The 14. August 1945 was a day of joy – not only in New York, but especially there. Hundreds cheered in Manhattan, the end of the Second world war, was sealed with the unconditional surrender of Japan. A holiday, as it can today barely imagine. In America, this day is “V-J Day” (“Victory over Japan Day”). On this day, one of the most famous photos in the world on Times Square in New York history.

A young sailor keeps a young nurse love each other, he presses his lips to your. The photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt pushes the shutter button, the recording was printed in the magazine “Life”, and went around the world. The photo of the Sailor and the nurse knows everyone – it has become the symbol of irrepressible joy, and a great romance. Not only that, but For many, this image is also representative of a time in which sexual harassment by men on the agenda. A time that is not over the opinion of some people for a long time.

Fullscreen ©Sarasota Police Department Statue in Florida with #MeToo

smeared After the death of George Mendonsa, the man in the photo, has ignited the debate again. Mendonsa was at the age of 95 years on 17. February of this year, died. The day after that smeared the Unknown is a Statue of the famous kiss in the city of Sarasota in the U.S. state of Florida with the #MeToo lettering. The sculpture of the two Kissing was meant to recall the end of the war. The damage is estimated to be around 1000 dollars.

critics denounce especially the übergriffige type, with the Mendonsa’s the woman in the picture – the nurse Greta room Friedman – forced quasi to kiss. A stir, a Text of the blogger “Leopard”, which was called the behavior of Mensonsa “sexual assault” made in 2012: “He has the right to be excited. He has the right to celebrate. But he has not the right to physical self-determination of another.” 2014 protested a group of feminists against the establishment of a Statue in California, which shows the legendary kiss. The “Time Magazine” saw in the photo, “the documentation of a very public sexual harassment and not something that should be celebrated.”

“I haven’t kissed him, I kissed”

it was by no means a romantic scene in the actual sense, it was also clear photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt. The man had walked along the road, and I pulled each of the girls he had seen, told Eisenstaedt later, in his book “Eisenstaedt on Eisenstaedt”: “It made no difference whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, or old.” Mendonsa told CBS that he was drunk on the day at least: “Then I saw the nurse, I grabbed her and kissed her.”


The kissing sailor from Times Square is dead


In the Forties, such behavior might have been socially semi-acceptable. However, with the increasing emancipation of women throughout the world, the reception of the photos changed. Thus, the widespread interpretation of the image was increasingly questioned. Feminists to denounce Mendonsas – with the advent of the #MeToo debate has intensified the criticism.

Also, nurse Friedman, who died at the time of the photo is 21 years old and in 2016 at the age of 92, said in 2005 in an Interview with the Library of Congress: “It was not my choice to be kissed.” Friedman himself was only in 1960 at the photo carefully. “He was very strong and held me tightly. It was just a Celebration, not a romantic Moment. I have not kissed him, he kissed me.” After that, both went back to your ways, you’ve spoken to the sailor, nor his name known.

In the Public consciousness, the Interpretation of the image outweighs nevertheless, as an expression of joy over the end of a year long war. For the critics, it is an indication that sexual harassment is not fought enough for one day.

sources: Library of Congress / CBS / “The Telegraph” / “Crates and Ribbons” / “Spiegel Online” / “Time Magazine” / Sarasota Police Department