LESSING presents LESSING

  • history
  • social history
  • post war history
  • photography

The pictures by the Austrian photographer Erich Lessing are world-famous. He is still regarded today as the chronicler of the post-war world par excellence. His legendary photo at the signing of the State Treaty was to become an iconic symbol of the new Austria.

As a Jewish child, Erich Lessing (born in 1923) experienced the persecution and deportation of his family from Vienna. He himself managed to escape to Palestine, where he tilled the land on a kibbutz and earned money driving a taxi.

On his return to Austria in 1945 he became a photo reporter for Associated Press, member of Magnum Photos and, in 1956, the chronicler of the Hungarian Uprising.

Seventy years after the end of World War II, the Jewish Museum Vienna has invited Hannah Lessing, secretary general of the Austrian National Fund, to make a personal selection of photos by her father for an exhibition on the theme of Vienna and the world after 1945. “Lessing presents Lessing” offers a very private insight into the work of a great Austrian photo-­grapher—from his political documentary photos to his “Girls of the Sixties”.