Photo Gallery A Devastated Berlin

Berlin was shattered by World War II. In the days and months after the surrender to Allied forces on May 8, 1945, the city's eventual recovery and renewal were far off. A new book looks at the difficult period after the war.
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A new book of photographs depicts Berlin immediately after World War II. Even in the ruined city, there were signs of life. Here, a woman waters her balcony garden, a matter of survival in the starving city.

Foto: Donath/ Berliner Verlag
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"Berlin After the War" is features recently-discovered archival images of Berlin in the weeks and months after Germany surrendered in May 1945.

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Berlin after the war could be a surreal place. Here, Red Army soldiers gather under shadows of tank barrels and the bombed-out Brandenburg Gate for a poetry reading.

Foto: Chaldej/Berliner Verlag
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In the days after the city was captured, suicide rates skyrocketed. Many of the people who killed themselves were women, afraid of Soviet soldiers or homelessness for the first time.

Foto: Berliner Verlag
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A fallen soldier on the streets of Berlin. Pinned to his uniform is the Iron Cross.

Foto: Berliner Verlag
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Berlin was a battlefield, still strewn with remnants of the struggle for possession of the city in the spring of 1945.

Foto: Berliner Verlag
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Archivists found hundreds of pictures of proud Red Army soldiers hoisting flags over the Quadriga statue on the Brandenburg Gate

Foto: Berliner Verlag
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Aside from the cryptic notation "The corpse A.H.," not much is known about this photo. Dozens of copies were found in the archive, which suggests it was a Soviet propaganda shot.

Foto: Berliner Verlag
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A Soviet soldier uses a German officer's dagger to cut bread given to German women in post-war Berlin.

Foto: Berliner Verlag
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Desperate Berliners cut meat from a dead horse in the days after the war's end.

Foto: Berliner Verlag
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On returning home, a refugee finds the graves of her family. The name of the woman was not recorded.

Foto: Berliner Verlag
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Berlin children used the shell of this food drop "bomb" to make an improvised kayak. In spite of terrible conditions, the photographs are ample evidence that life in Berlin went on.

Foto: Berliner Verlag
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The streets of Berlin were choked with rubble -- and Red Army soldiers -- after the city's capture. The war killed 60 million people before it ended on May 8, 1945.

Foto: ddp
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A couple walks down Dircksenstr., in the center of Berlin. The burning building behind them was nothing special in the chaotic days at the end of the war.

Foto: Berliner Verlag
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Rooms with a view: A bomb-damaged Berlin building.

Foto: Berliner Verlag
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Wounded German soldiers line Unter den Linden, Berlin's main boulevard, as nurses struggle to help them.

Foto: Berliner Verlag
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Photographer Otto Donath is one of the few photographers whose name was attached to archival shots. He focused on everyday scenes, like these children playing in a bombed-out church.

Foto: Berliner Verlag
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After the city's surrender, Allied forces quickly took control. Here, a Soviet fighter plane soars over the Spree river.

Foto: Berliner Verlag
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Noted Red Army photographer Yevgeny Khaldei captured this photo of a typical Berlin intersection in May 1945. A female Soviet soldier is controlling traffic as a German mother crosses the street.

Die Wiedergabe wurde unterbrochen.