that I read it in an interview that he told you that.

Speaker Oh, I can understand that. Yeah, I heard it from from friends who spoke with him that it was really totally, uh. For long and hard for that, lost, totally lost. And I understand it was a very good companionship with that they loved each other and they could work very well. This is other it was ideal, really, but very short. But some years.

Speaker So do you think you say he became another person, I'm sure. And so what was this other person that he became?

Speaker It wasn't harder. It was a it was not the very so. He has to do. How, as he yes to. To change his feelings because he couldn't deal it with the old copper, it was a new man who had to be harder and that that changed very much.

Speaker And right after her death, as I understand it, she went with your husband.

Speaker Yes, yes. But that was no success. He was really not in a good mood and not not enough to do the work, cooperate in things, he was not interesting. I think he was not interested. Was a.

Speaker Beyond himself.

Speaker However, the event also because I took him to forget the whole misery, but he didn't forget the misery.

Speaker He was pretty unhappy on that trip. Yes, yes, but that, you know, I don't know if you know the story or where it came from, but I read that he brought with him a suitcase to China. And in that suitcase were hundreds of pictures, the same picture over and over of Garita, and that he gave them to people and said, this was my wife.

Speaker Or they showed it and gave them copies.

Speaker And so this was my wife. No, I have never heard this story. It's in Richard Whalen's book, but I don't know who told him the story. Maybe because he was not very happy or maybe he thought he didn't tell me. OK, let's see. So we're showing a couple of things. Just going back to Germany, I wanted to ask you and this sounds that I'm just asking so for the audience, why did Cappa leave Germany? What was going on at that time? And thirty one thirty two in Germany that made captain leave.

Speaker That was later he came on out one, yes, 31 he came, that's true. And that was a wonderful time in Germany, in Berlin in this time, because it was a very interesting city, cultural, very interesting in every respect, the movie theater, art, everything was new and revolutionary. And yeah, it's finished in once. You can see, but I have never have more contact with a cop. I don't know why I lost him out of sight, but I mean, with Hitler, I had a I had to get a lot of friends who were not his friends. So we were in two different surroundings.

Speaker What do you think he left because of Hitler or because he was Jewish? Pardon me? Do you think he left because of Hitler?

Speaker Yes. And I'm sure that's not possible to stay for him. He was Jewish. He was leftist. No. And he had the whole therefore where he were was finished because I was too leftist. That became an other Nazi saying I don't know how the name was, but I think it's changed. Name also a good one. He's director, then left also Germany. Good thing, too. Yes.

Speaker And while he was with defo he got his first important assignment.

Speaker At Trotzky, but look, I can tell the story, but I didn't I heard it from other person so that no, you said that obviously no, you know the story, but the audience doesn't follow that story that you heard. And that was he worked at the dark room where they fought the company, a photograph company, and Trotsky came to Oslo and was not allowed to be photographed. And then. Koppa said, Let me go. I make a photograph of him, but he worked in the darkroom, so they said, no, that's nonsense. He said, let me try. And they give him a camera and he went to Oslo. But I heard the stories that he made love for one of the servants. And they may have to hide somewhere where Stotsky was. And he made this only photograph was made from Trotzky. That's not very good for them. It's not sharp and not very good. But he was there and he was the only one. So they decided they for the van is very good. We have not to hide him in the darkroom. They gave him a camera and he went as a photographer.

Speaker Then I never heard the story about them making love with somebody.

Speaker Yes. And he was he was very charming and very attractive also. So it was very easy to get somebody to hand in their.

Speaker That's a good story and it's a story I never heard.

Speaker You get what you need. I think so, yeah. OK, I'm going to see now. Excuse me for one second, I just have to make sure I've asked you all the things.

Speaker Oh, it's interesting to me this may be something you don't know, but it seems from what I've read, that Cappa began playing poker and gambling. On the trip to China right after Garner's death on the trip, that could be and I wonder if and of course, this is not fact, but I wonder if you think there could be a connection.

