In this category you'll find a number of pieces that don't fit neatly into any of the previous categories. These include some external and internal spreads of the War Correspondent's Credential and Identification Card issued to George Lacks; the front and back sides of film-strip wrappers on which are imprinted the logo of Lacks News Photos, a film-processing service that George set up in pre-war Shanghai along with his first wife, Joy Lacks; George's personal copy of the Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana; and a handful of miscellaneous photos from George's days with the Los Angeles Times-Mirror.

Alex Buchman in Shanghai, circa 1937 ~ Click here to read Alex's bio in Lubitz' TrotskyanaNet

It's a curious fact that all but one of these pieces, as well as several others, come courtesy of Alex Buchman (pictured here and in one of the photos below), who befriended George around 1933 while the two were living in Shanghai. The life of Alex Buchman is extremely interesting in its own right, and no doubt merits a website of its own. Alexander H. ("Alex") Buchman (May 16, 1911—January 7, 2003) was trained and degreed in aeronautical engineering, and was also a skilled amateur photographer. He decided to travel through Asia when job prospects in the aeronautical industry were slim at the nadir of the Great Depression. During that time he took on various jobs with foreign news agencies. According to the website Lubitz' TrotskyanaNet, "[I]n Shanghai, Buchman, who was a highly talented amateur photographer, took hundreds of still photos as well as motion pictures, documents from Shanghai, then an international, multi-ethnic mega-city in turmoil, which in 1937 fell victim to Japanese aggression. Buchman's Shanghai photographs, partly taken by a camera hidden in a special pocket in his jacket with the lens peering out through a buttonhole, mirrored the life of the

Chinese population and gave some authentic and alarming impressions of what should soon become bitter reality in other parts of Asia and in Europe, too."

In 1939 Buchman left China, and from 1942 to 1976 he worked as an aeronautical engineer at Rockwell International. However, he and George remained friends right up to the end of George's life, and Alex was a frequent visitor to our home in North Hollywood, along with his wife Debbie and son David.

As the above reference suggests, Alex Buchman was also an avowed socialist, and an ardent admirer of Leon Trotsky (my dad, not so much; he was merely a Stevenson Democrat through and through). In autumn 1939 Alex traveled to Mexico to work as a bodyguard and technical assistant to Trotsky, and for several months he compiled an extensive collection of still photos and movie reels of Trotsky, and the activities associated with him. More information about Buchman's association with Trotsky can be found in Lubitz' TrotskyanaNet.

I had the good fortune to correspond sporadically with Alex in the late '80s and early '90s, as he was attempting to track down members of our family. At one point he sent me a thick package containing some Lacks memorabilia, and brimming with 4x5 negatives shot by my dad, many of which are seemingly of little or no consequence. I deeply regret that I did not pursue this correspondence more assiduously. Chances are I would have discovered so much more about both men, although with regard to the details of my father's life, it's possible that Alex informed me about as much as he could.

Jump down to photo-viewing area

Alex Buchman and George Lacks in Shanghai (circa 1937)

Chinese cannons destroyed by the Japanese (circa 1937-38)

War Correspondent's Creden- tial and Identification Card issued to George M. Lacks ~ internal spread (August 18, 1945)

War Correspondent's Creden- tial and Identification Card issued to George M. Lacks ~ external spread (August 18, 1945)

Film wrappers from Lacks News Photos, Shanghai, China ~ front and back sides (circa 1933-1946)

George's personal copy of the Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana (1952 or thereafter)

Three young girls and an old phonograph ~ No. 1 (October 9, 1948)

Three young girls and an old phonograph ~ No. 2 (October 9, 1948)

Scene at a fair or parade (circa 1955)

A different kind of demonstration (circa 1955)


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