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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • Opera house, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • I believe this to be the opposite side of the opera house as shown previously. This is the exact condition of the building when the performance previously described was staged.
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • Arab man in traditional carryall pants

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The costumes of the Arabs were a constant source of curiosity among the troops. The extra space was used to carry all manner of things -- teapots, bags of grain, tea, sugar, salt -- all tied into neat sacks and hung from a waistband inside. When...
    • 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...
    • 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.
    • Traveling entertainer, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • This traveling entertainer in a small village near Biskra played music on the drum you see here, as well as on various horns hidden beneath his costume. These men would travel across the desert from one market to another making a meager living with...
    • Craftsman, the Medina, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A craftsman working metal in the Medina, Algiers, November 1943. He is typical of the workers whose skill with simple tools could produce a gun, a sword or a spoon. They were completely essential members of their society; most of the things owned...
    • 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...
    • Caravan entering Biskra, December 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A traditional camel caravan moving into Biskra after a long journey from the southern edge of the Sahara. Measured distance is not a concept these caravans use; days to travel and time are the measure. A trip from Biskra to Bou Saada is 6 days if a...
    • Caravan, December 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A traditional camel caravan moving into Biskra after a long journey from the southern edge of the Sahara. Measured distance is not a concept these caravans use; days to travel and time are the measure. A trip from Biskra to Bou Saada is 6 days if a...
    • Rue D'Isly near the post office, Algiers, December 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • There had been no German air raids for a few weeks, blackout restrictions were lifted and traffic, mostly military and streetcars, ran with lights. Streets were also illuminated and there appeared to be no requirement to maintain a blackout -- this...
    • Homes in the countryside near Casablanca, September 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Made of native materials, these homes provided cheap and effective protection from the mild climate of Morocco. The people lived with their animals, sharing housing, water and sometimes food. When cold at night, close proximity to animals provided...
    • Traditional bakery, Rabat, September 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Then, as now, women would bring loaves prepared for baking and the baker would slide them into his oven with the implement seen in the background here. The oven was open and the baker simply watched them cooking, judging by visual cues when the...

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