Shell shocked soldier, 1916

Shell shocked soldier in a trench during the Battle of Courcelette (France) in September 1916. His eyes express the madness of the war. The soldier looks like he has gone insane from what he has seen. In that moment in time everything he’s been raised to work within, the social constructs which make up every part of his life just exploded and shattered to nothing,… Read More »

Category: WW1

The priest and the dying soldier, 1962

Navy chaplain Luis Padillo gives last rites to a soldier wounded by sniper fire during a revolt in Venezuela. Braving the streets amid sniper fire, to offer last rites to the dying, the priest encountered a wounded soldier, who pulled himself up by clinging to the priest’s cassock, as bullets chewed up the concrete around them. The photographer Hector Rondón Lovera, who had to lie… Read More »

A Jewish woman who is concealing her face sits on a park bench marked “Only for Jews”, Austria, 1938

The Holocaust was a gradual process. The Nazis didn’t start mass extermination when they got into power. But gradually prepared the population by dehumanizing the Jewish people. Segregation, as shown in this photo, was part of this. The point was not to provide a bench for Jews, it was to segregate the benches so that non-Jewish Germans would not have to sit on a “contaminated”… Read More »

NASA scientists with their board of calculations, 1961

Before the days of computers, employees at NASA would have to go about conveying their knowledge in a much more laborious way: chalk, board, and likely tears. The scientists used math and physics to calculate complex spacecraft trajectories, navigation and the orbits or spacecraft, and much more. The calculations were tedious and long. As for this photograph, probably the photojournalist asked them to fill the… Read More »

Category: USA

Conrad Schumann defects to West Berlin, 1961

Conrad Schumann was immortalized in this photograph as he leapt across the barricade that would become the Berlin Wall. The photo was called “The Leap into Freedom”. It became an iconic image of the Cold War. Born in Zschochau, Saxony during the middle of World War II, he enlisted in the East German state police following his 18th birthday. Since he had always shown himself… Read More »

The ruins of Dresden, 1945

At the end of World War Two the city of Dresden was in ruins, all its buildings destroyed and thousands of civilians dead. The order by Allied commanders to heavily bomb Dresden towards the end of the war has become one of the most controversial decisions made in the European theater. Before World War II, Dresden was called “the Florence of the Elbe” and was… Read More »

Einstein at the beach, 1939

Pictured here in September 1939, Einstein relaxes on the beach near his Long Island summer home with friend and local department store owner David Rothman. After some initial confusion in the store resulting from Einstein’s thickly accented request for a pair of “sundahls,” which Rothman interpreted as “sundial,” the scientist was able to successfully purchase the white sandals on his feet for $1.35. He laughed… Read More »

Female IRA fighter, 1970s

The photo was taken by the Irish photographer Colman Doyle. The original caption of this photo in the book published by Doyle is “A woman IRA volunteer on active service in West Belfast with an AR18 assault rifle”. The IRA regularly conducted “show of arms” displays, showing off their modern and numerous weapons. The gun the girl is showing is ArmaLite AR-18. It was obtained… Read More »

Body of frozen Soviet soldier propped up by Finnish fighters to intimidate Soviet troops, 1939

Finnish defenders sometimes took fallen, frozen Russian soldiers and posed them upright as psychological warfare. Although this particular thing happened very rare, a few cases have been documented. Common Russian soldiers and Finnish troops had a lot of respect for the dead and would allow both parties to retrieve and bury their dead in peace and would make impromptu ceasefires for such occasions. Both parties… Read More »

Hitler’s triumphant tour of Paris, 1940

One day after France signed the armistice with Germany in June 1940, Adolf Hitler celebrated the German victory over France with a triumphant tour of Paris. Hitler surveying his conquest with his various cronies and became one of the most iconic photos of the 1940s and World War 2. This the first and the only time he visited Paris. Adolf Hitler made a swift tour… Read More »

The Elephant’s Foot of the Chernobyl disaster, 1986

A monster was born in the Chernobyl disaster. Lurking in the depths of the reactor ruins, the monster is one of the most dangerous things in the world. In the immediate aftermath of the meltdown, to spend 300 seconds in its presence would bring certain death. Even today, it radiates heat and death, though its power has weakened. The Chernobyl disaster happened at 1:23 a.m.… Read More »

A German prisoner of war escorted by a Soviet soldier, Stalingrad, 1943

In this photograph, a Red Army solider is seen marching a German solider into captivity after the Battle of Stalingrad. The Germans were being rounded up prior to marched to death. The Battle of Stalingrad was amongst the bloodiest battles ever fought in the history of warfare with more than 2 million casualties. On January 20, 1943, the 65th Soviet Army broke through the German… Read More »

Category: WW2

A KKK child and a black State Trooper meet each other, 1992

The Trooper is black. Standing in front of him and touching his shield is a curious little boy dressed in a KKK hood and robe. In this picture innocence is mixed with hate, the irony of a black man protecting the right of white people to assemble in protest against him. The Ku Klux Klan was holding a rally in the northeast Georgia community of… Read More »

Category: USA

Death mask of Napoleon Bonaparte, 1821

Death mask of Napoleon, taken a day and a half after he died on the island of St. Helena at age 51. His eyes are closed, lips slightly parted, and his shaven head is tilted backward, resting on a pillow garnished with a tassel at each corner. Napoleon’s original death mask was created on May 7, 1821. Surrounding his deathbed were doctors from France and… Read More »

Bison skulls to be used for fertilizer, 1870

Bison were hunted almost to extinction in the 19th century and were reduced to a few hundred by the mid-1880s. They were hunted for their skins, with the rest of the animal left behind to decay on the ground. Hides were prepared and shipped to the east and Europe (mainly Germany) for processing into leather. Homesteaders collected bones from carcasses left by hunters. Bison bones… Read More »

Category: USA