St. Dunstan-in-the-East: one of the few remaining casualties of the London Blitz, this destroyed church has become an enchanting public garden.

We are on St Dunstan’s Hill, halfway between London Bridge and the Tower of London in the City of London.The church of St.Dunstan-in-the-East built here has survived a lot during its 900-year history, including the Great Fire of London in 1666.It was originally built during Saxon times, in about 1100. Although the Great Fire caused terrible damage to the church it was faithfully rebuilt, and topped with a steeple designed by Sir Christopher Wren, one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history. However in 1941 the church was…

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D-Day: the day that changed Europe’s history

The biggest land, air and seaborne invasion the world has ever known was launched on this day, June 6 1944. Codenamed Operation Overlord, everybody now knows it simply as D-Day. One hundred and fifty six thousand American, British and Canadian troops sailed to France from England and stormed the beaches of Normandy. They then began a relentless, dogged and bloody journey all the way to Berlin, pushing back the fearsome German military machine and, eventually, bringing an end to the Second World War. It was no a nice walk: the…

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Paris through a Nazi’s lens: Propaganda pictures of Occupied France in 1940’s

André Zucca (1897-1973) was a French photographer and Nazi collaborator, popular thanks to his work with the German propaganda magazine Signal. Born in 1897 in Paris, son of an Italian tailor, André spent part of his youth in the United States before returning to France in 1915. After the outbreak of World War I he enlisted in the French army, where he was wounded and decorated with the Croix de Guerre, and after the conflict he became a photographer. Much later, during the 1930s, he made several reports in countries…

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12 rare Color Photographs show the First Nazi Concentration Camps in 1933

Nazi Germany maintained concentration camps throughout the territories it controlled before and during the Second World War. Killed in gas chambers, starved to death, killed during experiments or shot by the SS: the victims of the concentration camps were murdered in the most disparate ways, and the horror that swept across Europe began in 1933, immediately after Hitler became Chancellor and his Nazi Party was given control over the police through Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick and Prussian Acting Interior Minister Hermann Göring. The first concentration camps, of which the…

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The massacre of Gorla and the sad story of its little martyrs

Not many know that today is a sad day for the metropolis of Milan, Italy: October 20, 1944 is sadly remembered as the day of the Gorla massacre, an event that not everyone, not even the Milanese, knows. From Castelluccio Sauri, Foggia (a city previously destroyed during the Bombing of Foggia), in central-southern Italy, 103 American bombers left the airport and take off with the aim of targeting the Lambrate area, one of the city’s main railway hubs, but also industrial giants such as Breda, Isotta Fraschini and Alfa Romeo,…

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1950s Berlin: Photographs of a destroyed city

Berlin, 1956. About ten years have passed since the end of the Second World War, and Germany was at the beginning of a reconstruction, first architectural and then political, which would have lasted decades. Berlin was the capital of the German Democratic Republic (DDR), a city divided into two blocs between the West and the East, which from August 13, 1961, will also be physically divided by the Berlin Wall. While in the West began what was called the “Wirtschaftswunder”, the German economic miracle at the base of the flourishing…

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Shoes on the Danube Promenade: the Holocaust Memorial of the Jews of Budapest

On the banks of the Danube, in Budapest, not far from the Hungarian Parliament building, 60 pairs of 1940s-style worn-out shoes pairs of shoes are lined up. There are women’s, men’s and children’s shoes, left there, close to the water, abandoned in a disorderly fashion, as if their owners had just taken them off. However, If you look closer, you see that the shoes are rusty, made of iron, and fixed in the concrete of the pier. It is the sad memorial in honor of the Hungarian Jews who, in…

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Konstanz: the German city that avoided WWII bombing by pretending to be Switzerland

Europe, the old continent so rich in artistic, historical and architectural treasures, suffered incurable wounds especially during the World War II, in which centuries of history were swept away by bombing. Cities and communities in England, Germany and around the world feared death from above in the shape of bombing raids. Germany in particular suffered devastating air strikes which reduced most of its wonderful cities to a pile of rubble, like Dresden, or Munich (in Image below). An incredible exception is represented by the beautiful city of Konstanz, in south…

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