During the Holocaust, the Nazis and their allies killed about 25 percent of Europe’s entire Roma (a.k.a. Gypsy) population. This genocide, known as the Porajmos, remains one of the worst atrocities committed by the Nazis — and it took until 1979 for the German government to commence reparations and until 2011 for the killings to receive an official day of remembrance.
We know all about the horrors that have happened on our side of the world. But, all too often, when an atrocity has happened on the other side, we don’t hear much about it.
Alongside all the catastrophes that plagued Europe during World War II, the atrocities committed in Southeast Asia were every bit as disturbing — even if most of us in the West hardly ever learn about them in school.
And few of the atrocities committed in Asia during World War II were as terrible as the Nanking Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanking.
Rarely-seen photos of African kingdoms taken just before and after European colonialists launched a wave of terror that would change the continent forever.
Photography has come a long way. Today, taking a photo is as easy as pulling your phone out of your pocket and clicking a button – but it took a long, difficult road and some incredible photography firsts to get us to where we are today.
“There is no justice in the world,” one young girl wrote in her diary, struggling through starvation and imprisonment under Nazi rule, “not to mention in the ghetto.”
Life in the Jewish ghettos of the Holocaust was indeed torture. After their invasion of Poland in 1939, the Nazis began setting up Jewish ghettos both in that country and across Europe. Jewish civilians were branded and forcibly deported into small, cramped quarters, often segregated from the rest of the city with walls or barbed wire. There they waited, hoped, and prayed, most unaware that this was nothing more than the first step in the Nazi plot for the systematic eradication of Europe’s Jewish population.
On Dec. 16, 1944, the Nazi Army took their last, desperate shot at turning the tide of the western front of World War 2. It was called the Battle of the Bulge – named for the massive, bulging line of more than 400,000 men and 4,000 pieces of artillery that moved on the Allied Army. It was the largest and bloodiest battle that American soldiers would ever fight.
America’s first true melting pot was a run-down Manhattan neighborhood called the Five Points. It was a cheap slum that lured in the poorest and least fortunate: sweatshop workers, immigrants, and newly-freed slaves, all trying to scrape by side-by-side through some of the worst living conditions in the United States.
It was far from peaceful. Five Points was a place where life was short and violent, where race riots would regularly break out, and where diseases spread like wildfire. It was a place of thieves, brothels, and intense poverty – and the place where the original gangs of New York were formed.