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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • Creer and Shaffer, Reich Chancellery, Berlin, May 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Ralph Creer and Melvin Shaffer at the entrance to the Reich Chancellery, May 1945. Debris had been removed from the entrance by the Russians in order to enter and search for Hitler and his government. The famous bunker was here and the smell 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...
    • 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...
    • Park, Brunswickhaven, Germany, May 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • These photographs, made in the town park of Braunschweig, are truly extraordinary in their depiction of the aftermath of war. This area, while not totally demolished, had been the center of a battle which controlled the approach to Berlin. Evidence...
    • Park, Brunswickhaven, late May 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • These photographs, made in the town park of Braunschweig, are truly extraordinary in their depiction of the aftermath of war. This area, while not totally demolished, had been the center of a battle which controlled the approach to Berlin. Evidence...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • Opera house, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • I believe this to be the opposite side of the opera house as shown previously. This is the exact condition of the building when the performance previously described was staged.
    • Olympic stadium, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The 1936 Olympic Stadium. This was a rather moving visit for me, as I recalled listening to the radio broadcasts from the Olympics in 1936. We were all so proud of the Americans who made such a great showing at this event and I had all these...
    • 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...
    • Brunswickhaven, late May 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • These photographs, made in the town park of Braunschweig, are truly extraordinary in their depiction of the aftermath of war. This area, while not totally demolished, had been the center of a battle which controlled the approach to Berlin. Evidence...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • Brunswickhaven, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • These photographs, made in the town park of Braunschweig, are truly extraordinary in their depiction of the aftermath of war. This area, while not totally demolished, had been the center of a battle which controlled the approach to Berlin. Evidence...
    • 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...
    • Mt. Vesuvius at night, eruption of 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The fury of the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius was more apparent at night when lava flow could nearly always be seen, a pattern of outcroppings that changed nightly. Here the front is advancing towards Naples. This flow occurred irregularly...

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