Tuesday, November 1, 2016

29 Extraordinary Black and White Photographs That Capture Daily Life in Paris during the 1930s

Fred Stein was born on July 3, 1909 in Dresden, Germany. As a teenager he was deeply interested in politics and became an early anti-Nazi activist. He was a brilliant student, and went to Leipzig University, full of humanist ideals, to study law. He obtained a law degree in an impressively short time, but was denied admission to the German bar by the Nazi government for “racial and political reasons.” The threat of Fascism grew more and more dangerous and after the SS began making inquiries about him, Stein fled to Paris in 1933 with his new wife, Liselotte Salzburg, under the pretext of taking a honeymoon.

In Paris they were in the center of a circle of expatriates, intellectuals and artists. In the midst of upheaval, gathering war, and personal penury, Stein began taking photographs. He was a pioneer of the small, hand-held camera, and with the Leica which he and his wife had purchased as a joint wedding present, he went into the streets to photograph scenes of life in Paris. He saw hope and beauty where most people would only see despair. He also became acquainted with and photographed some of the leading personalities of Europe.

Vendor, Paris

Fisherman, Paris

Steps, Paris

Le Gaz, Paris, 1935

Paris Evening, Paris, 1934

Streetcorner, Paris

Three Chairs, Paris, 1937

Swing, Paris, 1934

Renovation, Paris, 1934

Selling Flowers, Paris, 1935

Boy Leaning Against the Wall, Paris, 1937

Refugee, Colombes, 1938

Old Man With Cane, Paris, 1936

Water Fountain, Paris, 1934

Newspaper roll, Paris

Hole in Fence, Paris, 1936

Complet, Paris, 1937

Boy with Violin, Paris, 1935

Children Reading the Newspaper, Paris, 1936

Bicyclists, Paris, 1937

Two Boys Fishing, Paris

Cobblestones, Paris, 1936

Embrace, Paris, 1934

Grandmothers, Paris, 1934

Electricians, Paris, 1934

Cafe, Paris, 1935

House Painters, Paris, 1937

Fountain, Paris, 1935

Knitting, Paris, 1933

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