top of page

Leica lover

Gerta Pohorylle, the first woman photojournalist to have died while covering the frontline in a war

Gerda Taro


1910. augusztus 1.

1937. július 26.

"I feel confident about myself, I act with strenght, fearless" - Gerda Taro


Gerta Pohorylle (1 August 1910 – 26 July 1937), known professionally as Gerda Taro, was a German war photographer active during the Spanish Civil War. She is regarded as the first woman photojournalist to have died while covering the frontline in a war.

Taro was the companion and professional partner of photographer Robert Capa, who, like her, was Jewish. The name "Robert Capa" was originally an alias that Taro and Capa (born Endre Friedmann) shared, an invention meant to mitigate the increasing political intolerance in Europe and to attract the lucrative American market. Therefore, a significant amount of what is credited as Robert Capa's early work was actually created by Taro.

Wikipedia, last update 2023.03.20.

Gerda Taro: The forgotten war photographer you should know
Sheena McKenzie, for CNN


Their job is capturing the most horrifying images on Earth – keeping their eyes open, where others must look away.

These are the people who lug cameras into the darkest depths of humanity. Places too gruesome, heartbreaking, and dangerous for the average person to stomach.

They return offering us a small window into someone else’s hell. And sometimes they don’t return at all.

The death of war photographer Anja Niedringhaus, while covering Afghanistan’s elections, made her the 32nd Associated Press staffer to lose their life on the job.

The 48-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning German journalist was shot dead by an Afghan policeman, while sitting in a car waiting to pass through a checkpoint.

She had worked in the region over 20 years.

Tragic Taro

It’s almost 70 years since the first female war photographer died in this line of work, and though few will know her name, many will recognize her famous lover.

Gerda Taro was 26-years-old when she died covering the Spanish Civil War in 1937. The bubbly, bold photographer supposedly left the trenches that day only because her film ran out, elated with the fantastic images she thought she’d captured.

But the car she was traveling home in collided with an out-of-control tank, crushing her. Taro’s photographs that day were never found.

Capa’s loss

The man waiting for her was Robert Capa, arguably the most famous war photographer of the 20th century, known for his haunting images of soldiers emerging from the sea during the D-Day landings.

When he heard the news of Taro’s death, Capa was “utterly devastated,” said Jane Rogoyska, author of new book “Gerda Taro: Inventing Robert Capa.”

“When he got the call he just kind of collapsed. And for the next few weeks he was just distraught. They were soul mates in many ways.”

Love in a time of war

Their relationship began in Paris three years earlier. Both were penniless Jewish emigrants fleeing persecution – he from Hungary, she from Germany.

They changed their names and invented new lives for themselves as photographers – Capa teaching Taro how to take pictures, and she making the disheveled young man presentable to employers.


bottom of page