Blast from the Past: WWII in photographs

As I roam the internet daily for interesting World War II-related histories I come across a lot of photos. Usually, I save them, but I never really do anything with them. After reading Susan Sontag’s Regarding the Pain of Others last week, an essay on war photography, I thought it would be interesting to pick out fifteen photographs from my collection that I find beautiful or startling.

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Blast from the past: British WWII propaganda for women

While doing research for my MA thesis, I came across the website of the National Archives, which some time ago had a great exposition called The Art of War. Do check it out: there’s book illustrations, propaganda posters, videos, and an overview of official British war artists. Since my thesis focuses on women during the Second World War, I have compiled some of the most striking images concerning the roles they played. You might not know it, but women were everywhere! The ground they gained towards emancipation by taking over men’s duties while they were away at war was in many cases lost when the men came home again, resulting in much frustration for the women.

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Blast from the past: Fossils rock!

You know how they sometimes refer to classic rock bands as “dinosaurs”? Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC, to name just a few; and the word “fossil” has been dropped more than once when referring to Mick Jagger or Keith Richards.
The funny thing is, there are actual prehistoric species that have been named after rock stars! What a great example of how music inspires people, and how much scientists feel the need to categorize the world in human terms.
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Today, while I was on my lunch break, I walked past a little glass cabinet which functions as a tiny library. People are invited to leave old books there and to take others for free. This afternoon I found Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and a Dutch translation of Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers. When I opened the latter, I found a note with a short poem on it in Dutch, addressed to “Rob.”
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