The Solvay Conference, probably the most intelligent picture ever taken, 1927

The Solvay Conference, founded by the Belgian industrialist Ernest Solvay in 1912, was considered a turning point in the world of physics. Located in Brussels, the conferences were devoted to outstanding preeminent open problems in both physics and chemistry. The most famous conference was the October 1927 Fifth Solvay International Conference on Electrons and Photons, where the world’s most notable physicists met to discuss the… Read More »

Rudolf Hoess the commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp, is hanged next to the crematorium at the camp, 1947

Rudolf Hoess (Rudolf Höss) was the architect and commandant of the largest killing center ever created, the death camp Auschwitz, whose name has come to symbolize humanity’s ultimate descent into evil. On 1 May 1940, Hoess was appointed commandant of a prison camp in western Poland. The camp was built around an old Austro-Hungarian (and later Polish) army barracks near the town of Oswiecim; its… Read More »

Highway of Death, The result of American forces bombing retreating Iraqi forces, Kuwait, 1991

On Sunday 24 February 1991, allied forces launched a combined ground, air and sea assault which overwhelmed the Iraqi army within 100 hours. By 26 February, Iraq had announced it was withdrawing its forces from Kuwait, but still refused to accept all the UN resolutions passed against it. Iraqi tanks, armored vehicles, trucks and troops fleeing the allied onslaught formed huge queues on the main… Read More »

Italian Cavalry School, 1906

In the first decades of the 20th century the Italian Cavalry School at Tor di Quinto near Rome was – along with the French Cavalry School at Saumur – the leading institution for horsemanship in the world. Tor di Quinto was probably the foremost academy for advanced cross country riding. The Italian Cavalry School was absolutely cutting edge, their style revolutionized military cavalry riding around… Read More »

Muslim members of the Waffen-SS 13th division at prayer during their training in Germany, 1943

The photo is taken during the division training at Neuhammer. The romantic notions that Himmler had about the Bosnian Muslims were probably significant in the division’s genesis. He was personally fascinated by the Islamic faith and believed that Islam created fearless soldiers. He envisioned the creation of a Bosnian SS division constituted solely of Bosnian Muslims in a manner similar to the Bosnian divisions of… Read More »

Category: WW2

An American soldier wears a hand lettered “War Is Hell” slogan on his helmet, Vietnam, 1965

AP photojournalist Horst Faas took this iconic photo on June 18, 1965, during the Vietnam War with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Battalion on defense duty at Phouc Vinh airstrip in South Vietnam. The headband message “War is Hell” typified an acerbic attitude of many young American soldiers who were likely drafted and sent to the remote southeastern Asia jungles to engage in deadly and terrifying… Read More »

The shells from an allied creeping bombardment on German lines, 1916

Lone soldier surrounded by a mountain of empty shell cases, France. This lone British soldier up to his knees in spent shell cases, offers a striking impression of the destruction that took place on the Western Front. However, this picture only tells half the story, with the other part of the story being the damage that the shells from these cases inflicted upon the enemy.… Read More »

Category: WW1

A mother and her daughter falling from a fire escape, 1975

On July 22, 1975 in Boston, a 19-year-old and her 2-year-old goddaughter were trapped in a burning building. A firefighter shielded them from the flames as a fire ladder inched closer. Then the fire escape collapsed. The woman died from her injuries, but her two-year-old goddaughter survived because she landed on the woman’s body. It’s tragic, going from the hope of immediate rescue to a… Read More »

Elephant-mounted machine-gun, 1914

An American corporal aims a Colt M1895 atop a Sri Lankan elephant. The reason why the corporal is atop the elephant is a mystery but elephants were never a weapons platform adopted by the US Army. It’s probably a publicity picture, not something the army would actually try to employ. The elephant would not respond well to the sound of that machine gun a few… Read More »

Testing football helmets, 1912

In professional football, the only line of defense against head injury is the helmet. But the earliest football helmet looked more like a padded aviator cap than the high-tech crash-tested helmet used by today’s players. It is not certain who invented the football helmet. In 1896 Lafayette College halfback George “Rose” Barclay began to use straps and earpieces to protect his ears. His headgear soon… Read More »

The five races of Mankind, 1911

The picture/poster shows five men representing five different cultural spheres: an American Indian, an Australian Aborigine, an African, an Asian and an European. The European, standing in the center, dominates the scene and thus shows the Eurocentric world view of the time (early 20th century). This poster was printed as an illustration on a Dresden-based German magazine. It’s widely accepted that race originated in Europe… Read More »

Color photos from pre-war Nazi Germany

Nazi Party was not just a political organization, it was a psychological propaganda machine. The Nazis had an incredible sense of aesthetics and fully understood the power of iconography and branding. Enter inside the Nazi world through these amazing color photos and be thrilled. The symbols and colors of Nazism were all carefully orchestrated to have maximum psychological effect. There was nothing accidental about the… Read More »

The Falling Soldier, 1936

The Falling Soldier became famous for the way it seems to capture, with terrifying immediacy, the moment when a bullet fatally strikes a Spanish Loyalist militiaman; later, it became famous for allegations that the photograph was “faked,” or at least (though this was common practice at the time) staged. The photo was taken by Jewish Hungarian photographer Robert Capa. From 1936 to 1939, Capa worked… Read More »

Lesbian couple at Le Monocle, Paris, 1932

During the 1920’s Paris had gained a reputation for the variety of its nighttime pleasures and for its free and easy attitude toward life in general. Within this climate of relative tolerance many gay and lesbian nightclubs opened and flourished. Among these was Le Monocle, which is credited with being one of the first, and certainly the most famous of lesbian nightclubs. It was opened… Read More »

Simone Segouin, the 18 year old French Résistance fighter, 1944

Members of the French Resistance are photographed in the midst of battle against German troops. We see a man in makeshift army fatigues to the left and a young man on the right. Then, most strikingly, we see a woman in shorts, a patterned top, and a military hat in the center. The photograph of this young female fighter would become a symbol of women’s… Read More »

SS prison guards forced to load victims of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp into trucks for burial, 1945

After the liberation of the camp the dead bodies were buried in mass graves. The SS prison guards were forced by British soldiers to load the bodies into the trucks. Note British troops in background with Sten submachine gun and Lee-Enfield rifles. Photo taken on April 17, 1945, Germany. The prison guards were part of SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV), an independent unit within the SS with its… Read More »

Category: WW2

Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces with gas masks and rubber gloves during a chemical attack, Battle of Shanghai, 1937

Japanese marines landed north and south of Shanghai. This picture may have been taken on the Jiangsu coast, which is north of the city. Despite the fact that the chemical weapons were prohibited by international laws, the Imperial Japanese Army frequently used chemical weapons during the war against China. In terms of the imagery, this photo is a perfect blend of WWI and WWII. The… Read More »

A refugee carrying his cholera-stricken wife away from the fighting during the Bangladesh War, 1971

The photo is taken during the Bangladesh Liberation War. The atrocities of this war are little known to the Western. It lasted over a duration of nine months and witnessed large-scale atrocities. Also during the time cholera was rampant. This war resulted in Bangladesh becoming an independent state from West Pakistan, now just Pakistan. Looking at the photo someone can see love right there. That… Read More »