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Russian oil billionaire buying the New Jersey Nets? Yes. Is Russia’s power waxing or waning? Will things get better or worse for ordinary Russians? It’s not at all clear.  The Nation. January 24, 2011 31 A Secret Archive I n the spring of 1942, Gen. Francisco Aguilar González, the Mexican ambassador to the Vichy government, left France to return to Mexico with his wife, Maria. The couple traveled through newly Fascist Spain to Lisbon, where she boarded a steamer bound for New York, with twenty trunks of their belongings, while the general made his way back across Spain, through France and then to London, eventually flying to New York for their rendezvous.

What had come to be called the Mexican Suitcase had finally been found. The negatives in the Suitcase span the duration of the war, beginning with Chim’s foreboding photographs of marching Republican dignitaries in April 1936, three months before the conflict broke out, and ending with [Crowd at the gate of the morgue after the air raid, Valencia], Gerda Taro, May 1937 Capa’s stark portraits of Republican refu- killed on assignment. (Taro was crushed by gees in concentration camps in Southern a tank in Spain in 1937, Capa stepped on a France in March 1939.

In 1979 Capa’s brother, Cornell, the founder of the International Center for Photography (ICP), in New York City, began a search for the lost images. He published an appeal in a well-known photography journal, and over time he managed to recover a number of lost works by Capa, Chim and Taro—but not the fabled negatives. They remained in Mexico, passing from Aguilar to his daughter, who gave them to her cousin, a filmmaker named Benjamin Tarver. In 1995, at an exhibition of Spanish Civil War photography in Mexico City, Tarver told the curator, a Queens College professor named Jerald Green, that he possessed images of similar scenes, which he believed were taken by Capa.

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