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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...
    • Berlin, early June 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • By early June the Berlin population was showing amazing resilience. A sports car was brought out, some buses were running and people were out in their "Sunday best." Their demeanor had also changed. They had some utility service restored; they had...
    • Feeding lines, Germany, June 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The feeding stations depicted here and elsewhere were typical of those set up throughout Germany immediately after the war. The Allies furnished the raw foodstuffs, and German staffers then prepared the food at emergency feeding facilities...
    • Feeding lines, food being ladled, Germany, June 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The feeding stations depicted here and elsewhere were typical of those set up throughout Germany immediately after the war. The Allies furnished the raw foodstuffs, and German staffers then prepared the food at emergency feeding facilities...
    • Feeding lines, food being ladled, Germany, June 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The feeding stations depicted here and elsewhere were typical of those set up throughout Germany immediately after the war. The Allies furnished the raw foodstuffs, and German staffers then prepared the food at emergency feeding facilities...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • Soldier with shrapnel wounds, Southern France en route to Naples

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Here pictured on-board the "Shamrock", a United States hospital ship, a soldier with a severe laceration wound of his shoulder -- he was probably hit by artillery fire as he lay in a foxhole -- seems visibly glad that the action is over. Some of...
    • Children, Italy

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The children universally liked American soldiers; we returned the feeling by saving up candy and food from our rations and sharing with the kids. It was not unusual for the first soldiers to occupy an area -- almost immediately upon arrival -- to...
    • Children, Italy

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The children universally liked American soldiers; we returned the feeling by saving up candy and food from our rations and sharing with the kids. It was not unusual for the first soldiers to occupy an area -- almost immediately upon arrival -- to...
    • Central Italy, Spring 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This structure, probably a monastery, is surrounded by signs of war: land stripped bare of trees; pathways crisscrossing the plain; and some evidence of clean-up apparent, with the aim of resuming farming and food production.
    • Small boy and donkey, Biskra, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A family takes their little boy for a donkey ride, Biskra, Algeria (famous for its figs, a staple of the Algerian diet). Some families here were well-off, but this little boy shows the classic love and attention accorded small kids everywhere
    • Children in Biskra, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The children of Biskra, Algeria, Fall, 1943. Their faces showed the effects of life on the Sahara and their teeth showed the effects of constantly eating with sand in their diet. They had never heard of America but did know that some soldiers came...
    • A little nap, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • This old man, a traditional teller of the news, moving from city to camp telling the same stories and tales of rain to his fellow Arabs, gave the appearance of being able to sleep wherever he happened to be -- here, a staircase in the Medina of...
    • Traveling story-teller, Bou Saada, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • People of the desert had no modern communication at all. There was no electricity in the small villages, no newspapers or magazines, and very little contact with the outside world. They had heard about radio but none had ever heard a radio. In this...
    • Medicine salesman, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A medicine man in the Medina, Algiers, November 1943. His collection included antler, animal skin, snakeskin, ostrich egg and ostrich egg shell, dried lizard (a favorite among medicine men through the Moslem world at that time), roots, some spices...
    • Laundry, Casablanca, September 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • These facilities appear to have been constructed specifically for this purpose and were in constant use. Some of the ladies appeared to be doing wash that was for commercial purposes: very large quantities; batches had to be kept separate from one...
    • Unidentified café

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Arab men enjoying tea at a sidewalk cafe, a very popular pastime for these folks who never seemed in a rush and always had plenty to talk about. On rare occasions when I had an interpreter available, he would assure me that they were not discussing...

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