Art and War at Atlanta History Center


This vintage U.S. Army/Air Force K-24 camera was used on WWII aircraft. It was mounted in the belly in a compartment on the right side of the plane. This camera could take 125 (5x5 inches) photographs from a single roll of film without reloading. It was used for BDA - bomb damage assessment - and photo-reconnaissance. It could be operated electronically and manually.

On May 23, I spent the day traveling the military timeline from the Revolutionary War to current conflicts at the Atlanta History Center.  I encountered veterans, re-enactors and simulated adventures.  I saw military vehicles, historic characters and danced to live music from World War II era. 
 
The Freedom Belles sang popular World War II era music.

Historic moments being shared with visitors.

While the men were away the women went to work.

Jeeps have come a long way.

Bulk ammunition ... this is not for your basic target practice.

Nancy Sherman, a professor at Georgetown University and Guggenheim Fellow (2013-2014), who served as the Inaugural Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the United States Naval Academy, was the featured speaker.  She discussed her book, Afterwar: Healing the Moral Wounds of Our Soldiers. 

I am fascinated with her research.  2.6 million soldiers are currently returning home from war, the greatest number since Vietnam. With an increase in suicides and post-traumatic stress, the military has embraced measures such as resilience training and positive psychology to heal mind as well as body. But the moral dimensions of psychological injuries – guilt, shame, feeling responsible for doing wrong or being wronged – still elude much treatment. In Afterwar, Sherman turns her focus to that challenge, as she is a philosopher with research training in psychoanalysis. 

But wait, I learned even more viewing Filming the Camps, a somber exhibit curated by historian and film director Christian Delage. 

Hollywood directors John Ford, George Stevens, and Samuel Fuller created American cinema classics like The Grapes of Wrath, Shane and The Big Red One. But their most important contribution to history was their work in the U.S. Armed Forces and Secret Services, filming the realities of war and the liberation of Nazi concentration camps.  Filming the Camps presents rare footage of the liberation of Dachau with detailed directors’ notes, narratives describing burials at Falkenau, and the documentary produced as evidence at the Nuremberg trials, among other historic material. 

In addition to rare footage, the exhibition shows how the violence of World War II and the exposure to the victims of Nazi atrocities caused a complete upheaval in the lives and careers of these three Hollywood directors. 
The entrance sets the mood.

And so, the shooting begins ...

Fuller at work.

In 1959, Samuel Fuller directs and produces Verboten! The story takes place in spring 1945 and features
an American sergeant, David, chasing the last soldiers of the Wehrmacht in a small village.
Fuller's narration focuses on the Nazis' "Final Solution." He uses footage shot by the Soviets at Auschwitz, by the British at Bergen-Belsen and by the SPECOU at Dachau, mixing them indiscriminately.

Rabbi David Max Eichorn, a member of the XV Corps of the U.S. Army, is one of the first Jewish
chaplains to enter Dachau after the liberation of the camp on April 30, 1945.  On May 6, he performs
a religious service.

These two WWII veterans helped liberate Dachau.
 I saved the best for last -- Atlanta History Center Veterans History Project seeks to collect oral histories of American war veterans who served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, and civilians who served in their support. The center will consider other materials such as letters, diaries, maps, photographs, and home movies from these participants on a case by case basis.
 
A family of veterans share their story.

For more information visit www.atlantahistorycenter.com.

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Meet the Publisher

Bonnie Morét is an award-winning photographer recognized by The Georgia Council of the Arts as "an exceptional representation of contemporary Georgia art work." Her photography is featured on Georgia Public Broadcast's Georgia Traveler. Her exhibitions include Fifth Annual Exposure Awards at Musee du Louvre in Paris, France, Art Takes Miami at Scope Art during Art Basel Miami, Metro Montage XIII at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, World of Water at the Georgia Aquarium, Open Walls at Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Wholly Georgia: A Look at the Effects of Southern Religious Culture, sponsored by the Art History League and Georgia State University, at Mint Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, 6x6 at the Rochester Contemporary Arts Center in Rochester, New York, @Phonography: Dialogue in the Wireless Age, at 3 Ring Circus in New Orleans, Louisiana, and About Lands and Lives of the Civil War at the 6th Cavalry Museum in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia. Her photography appears in Modern Luxury/The Atlantan, Jezebel Magazine, and hangs in the executive offices at the Georgia State Capitol as part of the Art of Georgia exhibit. Corporate clients include Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta History Center, Chanel Cosmetics, Christian Dior Cosmetics, Sharp Mountain Vineyards, PM Realty Group, Granite Properties, Road Atlanta, Patrón Tequila, Georgia's Own Credit Union, StubHub, CBM Records and The Washington Auto Show.