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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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,...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 8th Evacuation Hospital, Pietramala, Italy, Winter 1944 / 1945

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The 8th Evacuation Hospital -- manned by a unit from the University of Virginia -- at the Pietramala location, about 40 miles north of Florence. The photograph was made from atop a mountain to the west of the Hospital. The highway shown is one of...
    • 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...
    • Melvin Shaffer overlooking Pietramala, Italy, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Looking north from Pietramala towards the German lines just at the ridgeline near the top of this photo; the Germans were no doubt watching me, as they had observation points all along this range as well as made frequent sorties at night into 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...
    • Mt. Vesuvius eruption, Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • A view of Vesuvius from the western part of Naples, clearly showing the massive lava cloud spewing from the volcano's top. This photo, made near the beginning of the eruption, shows a southward flow of lava and a very high concentration of ash in...
    • Fred Toelle painting, "Trench Foot, Socks"

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This is one of a series of oil paintings, 4 x 6 ft in size, done by Sgt. Fred Toelle. They made their way back to Washington after the war and, since I was involved in the project by furnishing Fred with photos from which he made these works of...
    • Fred Toelle painting, "P.O.W.'s draining in the Pontine Marshes"

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This is one of a series of oil paintings, 4 x 6 ft in size, done by Sgt. Fred Toelle. They made their way back to Washington after the war and, since I was involved in the project by furnishing Fred with photos from which he made these works of...
    • Fred Toelle painting, "MP directing traffic through a minefield"

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This is one of a series of oil paintings, 4 x 6 ft in size, done by Sgt. Fred Toelle. They made their way back to Washington after the war and, since I was involved in the project by furnishing Fred with photos from which he made these works of...
    • Fred Toelle painting, "Home disinfection, Pontine Marshes"

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This is one of a series of oil paintings, 4 x 6 ft in size, done by Sgt. Fred Toelle. They made their way back to Washington after the war and, since I was involved in the project by furnishing Fred with photos from which he made these works of...

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