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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • Moslem women waiting at department store, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • These Moslem ladies were waiting for the only department store in Algiers to open. They usually sat on the sidewalk for hours before the opening and seemed to enjoy being together and chatting. I do not know how they got the word that the store...
    • Streetcars in Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Somehow, the trolley cars were kept running in Algiers. Not different from those in use in the United States at the time, the trolleys were the only transportation available to the local people within the city. November, 1943.
    • Anfa Hotel, Casablanca

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The Anfa Hotel in Casablanca where Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt held their first meeting in conquered territory. That conference took place in January 1943. President Roosevelt flew by PanAm Clipper from Natal to Liberia and then by...
    • Public urinal, Algiers, Fall 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • In North African cities, as well as many parts of Europe, public urinals were common. Men only; I do not know how the ladies managed.
    • Male worker, laundry, Casablanca, September 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The only male worker visible to me at the great Casablanca laundry; the several times I passed this place, this man was always there doing his work. He had a kind of dance step as he worked his load atop a rock.
    • Patient with shrapnel wounds being x-rayed aboard the Hospital Ship

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This soldier's wound, while probably not serious, was undoubtedly caused by an explosive weapon such as a grenade or mortar because of the multiple entry points to his body. Survival rates among soldiers wounded in this way were far higher than...
    • La Mostra, site of 15th Medical General Laboratory, Naples

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This picture shows La Mostra d'Oltremare as it was during the days prior to its conversion for war purposes. A few years before the war Bennito Mussolini had built a World's Fair-type exhibition on the outskirts of Naples. Its purpose was to...
    • MAMAS Headquarters, La Mostra, Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • La Mostra, Naples after being taken over by the Medical Services. A few years before the war Bennito Mussolini had built a World's Fair-type exhibition on the outskirts of Naples. Its purpose was to display Italian products and culture. When...
    • St. Peter's, Rome, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The famous basilica designed by Giacomo della Porta, pictured here shortly after the breakthrough at Anzio. Thousands of American soldiers came here on their way north in pursuit of the retreating German forces. It was not uncommon to see entire...
    • St. Peter's, Rome, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The famous basilica designed by Giacomo della Porta, shortly after the breakthrough at Anzio. Thousands of American soldiers came here on their way north in pursuit of the retreating German forces. It was not uncommon to see entire military...
    • 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"...
    • Attending the opera in Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • It was not unusual to be at the "front" during the early part of the Italian campaign, only to retreat late in the day and return to Naples to attend the opera or engage in some other activity that had nothing to do with the war. On the morning of...
    • In the Italian Alps near Santa Cristina, Summer 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This very beautiful area shows no outward effects of the war. While most publications highlighting Europe during WWII featured the war-torn areas, most of Europe except for Germany and London showed very little effect of the war. At the time,...
    • Creer and Shaffer, Reich Chancellery, Berlin, May 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Ralph Creer and Melvin Shaffer at the entrance to the Reich Chancellery, May 1945. Debris had been removed from the entrance by the Russians in order to enter and search for Hitler and his government. The famous bunker was here and the smell 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...
    • 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...

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