You can read about history all you want, but nothing really captures what happened quite like seeing it first hand. That’s why history textbooks are packed with photographs.
These photos of rare historical moments will give you a new appreciation of history, and maybe a new perspective. They’re touching, enlightening, and heartbreaking all at once. Just have a look.
1.) German children play with stacks of money during the hyperinflation period of the Weimar Republic, 1922.
2.) Nazi celebration in Buckeberg in 1934.
3.) Nazis singing to encourage people to follow their boycott of Jewish shops in 1933.
4.) A Jewish woman in Austria in 1938 sitting on a bench marked “Only for Jews.”
5.) Nazi SS troops lounging outside of the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936.
6.) SS troops taking a loyalty oath in Munich, 1938.
7.) Hitler’s personal bodyguards in Berlin in 1938.
8.) Applause and salutes for Hitler after Germany successfully annexed Austria in 1938.
9.) Another angle, and in color.
10.) Einstein on the beach.
11.) A frozen Soviet fighter propped up by Finnish soldiers to wreak psychological warfare on the invading Soviets.
12.) Joseph Stalin’s record from the Tsarist Secret Police in 1911.
13.) An off the cuff picture of Stalin.
14.) Joseph Stalin (right), and his body double Felix Dadaev (left).
15.) Stalin’s son Yakov Dzhugashvili captured by the Germans in 1941. He was later killed in a prison camp.
16.) A German soldier share some of his food with a local Russian mother.
17.) About to be executed by the Finns, this Russian spy laughs.
18.) A Frenchman cries during the Nazi occupation in 1940.
19.) Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces during the battle of Shanghai, 1937.
20.) German Einsatzgruppen (death squads) executive Ukrainians Jews in 1942.
21.) German soldiers marching Stalingrad, 1942.
22.) Nazi soldiers getting ready for an assault in Stalingrad in 1942.
23.) Using a flamethrower to light a cigarette. The German army employed flamethrowers on the Eastern Front during the war.
24.) German POW being escorted after the Soviet victory in Stalingrad.
25.) 57,000 German POW are marched to Moscow in 1944 after their defeat in Belarus.
26.) German POWs packed into a prisoner camp.
27.) Simone Segouin, an 18-year-old French Résistance fighter during the war. This photo is from 1944.
28.) Color photo of Simone Segouin.
29.) Simone Segouin with a German MP 40.
30.) Joseph Goebbels and a young German recruit in 1945.
31.) Allied soldiers mock Hitler from the balcony of the Reich Chancellery in 1945.
32.) Nazi soldiers react as they are forced to watch footage from concentration camps.
33.) The view from the back of the auditorium.
34.) The ruins of Dresden after WWII.
35.) The remains of soviet astronaut Vladimir Komarov after his space capsule crashed on reentry.
36.) Fidel Castro smoking a cigar and wearing two Rolex watches during a meeting at the Kremlin, 1963.
37.) Mass of melted nuclear fuel in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
38.) Female IRA fighter showing off her assault rifle in the 1970’s.
39.) NASA scientists in 1961.
40.) Margret Thatcher with British troops after the surrender of Argentina in the Falklands War.
Wow. Seriously amazing. Each of us have only seen a small portion of the world’s history, so investing in learning more about the world (or even your own country) is vital. Make sure to share these historical photos with your friends on Facebook by clicking below.