Berlin, May 1945. World War II is over in Europe. The Soviet army has conquered Berlin, a city reduced to rubble, and now under martial law. Soldiers from America, Great Britain, and France will move in months later.
Broken tanks and makeshift barricades litter the streets, tenements and churches have been turned into bombed-out shells, tunnels flooded and train tracks destroyed. German soldiers are hauled off to POW-camps in Siberia, while old men are cutting up dead horses for food, women are trading clothes for survival, and children are left to their own devices to fetch food. And the victors, Russian soldiers of the Red Army, look as exhausted as the defeated.
The rare harrowing black-and-white images below, taken by Soviet soldiers and photographers in the employ of Soviet army newspapers immediately after the Nazi surrender, have been reproduced courtesy of Berlinica, whose book Berlin 1945. World War II: Photos of the Aftermath features 177 images compiled by historian Michael Brettin and photo reporter Peter Kroh, as well as a preface by Stephen Kinzer, former New York Times Bureau chief in Berlin.
You can find more information on the book here.
Berlinica Publishing LLC is a multi-media independent publisher based in New York City and specializing in English-language books from and about Berlin: fiction, non-fiction, travel guides, his- tory of the Wall and the Third Reich, Jewish life, art, architecture and photography, as well as books about nightlife, cookbooks, and maps. Berlinica also offers documentaries on DVD and music CDs.