Learn the story behind one of the most famous kisses on the planet
You sure have seen the photo above hundreds of times, right? Known simply as "The Kiss, " she shows a young sailor planting a kiss on a girl in Times Square, New York, on August 14, 1945 - the date the Japanese surrendered and World War II finally came to a close. end. But do you know the story behind what became one of the most iconic images of the 20th century?
The scene was recorded by Alfred Eisenstaedt and officially named "V-Day in Times Square". However, even though the photo today is recognized as one of the most romantic images in history, it happened in an unloving situation!
"The Kiss" was clicked as crowds began taking to the streets of New York to celebrate the news that the end of the war had been declared. According to Eisenstaedt, people came from bars, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, etc. and among them were Greta Zimmer Friedman and George Mendonsa, two complete strangers.
Greta was a 21-year-old nurse who worked as an assistant at a dental clinic in Manhattan, and George, a young sailor who was actually on a date with a girl named Rita Petry - who years later became his wife! For George saw Greta walking down the street, took her in his arms and planted the famous kiss on her lips - this while Rita watched everything smiling.
This laughing girl in the background was Rita Petry!
In fact, more than a kiss, the whole thing was just a quick peck, and instead of representing a romantic moment, it marked the excitement and relief at the end of the conflict. The photo was first published in Time magazine - and it wasn't even on the cover! But over time, the image eventually gained notoriety, and in the August 1980 issue of the magazine, 11 men and 3 women came forward claiming to be the characters in the scene.
Several years passed before Greta and George's true identities were confirmed, and the end of the war was especially significant for Greta. She was an Austrian immigrant who, at age 15, fled to the US with her sisters to escape Nazism - after her parents died during the Holocaust.
Greta and George reunion decades after "Kiss" clicked
According to Greta, on the day of the celebration, she remembers everything happening in the blink of an eye. George, on the other hand, confessed that he was celebrating and had drunk too much beer - when he saw the nurse passing by, he could not resist the urge to grab the girl and kiss her. The girl didn't even see the sailor approaching!
But she made it clear that, because of the extraordinary circumstances in which the whole thing happened, it didn't even occur to her to associate the situation with an act of sexual violence. Unfortunately, Greta passed away on September 8, 2016, at age 92 due to age-related complications. However, the scene she lived over 70 years ago will forever remain immortalized in our memory.
* Posted on 13/09/2016