Speaker Yes, because he was unhappy that very simple, he was not happy. So he did that or he gambled also. Yes, it could be, yes. He was he was a. How do you go about border character? He could get in this side and on the other side and it changed his circumstances. Also, he made his circumstances, but sometimes the circumstances made him. And that was the case with the deaths of of of that he couldn't do anything about it, but it influenced him very, very much. It changed him. I'm sure he changed completely in this time. It's interesting you say he became harder, I think, and he offers Sheila her how do you call that? Uh, he cared less. Yeah, he did not show that very positive side of life. It became more negative. Do you think ever that he became more fearless after Gerda's death, more what fearless we know he was always feeling that something he had always he was completely fearless. That was something I told you that a ski excursion I saw this was really koppa, it was dangerous, but dangerous. Interesting that he challenged it to.

Speaker And a.

Speaker Could you say just again, he was completely fearless because perhaps even more fearless than before that thing. Life was not so valuable for him. It was more or less, uh. Now, when it's finished, it finishes.

Speaker Perhaps he gambled with his life more.

Speaker Yes. Yes. He gambled with his life. That that. That's a good expression for it. Yeah.

Speaker OK, just changing the light a little bit to the.

Speaker How was it OK, um.

Speaker I'm I'm I'm I'm I'm I'm OK, we're done with that.

Speaker When was the last time you saw him?

Speaker I think that the last time was in Paris that I saw him, but I'm not. Very sure, and that's what bothered me a little bit. I could have seen him before he went to Vietnam, I was in Paris and I called him up and he said, oh, nice that you are here. He lived in this time in George Chank in the hotel. You know, that's a very fancy hotel. And he said, would you come to a cocktail party? And I said, no, no, no, I don't come, I want to talk to him at a cocktail party was not a good occasion to talk. I was not interested in a party. I wanted to talk to him. So I denied it. And I am very sorry because that could have been the last opportunity to speak him. But I didn't know before.

Speaker Well, it sounds like that was the that was the capper that you didn't really want to see that happen.

Speaker No, I was not in the personal contact, but society contact. And that was something I didn't feel for because I didn't live in his society. And I want to speak to him and to see him. And that was not the case.

Speaker Somebody I believe it was Irwin Shaw wrote that every morning, I don't know if, you know, the couple would spend several hours in the bathtub every morning. Yes. So Irwin Shaw wrote that every morning. He had to he sat in the bed so that he could change from Andre Friedman to Robert Cappa, that he had to make that transformation every day. And it seems to me that that that's that's a very evocative of the complexity of the boy from Budapest. Yes. Poor boy from Budapest and the society man who's going out with Ingrid Bergman. Yes. The question I'm taking a long time is.

Speaker How did those two parts of him exist together?

Speaker Yes, there's a good question, I am sure that that is true, what he said at that are two different persons and I think that the struggle was for him. To get again to the two kapa to to the working koppa at that, that is that he hoped to to become again in Vietnam. And that is very sad that that couldn't happen, that it was, I think, directly that he came there in the beginning he died. I think one of the first things.

Speaker Yes, that's very interesting. So. Maybe you could explain what you mean, that he went to Vietnam to become cappa again?

Speaker Yes, she wanted to work. He didn't work for years in this time. Yes, he was the character of Magnum. But that doesn't interest him so much. So much more. A question of money. But he wanted to work again and that he hoped to do in Vietnam.

Speaker He was getting back to his. Yes, he did a lot of articles for Holiday magazine and stuff like that. Yes. But not the real political the political work with which pictures do you have any favorite pictures of capture of that he made?

Speaker No, I have never had one or two of his pictures that I lost. What I like several things in Russia and in Israel and. But not one. No. No, not but that's it, that's that is the question. It's interesting what you're asking. I have all these one picture. And that can be a beautiful feature, less beautiful beach. He has a story, he has not one picture and the story are sometimes better or more pictures, more successful picture. But the story is very interesting always. And that that makes Scoppa. He is not a photographer for aesthetical photographer. He he is really a journalist in his work. And that's Koppa. And you can find some very interesting picture, the very famous picture from the dying soldier. There are very all these critical things from that area and never say that it's nothing for copper to arrange such a thing.

