Renowned Austrian Jewish photographer Erich Lessing dies at 95
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Renowned Austrian Jewish photographer Erich Lessing dies at 95

Born in 1923 in Vienna, Lessing fled to Mandatory Palestine in 1939, then returned to Vienna after the war, going on to document key moments of European history

Austrian Jewish photographer Erich Lessing during an interview in Vienna on March 16, 2012. (AFP Photo/APA/Herbert Neubauer)
Austrian Jewish photographer Erich Lessing during an interview in Vienna on March 16, 2012. (AFP Photo/APA/Herbert Neubauer)

VIENNA, Austria — Renowned Austrian photographer Erich Lessing has died at the age of 95, Austria’s Jewish community organization, the IKG, said on Wednesday.

Lessing’s career in photojournalism saw him document many of the key moments of postwar European history, such as the Hungarian Uprising of 1956 and Charles de Gaulle’s 1958 visit to Algeria.

Lessing worked with the Associated Press and the Magnum Agency and his photos also appeared in publications such as Time, Paris Match and Fortune.

Born in 1923 in Vienna, the son of a dentist and a concert pianist, Lessing fled the Nazis to British Mandatory Palestine at the age of 16. His mother and grandmother were murdered in the Holocaust.

In 1947 he returned to Austria, having taken up his childhood hobby of photography as a profession, including for the British Army during the war.

From the 1960s he increasingly focused on art and historical subjects in his work.

He later taught photography at various venues and his work was published in around 60 volumes.

In 2013 he donated 60,000 images to the archives of the Austrian National Library.

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