The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rare Photo's of Berlin and the bunker

I saw this on Yahoo, April 30 1945 was when a great evil committed suicide rather than be captured by the Soviet troops that were closing in on the Reichtag and the Chancellor building.  The German garrison at Berlin were contesting every block with the Soviets but there were more Soviets with combat training and far fewer Germans, the Germans fought with fanaticism born of fear and desperation, the Soviet reprisals against the German civilians were well documented when German troops earlier had recaptured some German territory in Vistula, the gang rape and executions were documented by photo's and survivor eye witnesses.    The German troops fought to buy time for the civilians to escape and of the false hope of all the wonder weapons and reinforcements that were promised by Geobbels the propaganda minister.   For more information on the battle of Berlin or Gotterdammerung  as the surviving Germans called it.

    I have done other postings on  Berlin

        Follow the rest of the story and more photo here


Hitler’s Bunker and the Ruins of Berlin: Rare and Unpublished Photos

William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Oberwallstrasse, in central Berlin, saw some of the most vicious fighting between German and Soviet troops in the spring of 1945
In April 1945, as Russian and German troops fought — savagely, street by street — for control of the German capital, it became increasingly clear that the Allies would win the war in Europe. Not long after the two-week battle ended, 33-year-old LIFE photographer William Vandivert was on the scene, photographing Berlin’s devastated landscape.
Between August 1940 and March 1945 American, RAF and Soviet bombers launched more than 350 air strikes on Berlin; tens of thousands of civilians were killed, and countless buildings — apartment buildings, government offices, military installations — were obliterated. Vandivert, LIFE reported, “found almost every famous building [in Berlin] a shambles. In the center of town GIs could walk for blocks and see no living thing, hear nothing but the stillness of death, smell nothing but the stench of death.”
Hundreds of thousands perished in the Battle of Berlin — including untold numbers of civilian men, women and children — while countless more were left homeless in the ruins. But it was two particular deaths, those of Adolf Hitler and his longtime companion and (briefly) wife Eva Braun, in a sordid underground bunker on April 30, 1945, that signaled the true, final fall of the Third Reich.
William Vandivert, LIFE Magazine PhotographerVandivert (left, in the early 1940s) was the first Western photographer to gain access to Hitler’s F├╝hrerbunker, or “shelter for the leader,” after the fall of Berlin, and a handful of his pictures of the bunker and the ruined city were published in LIFE magazine in July 1945. A few of those images are republished here; most of the pictures in this gallery, however, were never published in LIFE and vividly illustrate the surreal, disturbing scenes Vandivert encountered in the bunker and in the streets of the vanquished city beyond the bunker’s walls.
In his typed notes to his editors in New York, Vandivert described in detail what he saw. For example, of the sixth slide in this gallery, he wrote, “Pix of [correspondents] looking at sofa where Hitler and Eva shot themselves. Note bloodstains on arm of soaf [sic] where Eva bled. She was seated at far end … Hitler sat in middle and fell forward, did not bleed on sofa. This is in Hitler’s sitting room.” Remarkable stuff — but, it turns out, it’s only about half right. Historians are now quite certain that Braun committed suicide by biting a cyanide capsule, rather than by gunshot — meaning the bloodstains on the couch might well be Hitler’s after all.
A NOTE ON THE PHOTOGRAPHER: William Vandivert — who at 6 ft. 5 in. held the distinction of being the tallest photographer on staff — shot for LIFE from the late 1930s through the late ’40s. In 1947 he joined Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and David “Chim” Seymour in founding the legendary Magnum photo agency. (Rita Vandivert, his wife, served as Magnum’s first president.) William Vandivert died in 1992.

Read more: http://life.time.com/history/inside-hitlers-bunker-rare-and-unpublished-photos/#ixzz1tcYfUL7m

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