Der Spiegel has published a series of striking pictures recently discovered in the forgotten archives of a Berlin publishing house: photographs of city scenes in the immediate aftermath of Nazi Germany’s surrender.

First, in what the magazine aptly calls a "surreal image," Red Army soldiers gather before the ravaged Brandenburg Gate for a poetry reading, with the city still smoking from its death-struggle.

Next, grim street scenes: one of the innumerable suicides of German civilians as the Russians entered the city, wreaking a dreadful vengeance for their 20 million dead; and one of the thousands of Nazi soldiers killed in the final battle.

Finally, life carrying on, as it will, whatever the circumstances: Red Army soldiers distributing bread to Berlin women — slicing it with a captured Nazi dagger.


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