World War II is perhaps the most dramatic period of the 20th century and has been analyzed and explored countless times. It is remembered for its noteworthy leaders – Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Roosevelt – who shaped the course of history, the atrocities of The Holocaust, as well as a period of great technological advancement.
With a library’s worth of literature, TV, and film recounting the thousands of stories of villainy and heroism since the final gun shots rang out, it’s no wonder that some images and some tales are less known than most. These compelling images have remained hidden away from most of the public for decades and only now are coming to light.
Easter Eggs for Hitler
A pair of African-American soldiers pose for a comical picture with their present to Hitler, special artillery ammo labeled as “Easter Eggs for Hitler.”
Cathedral of Light
In 1937, thousands of Nazi’s united for a rally within the cathedral of light. Consisting of anti-aircraft searchlights and aimed toward the sky, it created a remarkable design for the rally.
Destroy anything in their path
As German troops make their way through the Soviet Union, they destroyed railroads in order to make the transportation unusable for their enemies.
A larger view of the result in the bombings in Dresden, where the city is essentially blown into dust by Allied commanders.
Nazi General Anton Dostler
Tied to a stake before his execution, Anton Dostler was a Nazi General that oversaw unlawful executions of U.S. soldiers.
Hitler’s Speech Rehearsal
Hitler was most known for his powerful rhetoric and this photograph captures his habitat of practicing speeches in the mirror. Taken in 1925, photographer Heinrich Hoffman snaps a pose of the Nazi leader reviewing his speech.
Adolf Hitler Before He Died
Taken on April 28, 1945 this is the last image we have before Adolf Hitler died. Six years into a long war and Germany defeated, Hitler took his own life.
American Nazi Organization
In 1939, the American Nazi organization rallied at Madison Square Garden and about 22,000 attended. Naturally protester’s gathered and demonstrated outside the famous arena.
Taken in 1944, a female was publicly shaved and publicly marked as a woman who was believed to have been a prostitute for German soldiers.
After being seized by the Nazi’s, Reichstag became overwhelmed with graffiti.
A photograph carrying a lot of symbolism, the Soviet flag flies over Reichstag after gaining it from the Nazi’s in 1945.
Jesse Owens Wins the Gold
At the 1936 Olympics in Germany, Jesse Owens creates history winning the gold for the United States. Not only did Owens win a gold medal, but four in total.
An abandoned boy grips his stuffed animal and finds himself surrounded by the ruins of London in 1945.
In the Trenches
German soldiers prepare for an extensive battle in the trenches while battling for Velikiye Luki in 1943.
Going from house to house, the German soldiers found themselves strategizing how to tactfully fight in Stalingrad.
Berlin at the End
At the end of the war in 1945, Berlin consisted of ashes and ruins. Bombed with over 45,000 tons, the city was left completely destroyed.
Allied Soldiers Mock Hitler
After Germany surrendered, American and Russian armies mock Hitler’s ideals on his famous balcony in Berlin.
German Soldier Shares His Rations
During WWII, Germany would deliberately starve Soviet territories, also referred to as the ‘Hunger Plan.’ As a result of plundering their food, millions died of starvation.
Nonant le Pin Prisoner Camp
Captured at the battle of Falaise Pocket in 1944, 30,000 Germans were captured and brought to Nonant le Pin prisoner camp.
Joseph Stalin Mugshot
This mugshot was taken of Joseph Stalin when he was arrested for the second time in 1911.
Erwin Rommel Inspecting Normandy
Erwin Rommel was put in charge of the French Atlantic wall and European defense by Adolph Hitler. Taken in 1944, Rommel observed the protocol and ordered for upgrades of all fortifications.