Meditations on Photographs: Josef Nowak by an unknown photographer


Meditations on Photographs


What you see in this photograph is what I see in it, a man that none of us have ever met. I can say that with certainty because I know just a little bit, albeit not much, more about this man. He is, or actually was, Josef Nowak, an accountant born in what is now the Czech Republic, a citizen of Germany when it was called Nazi Germany, an avid multi-instrumentalist (mostly playing the accordion, though), and, just like millions of others, a soldier, drafted to fight in World War 2. Josef Nowak was killed (“fell”) on 21 March 1942 in what was then the Soviet Union. There was not going to be another spring in his life, and for a long time there was none in his wife’s (now widow’s) who on the very day that her husband died gave birth to their fourth daughter. That fourth daughter is my mother’s youngest sister. Josef Nowak is my grandfather. Find the full piece here.