1945 Germany – France – Holland​

In September of 1945, with the Second World War over, Werner Bischof left Switzerland for the first time in six years. On bicycle he traveled through Southern Germany, where he was profoundly touched by the sight of destruction.

1945 Southern Germany

Zurich, Switzerland, 3 September 1945

“This was the first time in six years that I was able to go abroad. Immediate questions that naturally came to mind:  What should I take?  How will I get around? 

The same week I read in an article: ‘Every trip to Germany today is like casting off from an island into a sea full of unforeseen eventualities; it is best to equip yourself as if you were going on an expedition.”

1945 France

Raon l’Etape, France, 1945

“A world full of rubble has become a playground for children. Their toys consist of whatever the war has left behind.”

In the harbor of Rouen
“These men are unemployed. Is a ship coming or not?  That is the critical question that determines the next job opportunity. Clogged canals, bombed out bridges – the infrastructure of European traffic lies in ruin.”

1945 Holland

The boy from Roermond, Holland, 1945

“At the post office where I am waiting, a boy comes along, his face torn apart; bluish-violet burn-marks left by shrapnel, a glass eye and a red mask, the healthy pink flesh makes a ghastly contrast.”

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Am Wasser 55
CH-8049 Zurich
Switzerland
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