George Rodger Archive: Bergen-Belsen

Magnum co-founder George Rodger was one of the first photographers to document the Bergen-Belson camp after its liberation in 1945. His biographer, Carole Naggar, describes 20th April 1945 as one of three traumas that seriously impacted Rodger’s life.

I spent time with his surviving wife and archivist, Jinx Rodger, in 2013 and 2014 while I told documented story of George Rodger’s Nuba work through photographic prints, diaries, letters and news clippings all found in the archive. Jinx also told me her story, what it was like receiving his letters and working on stories together. Although most of my attention was focused on Rodger’s work from Africa in 1949, Jinx did show me some of the work he did during the war, including his diary from Bergen-Belsen.

I didn’t photograph this diary, but transcripts can be found in Naggar’s biography. Here is a short snippet of Jinx describing the impact of Bergen-Belsen on George; how he buried his experiences and rarely spoke of them.

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