Speaker Yeah, we should talk about that. I want this film to make clear that that was not arranged or posed. No. So maybe you could talk about why people could not have done that or what about him?

Speaker And it was as I know him. He wanted not how to call that make.

Speaker At age pictures, he's not an arranger.

Speaker He.

Speaker Life is going on and he wanted to make life and it wouldn't be life if he said, I want to make a photograph of the dying soldier. I can't imagine that he would do that, that I. And I'm not sure, of course, nobody is sure, but I can't imagine that that is the case, that they arranged such a picture because that that's just said he's got his big work, that he made life. Really such as is.

Speaker And you were saying that his strength is that his pictures tell a story and according to other people, he wanted to be a journalist.

Speaker But when he went to Berlin, he wanted to be a journalist and he became a journalist with his pictures. So he made what he wanted in reality. He wrote also he wrote very, very good.

Speaker Well, what he said was nobody spoke Hungarian, so it couldn't be a writer there and no, he could have written.

Speaker Yeah, I don't know if he was very good in France. I have never talked to him on. Other men are Hungarian. I've never heard him talk French and never heard him talk talk English. So I don't know. But I guess he was not so a boy for languages. He did, of course, he had to do it, but I don't think so. That was his own language, becoming its own language.

Speaker So then you could just say why he would choose photography then, so.

Speaker No, it was a good writer also, but I don't know, he wrote in Hungarian and translated it or or I am not sure in the in the 40s, he wrote to his mother in English.

Speaker Yes. So he could speak English, then I could write English pretty well.

Speaker Yes, in English forties.

Speaker But when he was studying journalism and then he went to Berlin, he had no way to tell his stories because people didn't speak Hungarian.

Speaker I don't know if she is a good writer. I think he's more a visual person. And it tells the story of his pictures.

Speaker And why do you think so many great photographers are Hungarian?

Speaker I don't know, but that's that's the truth. Mary, many very good photographers are Hungarian. I don't know if we have a visual feeling they are also good painters. All these are not so famous in abroad, but they are they are there. We have a good visual. Perception's Singh. Yes, because there was a lot of very, very good Hungarian photographers can name some other ones like Mukerjee, you know, Mukerjee, wonderful characters, of course, uh, Brassai, very, very good. And there are a lot of them.

Speaker Did you know you're a Kappos?

Speaker A. Yes, there's a very good, very good friend of mine. All because Yakupov had much contact with Kappos. Yeah, no. You know, does he leave still?

Speaker No, he died very just like a month ago. Yes, he died in Boston.

Speaker Yes, I know. I met him very often in Boston. I visited him, all of it. And I knew he was very ill. And his wife died some years ago.

Speaker And the wife was a few hundred, cared for him and took him with life.

Speaker Or she died a month ago.

Speaker Did he have an influence on Kepa?

Speaker No, I don't think so. There's a quite different person, these quite different work. No, I don't I don't think that yeah, they don't cover.

Speaker You mentioned earlier before we were rolling about how I felt about his mother, and it was very nice if you could say, you know, his feelings about his mother, I don't know.

Speaker I have not told what he said about his mother, but I know that he, well, estimated his mother very much. But I have never talked with him about his mother.

Speaker He used to take her to meetings in New York.

Speaker One time she tried to sell this, I have had I didn't meet him in New York and I never met him in New York and I was in this time in his life, I was never in New York later only. So I met him always in Paris, and his mother stayed in this time in Hungary.

Speaker Yeah, so you didn't really think that would you call CAP a womanizer?

Speaker No, they.

Speaker They told me he was over when I was a little bit. Yes, I can understand that, knowing Koppa. I can understand that. Yes. It was very appealing. Yes, it was very attractive and funny that on this I didn't see him on the street and knew him as a little boy and as a company, that makes a big difference. I've never seen it. But when I think about it, yes, I can. I can understand that. Yes. He was very, very charming and yes, I said attractive boy, yes.

