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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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  • All fields: photography
(239 results)



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    • Railway station at Stuttgart, Germany, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The railway station at Stuttgart in late April 1945. Railway cars within the destroyed structure provided shelter for hundreds of persons, displaced people, German soldiers waiting to surrender. Even we spent two nights here while waiting for...
    • The Tempelhof, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Housing near the Tempelhof airport, which had survived the devastation of war and was taken over by the US military for its personnel. [M.C.S.] [paragraph] In 1948, during the Berlin Airlift (a.k.a,"Operation Vittles", this same airport was used...
    • Unidentified neighborhood, Germany, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Frequently there was evidence of sporadic military destruction in the midst of otherwise intact areas. This was especially true in civil housing areas.
    • Germany, near Nuremberg, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • On the autobahn between Nuremberg and Munich. Overlooking a bombed out bridge on the autobahn, Melvin Shaffer with camera and two helpers from a signal corps unit. They were on loan to me to photograph the Dachau concentration camp. One of the...
    • Berlin, late May 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • This photograph of buildings near the Chancellery, on the Unter den Linden, shows the efficiency of both the population and the Russian forces that had cleared the streets for military traffic and for the delivery of essential goods to 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...
    • Olympic Pool, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The Olympic swimming pool, constructed for the 1936 event. It was used almost immediately after the surrender by the occupying military and an occasional fraulein.
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • Berlin, mid-June 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Berlin near the Brandenburg Gate; cleaned up somewhat and beginning to restore itself.
    • MAMAS portrait, June 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Melvin Shaffer, Lou Breslow, Ralph Creer and Paul Showstack just after V-Day. Major Creer, commanding officer of the MMAS units at the Army Medical Museum, visited them all after hostilities had ceased.
    • Cutting hemp stalks, Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This woman is harvesting hemp straw for the rope industry that was so predominant in and around Naples. Hemp was a major crop in the area of Naples. A large family enterprise, the making of hemp rope flourished all during the period of military...
    • Cutting clover, Caserta, Summer 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Using the sickle, this woman harvested huge quantities of clover and hay, which then was loaded and carried by oxen to distant farm complexes.
    • 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...
    • 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...

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