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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...
    • 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...
    • 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.
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • Berlin, mid-June 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Berlin near the Brandenburg Gate; cleaned up somewhat and beginning to restore itself.
    • 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...
    • Village of Santa Cristina, Italian Alps, Summer 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • With the end of hostilities, the people here -- who had largely escaped the effects of the war -- were out doing their daily work again: farming; carving wood; and looking forward to the return of tourists to their picturesque village.
    • The Altare della Patria, Rome, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This monumental complex was finally completed by Mussolini, who transformed it from a dedication to the Italian "unknown soldiers" who died during the First World War into an egocentric expression of his pride in Italian military achievement.
    • La Mostra, site of 15th Medical General Laboratory, Naples

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This picture shows La Mostra d'Oltremare as it was during the days prior to its conversion for war purposes. A few years before the war Bennito Mussolini had built a World's Fair-type exhibition on the outskirts of Naples. Its purpose was to...
    • Naples, Spring 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Naples, Spring 1944, after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. One of the world's most beautiful cities, Naples was a mix of very old residential and fairly modern apartment structures, each built to afford a view of the magnificent harbor.

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