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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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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, "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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • Rome, Mussolini's balcony, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The Palazzo Venezia, from which Mussolini made his infamous "Il Duce" speeches in the years prior to the war.
    • 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...
    • Naples, Spring 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Naples, Spring 1944, after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. One of the world's most beautiful cities, Naples was a mix of very old residential and fairly modern apartment structures, each built to afford a view of the magnificent harbor.
    • 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...
    • The Via S. Agata, San Gimignano

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This Alpine community was used by the German forces as a rest area. It was also used by German and Austrian families as a shelter, yet it remained virtually untouched by the war. Fresh supplies of wood products, including decorative items and...
    • Fred Toelle at work

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The artist Fred Toelle, who painted the large murals depicted in this collection of photographs. Fred, a classical fine artist, was very slow and deliberate, making many sketches then a small-scale painting of each subject. His assignment was not...

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