Monday, September 21, 2015

Julia and Maria Diament

Julia Diament-Pirotte
Self Portrait, 1942
Julia and Maria Mindla Diament, daughters of a working class Jewish family, were born in Konskowola, Poland: Julia on 1 January 1908 and Maria in 1911.

Julia emigrated to Belgium in 1934 where she studied photography and married Jean Pirotte, a labor activist in Brussels. In may 1940, after the German occupation of Belgium and the deportation of her husband, Pirotte made her way to southern France. There she played an active role in Jewish and Franch resistance groups. Based in Marseille, she worked as a photojournalist for Dimanche Illustre and served as a courier for weapons, false papers and underground publications. During this time, she took numerous photographs documenting life under the Vichy Regime. As a member of the Francs-Tireurs et Partisans, , she was able to photograph the activities of the Maquis resistance in the summer of 1944 and the liberation of Marseille.
Mindla Diament
Portrait taken by her
After the war, Julia returned to Poland as a photojournalist for the Polish periodical Zolnierz Polski. During that period she covered the aftermath of the Kielce Pogrom of 4 July 1946 and attended the World Congress of Intellectuals for Peace of 1948 in Wrocław, taking portraits of Pablo Picasso, Irène Joliot-Curie and Dominique Desanti. She later married Jefim Sokolski, a Polish economist who died in 1974. Julia died in Warsaw, Poland on 25 July 2000

Her sister Mindla Maria Diament was also a member of the French Resistance. She was captured, tortured and executed by the Vichy Regime and died on 24 August 1944.

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