Speaker What do you think he would have been like if he had grown old?

Speaker But he was as an older man, if he and I can't imagine he was older and sometimes I thought it is much better for him not to become old. I don't think so. He was somebody to to.

Speaker To be a. The burden of an old person, I don't think so, why?

Speaker Because he has much movement around him and he didn't need to sit still and to do nothing.

Speaker No, I can't imagine him as an old man and that was the first thing I thought when he died. I think it's better for him. He did. He was in the middle of his life and active and again, a little bit active and perhaps is much better.

Speaker It's hard for me to imagine him either. I'm going to ask if you would mind telling the story of him giving you the presents in the basket again, mainly because I think. It's not clear that it was a surprise. I think the story was that he hid the things in your basket.

Speaker I tell you the basket. I had this basket to make my my shopping, but there was nothing much to shop in Hungary in this time. And he said, give me the basket, I get it. And I gave it to him and then I came home. Had he dropped it, it was full of things. And that that's something for him, I tell you. Another other very nice story. It's not my story, but the story of of Condor. Condor, I told Arthur, come to us. He's a comrade of his. He says it was also photographer and worked at Magnum in the darkroom. And she knew Capa very well. And she says she made photographs at von Rolleiflex and she made photographs somewhere in the crowd. And she she took the camera to to load it. And she looked around at the cover of us. We. And she was really unhappy because she had only the Rolleiflex and she told it Koppa And two days later she came to her work and to say, no, no, no, no. Koppa invited her to her house and they have something for you and her to behind from behind a second hand. The very good Rolleiflex for her. That's very nice. Yeah, he was very, very generous and the game was.

Speaker That was a great story, if you wouldn't mind telling the second story a little shorter so that I can use it about his friend, Otakon lost her camera and. Yes, it's a little shorter and she had a little bit of sound problems or the same story kind of story kind of story, the attack kind of got the story. Yes. Yeah, OK.

Speaker An attack on the bus in the time a young Hungarian photographer and she worked also mocking him in the in the darkroom and she did some photographs, which are her only camera, the role of sex, and she had to load it again. And suddenly it was lost, was stolen. And she was very unhappy about it because she had no money to buy another one. And then Capa invited her and said, You come to my house and she came to and I have something for you and took a second hand it Rolleiflex he bought for her. So he was very, very bright hearted. You can see party.

Speaker Yes, I like I like that. I think you probably would say kind or generous. Generous, big hearted. Big hearted, but big hearted. Oh. But I like Braveheart. Yeah, that's nice, it's very xpress, OK. I have one more question, which is, can you tell us on camera how you took the picture that we're looking at? You don't have to look back, but I love that story.

Speaker So the picture here behind me. Oh, I worked at that studio in Berlin and I was I had no photographs of myself and I thought I'd make some photographs and there was a mirror on the floor. I don't know why. And then I looked at the mirror and I said, that's the picture. And that that is this picture behind me. Yes. And that's why you're here. Yes. Everybody thought that I had this kind of a hand over the phone in my face a little bit. Yes.

Speaker Great, thank you. I'm done with my questions. Where's Joanna here?

Speaker Is she ever since the. Oh, OK.

Speaker OK, it's reminding me to ask you about who was on this trip to China, you mentioned your husband, but you didn't say yes, so that you have to know that I took a couple with them to forget him. The whole, uh, the very terrible story of God, not forget him, uh, to to talk him out of it. That was the reason they asked Koppa to come with them. That was your achievements. The Fehlberg and his assistant, John Fanning, hard to keep up with them, but I heard it was no success. This whole trip is Scoppa because copper was really not in the mood to to to cooperate and to forget everything.

Speaker And were you at that time married to.

Speaker Yes, I was married to. To John Farenheit, yes.

Speaker Great.

Speaker OK. And that is because of my me that John met Koppa and also even Scoppa.

Speaker Yes. So it was through you, and then they decided to take him filming in China?

