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.
On March 16, 1968, soldiers in the U.S. Army, following orders from their commanding officers, massacred 504 innocent Vietnamese civilians. The women were raped, their bodies mutilated, and their children slaughtered in front of them. And only one of the men behind the My Lai Massacre was ever punished.
War can turn people against their neighbors. When the First World War broke out across Europe, the people of the United States started to worry. They were afraid of the massive threat growing on the other side of the world – and with no way to lash out against it, a lot of them just took their fear out on the German-Americans who lived next door.
It’s not a part of our history that we like to talk about – but the face of America was completely changed by the fear and paranoia that swept across the country during the so-called Great War.
The United States has been hit by more nuclear weapons than any other nation in the world. It’s a fact we try our best not to acknowledge – but thanks to nuclear testing, we’ve attacked ourselves more than anyone else.
The numbers are staggering. Over the course of less than 50 years, the United States of America conducted at least 1,054 nuclear weapons tests. The US Army alone detonated at least 1,149 atomic devices, nearly every one of them on American soil, and 9 out of 10 of them specifically in the deserts of Nevada.