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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • 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"...
    • 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...
    • Children in Biskra, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The children of Biskra, Algeria, Fall, 1943. Their faces showed the effects of life on the Sahara and their teeth showed the effects of constantly eating with sand in their diet. They had never heard of America but did know that some soldiers came...
    • Camel pulling irrigation lift, Casablanca, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The camel is truly the all-purpose animal, here turning the pump on an irrigation post in Morocco. His entire life would be spent walking in this circle, bringing up water from one level to a higher one. An attendant in the shack would not be...
    • 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...
    • Morning call to prayer, Bou Saada, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • His voice was loud and clear, his prayer long enough for me to get up and make an emergency trip to get his photograph. He then invited me into the Mosque to witness but not photograph the morning service. Activity began in earnest in the village...
    • Traveling entertainer, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • This traveling entertainer in a small village near Biskra played music on the drum you see here, as well as on various horns hidden beneath his costume. These men would travel across the desert from one market to another making a meager living with...
    • The Sahara, near Algiers

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A typical scene on the northern borders of the Sahara, near Algiers, where life revolves around water from underground sources forming the basis for an oasis.
    • Unidentified street, the Medina, Algiers, November 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The Medina, the oldest part of the city, was built on the slope of a landmass rising from the sea. Without sewer or water systems, it represented an undesirable place to live; the disease rate was high and the atmosphere unpleasant. At this time in...

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