James W. Foley – Extraordinary Courage and Compassion

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James W. Foley 1973 – 2014

The Fritz Bauer Library commemorates the American journalist

Six years ago, in August 2014, the American journalist James Wright Foley was executed by Islamic militants in Syria, after twenty months in captivity. Since 2008 Foley had dedicated himself to telling the stories of civilians living and fighting to survive in the various war zones of the Middle East, documenting and showing the world how war affects their personal lives and their culture.

His fellow hostages remember a man who, despite being regularly singled out for brutal punishments by his captors, would still find ways to comfort and encourage them. After his death, James Foley’s family has worked to preserve his memory and legacy in numerous ways. Through the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation they successfully lobbied President Obama and U.S. policy makers to ensure that other America hostages and their families can count on direct and well-coordinated support from their own government, and that journalists working in conflict zones receive improved training and more effective means of protection. The human rights artist Bradley McCallum has used images collected by James Foley during his various assignments and which he stored on several external hard drives, to create a number of artworks that celebrate and honor his work.

In 2016, Foleys friend, the filmmaker Brian Oakes, directed an award winning documentary film about James W. Foley’s life as a conflict journalist. The film also reconstructs Foley’s time in imprisonment, through testimonials from his friends and family, as well as interviews conducted with his fellow hostages.

In the Fritz Bauer Library, Susanne Berger (Washington D.C.) reminds us in a moving article and with many original quotations and background information of a journalist who was distinguished by extraordinary courage and special compassion.


Click here for the article in the Fritz Bauer Library

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