Speaker Partly. Partly, yes.

Speaker Well, Nancy, I didn't see you taking pictures when you were a girl in Budapest.

Speaker Was you around? Never. He never took a picture for me and I never took a picture for him. Why not? I don't know. But he saw you taking pictures in Budapest. No, no, he was not interested. No, I really thought he was just the way to make a living later on. You know, our relationship was quite different. Had nothing to do with photography later. A little bit, yes. But we were friends from family for friends. And the other story as two photographers or. He had nothing to do with me and the photography, right?

Speaker I just wondered if he'd seen you taking pictures when you were a girl around Budapest.

Speaker No, no, no. Never, never, never.

Speaker Oh, yeah, yeah, well, do you think that Garita I know you didn't meet her. No, but what did she have similarities to Kappa's mother?

Speaker I don't know. I couldn't I didn't I didn't know her personally, only from stories she was a very strong character. That's true. And perhaps there's something about a cop I needed a little bit, too, to encourage to. How how do you call that to keep him on the right track? Yeah, yes. Because he had the tendency to get out of it.

Speaker OK, could you say? He needed someone to keep him on the right track. Yes, yes. Would you mind repeating it? Because we won't see her.

Speaker So, you know, he he had and she can't hardly call that a frivolous yet frivolous. Very light hearted, he was very light hearted and good. And. On sport, as it was under FAK, underarmed for lunch for self destructive and self-destructive.

Speaker Self-destructive. No, no, not so easily got off track or easily.

Speaker It could on Spohrer, it could be real use of borderline personality, easy, very close to the real.

Speaker Derail. Yeah, so off the track, it's good to, yes, go off the track.

Speaker He was not very steady in this. Uh, he had so many interests and a side and how to call that, uh. He was not a very simple person. It's so other. Yeah, how? I don't know what is the name of it, so many parts of it. Yes, yes. And he he could have been on sport. He could have been.

Speaker He could have gone off track. Yes. What we need you to.

Speaker Yeah, he could have been off track, off off track the track, so the little light is falling off of this off track. Of stress.

Speaker I've heard the.

Speaker Off the track, off the track. Oh, yes, yes. Yeah, he was somebody he could have been off track because he was so many influences.

Speaker Victor is blocked by this guy working for the Super Bowl, like you said for me.

Speaker Sorry about that. We're almost done. I'm sorry. You like?

Speaker What is your name?

Speaker Don't worry about it. OK, off track, off track.

Speaker He could have he could have been off track very easily. But Garita, again, that was very straight and very strong, very strong also, so she took him in the track.

Speaker Yes, yes. OK. Thank you. Thank you. Would anyone else like to ask? Oh, oh, one more. Yes, yes, you had told Claudia you never talked about what was inside. No.

Speaker And he was somebody who. You know, he could have been completely other person inside is outside he. He hide it himself. But that's only when you thought very deeply about him, you could feel that. But he didn't show himself the very you didn't know the very coppicing even before Gerta. And yes, in his childhood, he was more simple and was not so complicated everything, but later I had had contact with him, but I never knew you. What is serious thinking? Really thinking.

Speaker Why do you think he hit himself like that? I don't know. I don't know.

Speaker But that was indeed after the deaths of of Canada. Yeah. He I think he was really it was a mess, heroin in him and he didn't want to show.

Eva Besnyo
Interview Date:
2002-02-02
Runtime:
1:39:55
Keywords:
None
American Archive of Public Broadcasting GUID:
cpb-aacip-504-f76639kv0r, cpb-aacip-504-r49g44jg79
MLA CITATIONS:
"Eva Besnyo, Robert Capa: In Love and War." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). 02 Feb. 2002, https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/1120
APA CITATIONS:
(2002, February 02). Eva Besnyo, Robert Capa: In Love and War. [Video]. American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/1120
CHICAGO CITATIONS:
"Eva Besnyo, Robert Capa: In Love and War." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). February 02, 2002. Accessed June 26, 2022 https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/1120

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