It turns out that taking a camera to the battlefields of WWII was quite popular among the soldiers. Many readers of the einestages section in the German magazine Der Spiegel sent in many of their personal photoalbums that were full of pictures taken during the war.
All the war pictures that you can see on this page and many more can be seen at the official page of einestages. To check the page out click here.
The soldiers in the German Army where not only conquering all of Europe, they were being tourists at the same time. They took all kinds of pictures, from sight seeing to cruel war atrocities. The photo albums that were put together during 1939 and 1945 are a unique source of what World War II was really like.
It is amazing how many color pictures where taken back then. Most pictures during the war were black and white, however after 1936 color was introduced and quickly increased in popularity.
Even when they were trying to escape to safety, people took the time to take pictures like the one on here labeled “On the go”. It was taken sometime in 1940, when it was less rare for people to take color pictures.
Taking pictures of executions by the German Army was strictly prohibited after 1941. But some pictures still made it to private picture albums. Most did not directly show the executions, but gave big hints on what had happened on those days. Some pictures even had some writing on them, explaining in more detail what was going on. One of the pictures showed a woman who was being used as a human mine detector.
The picture appears to show a peaceful scene of a Russian girl walking around in the water minding her own business. The reality is far from peaceful, at any moment she could fulfill the mission she was sent on and step on a mine, so that the soldiers can pass unharmed.
The photographers had attempted to take out some of the incriminating pictures but still left traces of what had happened. A good example was a picture that was ripped out, but you could still tell that it was a picture of a hung victim.
Did they take them out because of the guilt that the pictures brought with them? Or maybe out of fear that those pictures would get the photographers in trouble? It could also be that they were taken out by future generations that just couldn’t stand the sight of the events that took place during those cruel years. Regardless of the reasons why it took those pictures so long to finally surface to the public, they are sure to leave a lasting impression on those who get to see them.
It seems that the trend of war pictures has not died out yet. Technology has allowed to take this to a whole new level. US soldiers are conveniently taking pictures and making videos with their camera phones and uploading them to the Internet. The content includes everything from explosions and retaliation to average days at the military. US Troops seem to watch juba videos on a regular basis. Juba videos is the website where a lot of those Iraq war pictures and videos get uploaded. Some soldiers even post replies to the videos with pictures of bullet holes in their helmets and with comments such as “You didn’t get me, I’m still here”.
For more detailed information on Juba and modern war pictures click here.