Herbert Gast a.k.a Albert

Albert was a German farmer from Silesia, enrolled in the army in WWII to fight in France, taken prisoner and then liberated.

After the war, the part of Silesia he was from became Soviet and his farm was destroyed. He could never go back to his homeland. My father recruited him to work on the farm and he spent around 40 years in our place, North of France. Albert was an amazing person, simple, hard-working, joyful. He spoke French with a mix of local accent and german pronunciation. He became an icon in our village and was unanimously respected. A while ago*, a Swedish friend of mine came to produce a short video about Albert’s life. I took the opportunity to shoot some photos of Albert and his mostly self-made tools. He was very proud of them. He just passed away recently, at the beautiful age of 87, happy.

Rest in Peace, Albert.

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* Those pictures were actually taken in 2007.

— UPDATE June 2013 —

The booklet shown below was printed in 2013, a year after Albert passed away, 25 copies given to his family, mine and his friends.

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— UPDATE January 2014 —

I am happy to announce that Albert’s photos were printed in a beautiful book that was published in December 2013 by GIFT, Global Institute for Tomorrow.
Selected among 11.000 images from 158 countries and submitted 1500 photographers, “The Other Hundred” book celebrates those who will never find themselves on the World’s rich lists or celebrity websites…
I liked a lot the idea of the project so I submitted Albert’s images and they had been selected. So Albert is now getting famous and eternal in a way ! I am the first one to be surprised about it but anyhow it is well deserved for him…
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16 Comments

  1. wl

    thanks for the lovely photos of albert and for telling his story. it was heartwarming.

  2. thanks wl ;) he was pretty amazing person. i will share some more photos of albert after i digged into my archives.

  3. wl

    yes please, looking forward.

  4. Fabien

    Splendid, Eric!

  5. merci fabien. i like this story a lot as well. it is almost a revelation to me actually…

  6. Pierre

    Extrêmement émouvantes ces photos d’Albert présentant ses outils. C’est très beau, et plein de pudeur en même temps.

  7. Merci Pierre. C’est gentil. Oui pour la pudeur car teinté de respect. On se connait ?

  8. Pierre

    Oui, on s’est rencontrés chez Patrick, et recroisés avant-hier (le prof de philo).

  9. Mais oui ! Pierre. Biensur.

  10. Gast Francis

    Un grand merci pour le livre retaçant la vie de mon père. Quel bel hommage

  11. Merci Francis. C’est un bien petit livre pour un grand homme.

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  13. Herlant

    Un grand merci Éric ton message nous a fait chaud au cœur!! Mère nature fait ce qu’elle croit être bien!!!ainsi va la vie …. Tes photos sont superbes!!! Bonne année à toi

  14. hello! I found interview with u at Photography in China website and i ended up in your blog in post connected with Silesia;]. but im very interested if there is some possibility to see this video about Albert online?

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