Rare Photos From World War II

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Even decades after its end, WWII still strikes a chord in the hearts of people from all corners of the globe. For some, it was a time of epic heroism and a fight for morality and freedom. For others, it was a time when the darkest imaginations of the human soul came to life. Here, we’ve gathered a collection of rare World War 2 pictures that show both the depths of human evil and the fierce goodness we can aspire to. More than anything, these pictures from the Second World War prove that greatness can be achieved when good men and women vow to fight against monstrosities.

In a world that sometimes seems overrun by chaos, here you’ll find evidence that there is always hope, as long as those who stand for good continue to fight against the forces of evil. Though many are still stunned by the darkness that was revealed during the conflict, these WWII pictures will show you why it’s so important to remember history: It’s the only way to guarantee that some aspects of it are never repeated again.

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  • 1
    10,878 VOTES

    A POW Stares Defiantly At Hitler's Right-Hand Man

    A POW Stares Defiantly At Hitler's Right-Hand Man
    Photo: National Archives at College Park / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    This photo was taken in August 1941 when Hitler's right-hand man, Heinrich Himmler, visited a Shirokaya Street POW camp in Minsk, USSR.

    10,878 votes
  • 2
    10,094 VOTES

    An Abandoned Boy Sitting Amid The Ruins Of His London Home

    An Abandoned Boy Sitting Amid The Ruins Of His London Home
    Photo: Toni Frissell / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    An abandoned boy sits clutching a stuffed animal amid the ruins that used to be his London home. This image was captured by Toni Frissell after a German air raid in 1945.

    10,094 votes
  • 3
    8,309 VOTES

    The Architect Of Auschwitz Right Before He Met His End

    The Architect Of Auschwitz Right Before He Met His End
    Photo: Stanisław Dąbrowiecki, a press photographer / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Rudolf Hoess was the architect and commander of Auschwitz concentration camp, where thousands lost their lives. 

    8,309 votes
  • 4
    8,945 VOTES

    Two Soldiers With 'Easter Eggs'

    Two Soldiers With 'Easter Eggs'
    Photo: US Army photographer / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Technical Sergeant William E. Thomas and Private First Class Joseph Jackson had an extra special Easter egg for Hitler in 1945.

    8,945 votes
  • 5
    3,824 VOTES

    German Soldiers Looting Fallen American GIs

    German Soldiers Looting Fallen American GIs
    Photo: Frank/U.S. National Archives and Records Administration / Wikipedia / Public Domain

    This photo was taken during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, and depicts German soldiers stripping boots and other supplies off of fallen US soldiers.

    3,824 votes
  • 6
    4,194 VOTES

    Aleksandra Samusenko, A Female Tank Commander

    Aleksandra Samusenko, A Female Tank Commander
    Photo: Anatoly Morozov / Wikipedia / Fair Use

    Aleksandra Samusenko was one of the only female tank officers of the Soviet Armed Forces and served as a tank commander from 1943-1944.

    Samusenko rose to fame both for her heroic performance during the Battle of Kursk and for leading her forces out of an ambush when her commander fell during a later battle.

    4,194 votes