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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • Railway station at Stuttgart, Germany, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The railway station at Stuttgart in late April 1945. Railway cars within the destroyed structure provided shelter for hundreds of persons, displaced people, German soldiers waiting to surrender. Even we spent two nights here while waiting for...
    • Near the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • A panorama near the Brandenburg Gate. I believe the domed building is the opera house. The opera made an astonishing effort to get back into production and before the end of May and even gave a performance of a Wagnerian opera which I was invited...
    • 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...
    • Tracer trails from anti-aircraft fire over Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • A composite print of anti aircraft tracer fire over Naples. While not subjected to bombing runs, the port was a frequent subject of night photography by the German forces. They always knew just how high they needed to fly to avoid the...
    • 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...
    • Cutting hemp stalks, Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This woman is harvesting hemp straw for the rope industry that was so predominant in and around Naples. Hemp was a major crop in the area of Naples. A large family enterprise, the making of hemp rope flourished all during the period of military...
    • Leaning tower of Pisa, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The famous tower escaped damage even though major military activity did take place in the vicinity. The Mausoleum next door, however, did sustain damage; the sides of ancient burial vaults were blown away and gave a good view of the bones of the...
    • American soldier tourists, Venice, Summer 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The Venetians were pleased to have American soldiers as visitors to their city, even this ad hoc group. They had been denied the benefits of tourism for several years. Many of the traditional Venetian craftsmen had worked during the war years and...
    • Date merchant, Biskra, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Market vendors sold dates, the staple of the diet in Biskra. They were delicious (after being washed in boiled water) and even to this day I tend to compare any date I eat with the ones I found in Biskra.
    • Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A view of the city of Algiers, December, 1943, taken from the El Biar section. An interesting custom prevailed here. On weekends, Jewish families would sit along the road with their eldest daughter pushed to the front. Mothers would call out to the...
    • Casablanca, September 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Casablanca from the north. This beautiful white city was very modern and cosmopolitan, even in September 1943. My assignment here was at the Pasteur Institute, where advanced work was being done on a typhus vaccine. Mice feces were being tested as...
    • Casablanca from the north, September 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Casablanca from the north. This beautiful white city was very modern and cosmopolitan, even in September 1943. My assignment here was at the Pasteur Institute, where advanced work was being done on a typhus vaccine. Mice feces were being tested as...

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