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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • Germany, near Nuremberg, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • On the autobahn between Nuremberg and Munich. Overlooking a bombed out bridge on the autobahn, Melvin Shaffer with camera and two helpers from a signal corps unit. They were on loan to me to photograph the Dachau concentration camp. One of the...
    • Berlin, late May 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • This photograph of buildings near the Chancellery, on the Unter den Linden, shows the efficiency of both the population and the Russian forces that had cleared the streets for military traffic and for the delivery of essential goods to the...
    • Kassel, Germany, May 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Within a few days of the end of the war, the city of Kassel was digging itself out. This was the most destroyed city I encountered. There were no useable buildings left. People had made entrances to cellars and were using them as housing. Water...
    • The Hitler Door, Reich Chancellery, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • This view I call the "Hitler Door" because it is at the rear of the Chancellery and is the one through which you went before going down into the underground headquarters. Out and to the left was the courtyard wherein the cremation of Hitler took...
    • Bismarck Statue, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The Bismarck Statue, Berlin, late May 1945. In contrast to most other soldiers, Americans generally were gawking tourists and the US Army made serious efforts to give opportunities for sight-seeing whenever it could. Most combat soldiers, though,...
    • Olympic Pool, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The Olympic swimming pool, constructed for the 1936 event. It was used almost immediately after the surrender by the occupying military and an occasional fraulein.
    • Berlin, Unter den Linden, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Along the Unter den Linden towards the Brandenburg Gate. The German civilians frequently walked and stared with an expression of agony and despair on their faces. While my German was limited I could frequently make out remarks such as,"Oh this was...
    • Berlin, early June 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • By early June the Berlin population was showing amazing resilience. A sports car was brought out, some buses were running and people were out in their "Sunday best." Their demeanor had also changed. They had some utility service restored; they had...
    • Berlin, parade ground, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Films of Hitler's forces goose-stepping in this great plaza were very fresh in our minds as we strolled this entire area, talking about and reviewing what each of us remembered from those pre-war films of Nazi Germany. It was here that Hitler first...
    • Another view of Kassel, Germany, May 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Within a few days of the end of the war, the city of Kassel was digging itself out. This was the most destroyed city I encountered. There were no useable buildings left. People had made entrances to cellars and were using them as housing. Water...
    • Parade ground, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Films of Hitler's forces goose-stepping in this great plaza were very fresh in our minds as we strolled this entire area, talking about and reviewing what each of us remembered from those pre-war films of Nazi Germany. It was here that Hitler...
    • Feeding lines, Germany, June 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The feeding stations depicted here and elsewhere were typical of those set up throughout Germany immediately after the war. The Allies furnished the raw foodstuffs, and German staffers then prepared the food at emergency feeding facilities...
    • Feeding lines, food being ladled, Germany, June 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The feeding stations depicted here and elsewhere were typical of those set up throughout Germany immediately after the war. The Allies furnished the raw foodstuffs, and German staffers then prepared the food at emergency feeding facilities...
    • Feeding lines, food being ladled, Germany, June 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The feeding stations depicted here and elsewhere were typical of those set up throughout Germany immediately after the war. The Allies furnished the raw foodstuffs, and German staffers then prepared the food at emergency feeding facilities...
    • Naples and Mt. Vesuvius, April 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • A view of the harbor at Naples with Mt. Vesuvius in the background. A truly beautiful city, Naples was a nice retreat from assignments in the forward areas. This photo was made after the massive eruption of Vesuvius and clearly shows the newly...
    • Farm caravan near Caserta, Italy, 1943

    • 1943
    • Italy and Southern France
    • A small caravan of wagons with hay and clover travel along to the farm from distant fields; late summer, 1943. To the northeast of the city of Caserta, located about 30 miles north of Naples, the land is rich and farming a major activity. While...
    • San Gimignano, Italy, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The city of San Gimignano, just north of Siena, was prominent for its many bell towers. Difficult to get to because of heavy land mining in the area, it was a romantic city and favorite getaway spot for American military officers and their Red...
    • French woman bicycling through the invasion of Southern France, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • At the very height of the invasion of Southern France I was lying behind a sandbank, occasionally sticking my head up to take advantage of every photographic opportunity that might make itself available. On one occasion I glimpsed this French...
    • The ruins of the Abbey at Monte Cassino, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The Abbey at Monte Cassino (the Abbazia di Montecassino), bombed into rubble by the Allied forces, only to make ideal cover for the German troops who rapidly re-entered the Abbey after the bombing. As a result, the Allies attempted again to "take"...
    • Attending the opera in Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • It was not unusual to be at the "front" during the early part of the Italian campaign, only to retreat late in the day and return to Naples to attend the opera or engage in some other activity that had nothing to do with the war. On the morning of...

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