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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • 99 Rue D'Isly, home for a few weeks, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A room in a private apartment at 99 Rue D'Isly, Algiers, that we were able to rent for a few weeks. Our commanding officer later discovered this flirtation with luxury and ordered us back to base. Typical of the time, this apartment belonged to a...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • Caravan camel, Bou Saada, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • My camel for the trip from Bou Saada to Biskra. A long trip over the desert is a true adventure. This one, traveling with a group of Bedouin, took 6 days.
    • Casablanca from the north, September 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Casablanca from the north. This beautiful white city was very modern and cosmopolitan, even in September 1943. My assignment here was at the Pasteur Institute, where advanced work was being done on a typhus vaccine. Mice feces were being tested as...
    • Casablanca, September 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Casablanca from the north. This beautiful white city was very modern and cosmopolitan, even in September 1943. My assignment here was at the Pasteur Institute, where advanced work was being done on a typhus vaccine. Mice feces were being tested as...
    • Children, Southern Italy

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Unaffected by war, the children in Southern Italy were friendly, warm and always wanted to have attention from the American soldiers. Here, as in Naples, I experienced that line of questioning which began: "You know my Uncle Joe? He lives in...
    • 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.
    • 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...
    • Gasthof Zur, Italian Alps, 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The Gasthof Zur in the Italian Alps near the village of Santa Cristina. Undamaged by war, it was open for business during the entire period of conflict. In July 1945 (my time there), it served good food and provided comfortable housing for anyone...
    • Landing craft / casualty transport, Southern France, August 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Here a landing craft approaches the hospital ship (the "Shamrock", a United States vessel) with patients on army litters. Having collected my usual contingent of casualties in order to photograph the progress of their treatment, I returned to the...
    • 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...
    • Moving casualties to the hospital ship, Southern France, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Here a landing craft approaches the hospital ship (the "Shamrock", a United States vessel) with patients on army litters. Having collected my usual contingent of casualties in order to photograph the progress of their treatment, I returned to the...
    • 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...
    • Old fort / palace, Rabat, Morocco, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Remains of an old fortress / palace near Rabat, Morocco, September, 1943. Rabat itself was founded in the 12th century by 'Abd al-Mu'min as a riba t (camp). It was at this camp that the first Almohad ruler quartered the troops he had amassed for...
    • 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...
    • Parade ground, Berlin, 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...

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