What image or event of 2nd World War has moved you the most?

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What image or event of 2nd World War has moved you the most?

Post by kobold » 18 Jul 2002 12:02

...and in what way ?

I know the images of the Holocaust affected me deeply as a child, but as I have grown older, and perhaps because I have been exposed to so many scenes of death on t.v., I feel I have become almost "immune" to such images, so when I see them, the effect is nothing like it once was.
Perhaps that is wrong but thats how I feel.

As a child I always cried at the end of a war movie - even though I had enjoyed it - but I never understood why I cried.

Even now certain scenes of a war movie too may bring a tear to the eye - the final scenes of Stalingrad for example, when the two soldiers collapse in the snow, one unable to go on, his comrade stays with him, and dies with him too.

Whilst I am eternally grateful that I have never had to experience war except through the television, I have seen in veterans eyes, read in books and seen on documentaries, the close "brotherhood" it can bring and sometimes I feel envious of that cameradery that none combatants may never share.

When I see a single corpse on the other hand-usually a poor foot soldier, I wonder sometimes who he was, where he was from, what occupation he had, and what he thought of the war that took his life, what he would have become and achieved had he lived or the war not happened.
It never matters what nationality he was - he was a man fighting a war he shouldn't have been asked to fight - and that is enough.

A battlefield, littered with corpses always makes me think "what a waste" - mainly of human lives, but also of the huge amount of material resources, and it saddens me that man can do these things to one another (naive I suppose but it is what I feel).

What a wonderful planet this could be if armed conflict was abolished - and our energies into making the world a better place - something that I fear will never happen - unless perhaps we recieve intervention from elsewhere.

Recently I was fortunate enough to be able to read part of a womans diary from WW2, in which she describes the loss of her husband, a soldier, and how it affected her and her family.
It was very moving, and very sad.


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Post by valadezaj » 18 Jul 2002 13:41

The image from world war 2 that has moved me the most is the one from Hitler's last birthday. Seeing him shake of the hands of the youth about to die in the upcoming battle for Berlin somehow seems a fitting end.

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Dramatic Images

Post by JLEES » 18 Jul 2002 13:50

For me it's the famous photograph of about 15-people with hands raised in the air, after surrendering during the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. There's a young teenage looking youth in the foreground of the image, his hands raised high in the air, looking terrified, with a few SS Soldiers nearby. There's little questions what awaited these people later at Auschwitz. For me this was a very powerful photograph.

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Post by Dan » 18 Jul 2002 15:37

James, the little boy was named Nusbaum, and he survived the war to become a rich doctor in New York.


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Post by sylvieK4 » 18 Jul 2002 16:00

At the moment described by JLEES, surely the young boy, Nussbaum, did know he would survive the war and become a doctor.

There in the photograph, he was a frightened child, surrounded by other frightened children and adults. In a way it does not matter if he survived the war or not. It was obviously a horrific experience for him, one that I am sure none of us would like to have, nor what would we want our own children to endure.

So he survived the war. What about others in the picture? Maybe they all lived, maybe they all died. In any event, it is still a a terrible image and a terrible thing for them to have gone through.

Just because the boy survived doesn't mean his fear at that moment was any less valid, nor does it mean that he did not face a real possibility of being killed. Regardless of Nussbaum's fate, the image still has the ability to move some of us.

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Post by Starinov » 18 Jul 2002 16:04

The picture that moved the most was the one showing some Einsatztruppen killing Jews. You have one German pointing his pistol at a man. Others are watching. If you look at the face of the German you see no expression whatsoever. For him it was a job, nothing else. The guy in front of him meant nothing to him either.

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Post by Chris Goodall » 18 Jul 2002 16:54

The pictures that affect me the most are those of Hitler with children. Specifically, there is a series of shots of Hitler with a pretty little blonde girl who was picked out of the crowd because it was her birthday. I think it was in the mountains. She eats some cake and give Hitler a huge hug. I often wonder if the kids were mesmerized by Hitler, if he was really seen (through the eyes of a child) as the ultimate father figure? I also wonder if he really cared about the kids or if it was all just pure propaganda?

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Images of WW II

Post by lamguy » 18 Jul 2002 16:56

To me the images of the liberation of Paris were always the most moving.
Anybody out there who was there, or knows someone, or knew someone?
The only thing I think that came close to this was the fall of the Wall.


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Reply to Chris.

Post by valadezaj » 18 Jul 2002 17:01

I think it was both. He did care about them I mean after all they were to be his heirs. They were to be members of the master race and rule in his new order. On the other hand Hitler was also a clever politician. He knew pictures of chilldren with him would go well with the public.

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Post by Dan » 18 Jul 2002 17:04

Sylvie, this was the point I was addressing:
There's little questions what awaited these people later at Auschwitz
Not the horror on the boys face, which causes an instinctive protective feeling in any decent man.

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Ghetto Boy...

Post by Scott Smith » 18 Jul 2002 17:56

I must be cold-hearted because I don't identify with the arrested civilians at all, nor even feel the fear on the boy's face. Certainly not more than little Elian when his bedroom was burst in by federal agents holding HK94 submachine guns. I can almost sense some anger and some bewilderment from the adults over the situation, but certainly no more than South Vietnamese concentrated into "fortified hamlets" by Americans during that war. But mostly, I get the feeling that the adults are behaving as if their hands have been caught in the cookie jar and they are now reaping the consequences. I know that is mostly unjustified, but I think it is what the Nazis intended to show with this photo in their album. When I look at the German security police, I also sense the timeless issues of a soldier doing a dirty job. Of course, I'm just morally defective so don't listen to me, but that's what I get from it.


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Post by Tolga Alkan » 18 Jul 2002 19:15

The photo that moved the most was the one Heer soldiers gathered in a bomb crater and one soldier make straight his luger to jewish Poland citizen's head.His views couldn't forget.Photo showing in Liddell Hart's book of second world war.
Last edited by Tolga Alkan on 19 Jul 2002 14:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Benoit Douville » 19 Jul 2002 01:29

The famous image of the Soviet Union flag on top of the Reichstag was really moving. It was the end of the war between two evil regime.

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Post by Ovidius » 19 Jul 2002 01:46

Benoit Douville wrote:The famous image of the Soviet Union flag on top of the Reichstag was really moving. It was the end of the war between two evil regime.
The problem being that the worst of them won..... :mrgreen:


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Images- "Haints"

Post by White Leopard » 19 Jul 2002 02:49

As a teen-ager I had a Time-Life book about World War Two. The frontspiece to one of the chapters was the photo of a German soldier shot in mid-stride. The man is caught in the instant before he falls, his rifle dropping, his arms flung up and his head snapping back. This picture has haunted me ever since.

Ghosts do exist. Each of these photos is a suspended instant of time. The people in them are, or may be long dead, but they live on, a tiny chip of their lives stopped in mid-act, like one of those movies where a magic watch causes everything to freeze when the stem is clicked.

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