Saturday, October 13, 2018

"New Shoes" by photographer Gerald Waller, Austria, 1946

Six year-old Hans Werfel, living in an orphanage in Austria, beams with unbounded joy as he clasps a new pair of shoes presented to him  at the Vienna's Am Himmel orphanage by the Junior Red Cross in America. This photo was taken by photographer Gerald Waller and  was first published in LIFE magazine on December 30, 1946 (page 22) and again on September 24, 1951 (page 180).

This was the caption in the 1946 issue:
EUROPE’S CHILDREN - Christmas brings joy and sadness
For many of Europe’s children there was a Santa Claus this Christmas. When a big box from the American Red Cross arrived at Vienna’s Am Himmel orphanage, shoes and coats and dresses tumbled out. Like the youngster (above), the children who had seen no new clothes throughout the war smiled to high heaven. But for thousands of other European children there was no Santa Claus. When a boatload of illegal Jewish immigrants arrived at Haifa, Palestine recently, two Polish children (opposite) got separated from their parents. Tears filled the eyes of the boy, and his wan sister clutched him protectively. They were later reunited with their parents, but the whole family was shipped to Cyprus.