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Reflex Korelle 
By the end of August I received a copy of Eijiro Yoshioka’s essay, the most recent text written about The Falling Soldier. Its 234 pages are filled with premises and arguments where the author questions, among other things, the veracity of the picture, what may have happened to the negative, who pressed the shutter button, and which camera was used to take the most renowned war photograph from the 20th century.
Yoshioka –a personal friend of Richard Whelan and of Cornell Capa –sent me his book in appreciation for my research, that definitely locates the picture in Haza del Reloj, near the municipality of Espejo (Córdoba, Spain). For this reason Yoshioka, curator of the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum and one of the biggest experts in Robert Capa’s work, has devoted chapter 4 of his essay to my research work.
The Japanese researcher briefly refers to the third mentioned question, the one concerning the authorship of the photography, without hesitating even for a second that The Falling Soldier was taken by Robert Capa (a point that he defends enthusiastically). However, the picture was taken with a Reflex Korelle – the one used by Gerda Taro between August and September 1936, according to Irme Shaber – and not with the Leica, as it is believed. This has opened ground for, in my opinion, serious doubts about who actually pressed the shutter button when the militiaman was falling down.
It all derives from Irme Schaber’s exceptional essay Gerda Taro, fotoreporterin: Mit Robert Capa im Spanischen Bürguerkrieg. Die Biographie. Shaber is Gerda Taro’s biographer and the person responsible for rescuing her from oblivion thanks to her tireless research work in museums and archives from the early ’90s. In her last book Shaber proves the authorship of about 800 pictures shot by the exceptional photographer and comes to the conclusion that in the first months of the war she used the straightforward and easy to handle Reflex Korelle.
Reflex Korelle, made in Dresde since 1935. Picture by John Kratz (Burlington NJ, US)
CAPA PHOTO: a shared copyright
Until February 1937, when for some reason the couple’s self-promotion process came to a halt, both photographers signed their work under the label CAPA PHOTO. In this respect, Schaber claims that they consolidated a label for their common photographic project, as both published their pictures under the made up label Capa. The expert considers that the purpose for this was to remove any ethnic and religious trace from their work, as both Capa and Taro were Jews. In her books Shaber afirms that the first known publication under the label PHOTO TARO was published in September 5th 1936 in Miroir du Monde, although it was an exception.
There seems to be consensus (see Whelan, Schaber, Lubben or Yohioka) that during the first months of the conflict, as mentioned above, she used a camera for 12 exposures in 6×6 format, while Capa used the Leica. In 2007 Richard Whelan wrote that none of the rectangular photographs have signs that attribute them to Taro, whereas all the square ones did have them. This led Whelan to the conclusion that Robert Capa authored the rectangular photographs, taken with a 35 mm Leica, while Taro authored the square ones, with 6×6 cm negatives. In her last books, written after the events of the Mexican Suitcase, Irme Shaber corrected some of the hypotheses that she had published in 1994 and revealed that Taro’s camera was not the Rolleiflex, as it was thought at the time, but the aforementioned Reflex Korelle.
Gerda Taro’s Camera
In order to continue our argument, it may be useful to consider the fourth question posed by Yoshioka in his book, the one concerning the camera used to take the photograph. The Japanese researcher, taking once again Schaber as starting point, bases his theory on the Reflex Korelle and openly assumes that The Falling Soldier was taken in the 6×6 format, which entails that it was taken with the camera attributed to Gerda Taro, and not with the Leica .
Yoshioka himself, as mentioned, maintains in his book that the picture is Robert Capa’s – being somehow ironic as Schaber and Whelan attribute to Taro the square pictures that were taken that day (see This is war! Robert Capa at work or Gerda Taro). However, when in my last email (in which I thanked him for devoting a part of this book to my work) I suggested the possibility of the photograph having been taken by Gerda Taro, he could not deny it.
Cover: Gerda Taro ca. 1927. She died at the Battle of Brunete on 6th July 1937. Collection Irme Schaber
FERNANDO PENCO VALENZUELA. Writer and historian, he has published five books and is considered one of the biggest experts in The Falling Soldier, the photograph that gave origin to war photojournalism. His research from May 2009 determines in a definite way that the controversial photograph was shot in Espejo. This has been acknowledged in prestigious publications, such as the Italian weekly magazine Il venerdi di Repubblica or the essay that Eijiro Yoshioka, photography curator at the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum, has recently published about The Falling Soldier. The author of this article, scientific coordinator of the I SEMANA DE ROBERT CAPA EN ESPEJO, analyses, with solid arguments, the possibility that Gerda Taro was the author of the most iconic photograh of the Spanish Civil War.
Translated by Beatriz Molina
 This article is an excerpt from the lecture Muerte de un miliciano: estado de la cuestión. I SEMANA DE ROBERT CAPA EN ESPEJO, September 27th 2014. The author thanks Hisae Yanase and the photographers José L. Revuelta y Juanma Vacas for their contribution.
 This hypothesis of the 6×6 format is also assumed by other researchers, see Susperregui J.M., Sombras de la fotografía, 2009.