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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...
    • Dome, Main Hall, Reich Chancellery, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The remains of a dome over the main entrance hall of the Chancellery, which had suffered a direct hit by a falling bomb. This bomb alone caused most of the damage inside the building; some effort had been made by the Russians not to destroy 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...
    • 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,...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • Mt. Vesuvius eruption, San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The Allied forces invaded Italy in September, 1943. This was followed in March, 1944 by a massive eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Lava flowed for days and covered many villages and farms to the northwest from the ancient ruins of Pompeii. At least the...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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"...
    • Evacuation hospital near Cassino

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Another view of the hospital described elsewhere. The sound of fighting in and around Cassino could be heard and smoke from mortar and artillery fire could clearly be seen as I made this photo from a small artillery-spotting plane.
    • Erecting tents for the 8th Evacuation Hospital

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Depicted here is just one of many moves this hospital made up the Italian Peninsula as the fighting progressed. A huge complex, it could nonetheless be picked up, transported, and then returned to operation within two days.
    • Biskra, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • At the market in Biskra medicine men plied their ancient craft. This particular individual was applying a mix of ostrich shell, salt and lizard oil to a little girl's eye, swollen from conjunctivitis. She screamed in agony and but sat still so she...
    • Street scene in Medina, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The Medina, Algiers, Fall, 1943. These streets could be very busy: veiled women; pickpockets who could take off your underwear without you knowing it; prostitutes showing their wares through upper windows; nursing mothers everywhere; the smell of...
    • Fortress Gate, Rabat, Morocco, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A fortress gate near Rabat in September 1943. Not associated with the Sultan's palace, this artifact stood alone on the desert. When in Morocco in 1996 I could not locate it and no one seemed to recognize the place from my photo.
    • Craftsman, the Medina, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A craftsman working metal in the Medina, Algiers, November 1943. He is typical of the workers whose skill with simple tools could produce a gun, a sword or a spoon. They were completely essential members of their society; most of the things owned...

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