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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 3rd and 6th MAMAS units, Italy, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The 3rd detachment, Medical Museum and Arts Service (MAMAS), Spring 1944, at the La Mostra, Naples. Left to right: Melvin Shaffer; Fred Toelle; unknown; Hooker Goodwin; unknown; Sidney Shapiro.
    • Melvin Shaffer with Cine Special, 8th Evacuation Hospital Italy, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Melvin Shaffer and his Cine Special used for filming surgery and patients in hospitals. This camera, however, was never used for photography in the forward areas. These cameras were not suitable for "rugged" use and, for fieldwork, were left behind...
    • Elvira and Paul Showstack (seated)

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • From left to right: Richard Anderson; Melvin Shaffer; Elvira Showstack; Paul Showstack. Elvira and Paul were married in Naples in 1945. Elvira had successfully eluded the Nazis; she was one of the many who were in hiding in the Catacombs in Rome...
    • Captured vehicle used as mobile lab

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • A captured German vehicle was converted into a mobile Medical Laboratory and used throughout the Italian campaign doing blood analysis and other lab work. Lou Breslow is on the left.
    • Albert Levine and Frank Davis at work

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Here, Albert Levine (left) and Frank Davis (right) are shooting titles for a training film produced to teach personnel in setting up, taking down, and moving a field hospital. [paragraph] Take note of the photographs pinned to the wall just...
    • A little nap, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • This old man, a traditional teller of the news, moving from city to camp telling the same stories and tales of rain to his fellow Arabs, gave the appearance of being able to sleep wherever he happened to be -- here, a staircase in the Medina of...
    • Sleeping native

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A frequent sight through North Africa. People simply lay down wherever they were to sleep. They were left alone by the population, and did not seem sick or out of sorts -- just tired.
    • "Heart of Algiers" , December 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • This is the intersection of the Rue D'Isly and the harbor street, with the Medina to the left. This was the heart of Algiers. Again, we have a view of a streetcar making its appointed rounds. The Algerian Lottery and the cinema are advertised; the...
    • Traditional bakery, Rabat, September 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Then, as now, women would bring loaves prepared for baking and the baker would slide them into his oven with the implement seen in the background here. The oven was open and the baker simply watched them cooking, judging by visual cues when the...

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