Where does my fascination for photography come from and how did I become a photo journalist?
German photographer Peter Bock-Schroeder’s story reads a bit like a movie: larger-than-life with plenty of plot twists. The first German photographer allowed into the USSR following the post WWII peace treaty between Germany and Russia, Bock-Schroeder sought images of every day life behind “The Iron Curtain” in 1956.
After the Second World War, Europe was physically and mentally disarrayed, newly founded pictorial magazines became the main source of information. The ability of magazines to bring their audience to the edge of the action and society's desire to better understand the scale of world affairs fed a fast growing visual media industry. This resulted in a new type of photographer - the accomplished photojournalist.
As passionate photo reporter Peter Bock-Schroeder travelled the world. He was interested in people and their cultures and spent months and sometimes years travelling. His respectful behaviour won him the trust of the local communities he visited. As a result, they lost their reserve and let him be part of their lives. He mastered his camera, but technique had secondary significance for him. Regardless on which occasion he pressed the shutter, his photos always tell a story.
In 1964, the editors of Quick, the groundbreaking German photo news magazine, published the work of a dozen of its leading contributors. Each of the photo journalists included in the volume, Report Der Reporter, were invited to discuss their art in an accompanying essay. Among the photographers highlighted was Peter Bock-Schroeder, who vividly chronicled life on the far flung fringes of the post war world in his journeys as a foreign correspondent for Stern and Revue magazines, as well as Quick.
Bock-Schroeder's camera captured some of the last moments in the disappearing lives of salmon fishermen in Oregon, the indigenous peoples of Alaska, Bolivia and Peru and the displaced peasants of Soviet Russia. In regions as distant from one another as the war-ravaged cities of his own Germany, the remote mining towns of Bolivia and the devastated former battleground at Stalingrad, Bock-Schroeder chronicled worlds in collision.