PortraitsofWar recently acquired a collection of over 200 color slides taken in the mid to late 1950s depicting the rebuilding of Postwar Germany in the Kassel area. The images follow a group of American volunteers who helped rebuild churches in and around the city. They also were charged with feeding and taking care of refugees who were waiting for new homes to be built. Although there is no linear progression to the photos, they nonetheless show a side of European history that has been glossed over. The Marshall Plan brought industry and revitalization to Europe, and also brought American tourists who snapped countless photos of the rebuild process.
As I sift through a recent WWII negative acquisition of 600+ images taken by a Catholic chaplain of the 9th Armored Division, I couldn’t help but post the following series of shots taken somewhere near Regensburg Germany. They show a group of German orphans standing in the rubble of a demolished building. The happy smiles belie the true sadness these children must have felt as they lost their families.