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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • 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...
    • Aircraft hangar, Dachau, Germany, May 2 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The only photograph I kept of Dachau: the remains of an aircraft hangar just east of the compound. This was significant to me because we had used captured aircraft with US pilots to film the burning of Dachau. The two barracks buildings remaining...
    • 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...
    • Mt. Vesuvius eruption, Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • A view of Vesuvius from the western part of Naples, clearly showing the massive lava cloud spewing from the volcano's top. This photo, made near the beginning of the eruption, shows a southward flow of lava and a very high concentration of ash in...
    • Patient with shrapnel wounds being x-rayed aboard the Hospital Ship

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This soldier's wound, while probably not serious, was undoubtedly caused by an explosive weapon such as a grenade or mortar because of the multiple entry points to his body. Survival rates among soldiers wounded in this way were far higher than...
    • Approaching San Gimignano, 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 too because of heavy land mining in the area, it was a romantic city and favorite getaway spot for American Military officers and their Red...
    • Children in Biskra, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The children of Biskra, Algeria, Fall, 1943. Their faces showed the effects of life on the Sahara and their teeth showed the effects of constantly eating with sand in their diet. They had never heard of America but did know that some soldiers came...
    • Village of Bou Saada, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The city of Bou Saada, about one hundred miles southeast of Algiers. The population during my stay was nearly 100-percent Arabic, with a few French Foreign Legion forces in the area. Probably because of the Foreign Legion, the city was best known...
    • Traveling story-teller, Bou Saada, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • People of the desert had no modern communication at all. There was no electricity in the small villages, no newspapers or magazines, and very little contact with the outside world. They had heard about radio but none had ever heard a radio. In this...

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