History in Pics

Soldier at Berlin Wall

An incredible photograph of a German soldier going against direct orders to help a young boy cross the newly formed Berlin Wall after being separated from his family, 1961.

The photograph did not cause the soldier to get caught doing this. It was reported that the soldier was caught doing this benevolent deed by his superior officer, who removed the soldier from his unit. Hopefully, his punishment was minor and he wasn’t imprisoned or shot.

Photographers snap photographs and give them to the editor. Generally, a photographer has no control over how their images are used. An editor would definitely consider the fact that the subject of the photograph would face reprisals for helping this kid, and if the soldier had not been caught this photo would not have run.

West Berlin encouraged people sneaking over the fence as a matter of policy. It was good for the people of East Berlin to be exposed to them and see the difference between communism v capitalism for themselves. They even encouraged theaters to hold movies specifically for border hoppers for free, letting them see American Hollywood movies.


Teen Elizabeth


16 year-old Princess Elizabeth being introduced to officers of her regiment in 1942.

The Queen is the ‘colonel in chief’ of specific army regiments, in this case, it’s the Grenadier guards. You may know them from their more traditional uniform of the red tunics and bearskin caps. But don’t let their ceremonial role fool you. These guys are fully-trained combat troops.


Soviet nuclear submarine


Soviet sailors stand on the stern of an Akula-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (1986).

The Soviets wanted to have the best submarines, and although they got off to a bad start with their unreliable early nuclear boats, by the end of the Cold War, their submarines were better in nearly every way than the American submarines. (I understand this is a very controversial statement, especially with American submariners, but it is true in my opinion). Diving depth, metallurgy, reactor power density, acoustic quieting, hydrodynamics and hydrodynamic/thermal stealth are all areas in which Russia is ahead. The US leads in safety [but not by much], crew quality and passive sonar. Weapons and speed are effectively tied.

The Soviet submarine force was one of the largest single projects (in terms of funding) for the Soviet defense complex, which was a huge chunk of their GDP. The Oscar and Typhoon classes, which were extremely expensive to build, were actually a small part of why the Soviet Union collapsed economically. Military overspending was a huge reason for the USSR’s collapse. The cost shifting away from investing in the production of consumer goods towards opaque military budgets prevented millions from feeling any goodwill towards their state, a state created to ease the working class’ prosperity, could not make itself prosperous.


Celebrating Stalin’s death


A Ukrainian-American family celebrates the death of Stalin, 1953.

It a shame that so few people know of the Holodomor when compared to other genocides. Holodomor was a man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 that killed an officially estimated 7 million to 10 million people. It was part of the wider Soviet famine of 1932–33, which affected the major grain-producing areas of the country.

The Soviet Union engineered a massive starvation and die-off event by disrupting farmers and millers and positing an uprising of their workers with propaganda, portraying those who owned mills and farms as being money-hungry fat cats. Those who refused to hand over their farms/mills to the communist government were killed or ousted. Some managed to escape to other countries. With the entire farming infrastructure of Western Russia completely uprooted, 11 million people died. It is clear that the entire event was organized to either surrender Ukraine’s farms/produce to Russia’s benefit starving those who grew it, or kill everyone that resisted either way.

To paint exactly how fast this was, there exist images of well-clothed people and families who, barely months earlier, lived well as normal citizens that had starved so quickly they weren’t even thin yet. We’re talking about the bodies of people lying in the streets or alleys, huddled together where they died. An example, another example.


Adolf Hitler


Hitler declares war on the United States in December 11, 1941.

They really had an eye for artwork and architecture in its use to manipulate the public. This scene is incredibly powerful. It directs your eyes naturally to Hitler, under the eagle, giving him a depiction of natural power. It really exemplifies why it was so easy to get caught up in the nationalism.

This speech was off the walls crazy. It was over two hours, the robots of the Reichstag hooted and hollered like at a stand-up special. He mocks Roosevelt and says the new deal failed. He accuses Roosevelt of masterminding the war with his Jew puppet masters. To top it all off he proclaims Germany is defending Western Civilization from the Asiatic hordes.


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