Hugo Wilmar's photo of De Marinier is one of the gems in the collection of the family archive.
The photo shows a Marine running towards the camera with his rifle and bayonet bent over. This photo was in on May 22, 1946 Dutch East Indies made.
Several prints are known of the photo. In addition to the crop at the magnification, the exposure is also different.
The Marines Museum released a dark print of this photo as a postcard. This was given to the Marines to be sent home as a token of life.
Also in the collection of the Netherlands Institute of Military History is a print of the photo. The crop is horizontal, darker in tone and the sky is even.
The family archive contains a print (see photo above) of 70 × 50 cm, with a well-drawn sky. Hugo Wilmar gave this photo to his sister, Cecilia.
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It is not known whether this photo was staged or not. According to the Dutch East Indies veteran and friend of Hugo Wilmar, Mr. Henk van Slooten, Hugo did not stage the Dutch East Indies. According to him, Hugo also did not participate in propaganda. This is in line with what Hugo writes in his letters and his opinion about censorship in the Dutch East Indies. Van Slooten went on to say that no exercises took place in the Dutch East Indies. The photographers therefore took the photos during combat actions.
That makes this photo even more impressive. The image has enormous tension. The soldier's left arm has some motion blur. The man runs, crouched, towards the camera. With a little imagination, you can hear bullets whistling around his ears. The tension, fear and adrenaline must have been enormous at the moment. The photo was taken with a Graflex Speed Graphic Combat camera. This makes it difficult to perform a pull focus. With the Speed Graphic, with which this photo was taken, the craftsmanship of the top photographer clearly shows.