Civilians take the force of the blow when war breaks out. This iconic photograph of a baby amidst rubble and debris from a bombing in Shanghai South Railway Station paints a graphic image of the effects of war on human life. Read on to find out more about the photograph.
War takes toll on people, even to those not in the front lines. This has been proven time and time again with the many different wars that have taken place around the world. H.S. “Newsreel” Wong’s photograph of the crying child taken just minutes after the Shanghai South Railway Station was bombed by Japanese planes is a harrowing image of war. The child was pictured sitting alone in the midst of the destroyed station, the background show nothing but debris and the extensive damage it received from the bombing. The bombing happened on August 28, 1937 and the photograph was titled “Bloody Saturday” fittingly.
Wong was a cameraman for the Hearst Metrotone News and received death threats following the publication of his iconic photograph. He swore that the images of gore and death in the surroundings were unfathomable. Numerous people were lying dead and some were still even trying to get up, he added. Wong didn’t have the opportunity to do a follow up on the baby after it was taken for medical treatment. His photograph shows us the extents of war and the damage it does to the countless lives of people involved and affected by it.
Our intention with the Influential Photographs columns is not to glorify or demean the subject of the photo. Our intention with this column is to highlight the most influential analogue photographs of history. The photographs we feature are considered icons, for their composition, subject matter, or avant-garde artistic value.