Soviet POWs and forced slave laborers, newly liberated by Allied forces, leave transit camps by rail near Hamburg in the British Zone of Occupation for the Soviet Zone of Occupation, where they will soon be repatriated to the Soviet Union. Near Hamburg, Hamburg State, Germany. 31 May 1945.
U.S. soldiers care for a Filipino infant who had suffered from bayonet wounds to the face by retreating Japanese forces during the Battle of Leyte. Southern Leyte Province, Leyte island, Philippines. November 1944.
Austrian children cheerfully salute following the Anschluss Österreichs; the annexation and incorporation of Austria into the Third Reich. There had been several years of pressure by supporters in both Austria and Germany (by both Nazis and non-Nazis) for the “Heim ins Reich" ("Home into the Empire" or "Back to the Reich”) movement. Earlier, Germany had provided support for the Austrian National Socialist Party in its bid to seize power from Austria’s leadership. Under considerable pressure from both Austrian and German Nazis, Austria’s Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg tried to hold a referendum for a vote on the issue. Although Schuschnigg expected Austria to vote in favor of maintaining autonomy, a well-planned coup d’état by the Austrian Nazi Party of Austria’s state institutions in Vienna took place on 11 March 1938, prior to the referendum, which they canceled. They then transferred legal authority to Germany, and Wehrmacht troops entered Austria to enforce the Anschluss. The Nazis held a plebiscite within the following month, asking the people to ratify the fait accompli. They claimed to have received 99.7561% of the vote in favor of annexation into the Reich. With the Anschluss, the Republic of Austria ceased to exist as a fully independent state. At the end of World War II, a Provisional Austrian Government was set up on 27 April 1945, and was legally recognized by the Allies in the following months. It was not until 1955 that Austria regained full sovereignty. Vienna, Austria. March 1938.
Belarusian citizens are made to gather and witness the execution of suspected partisans in Minsk. Olga Fyodorovna Sherbatsevich, a nurse at the 3rd Minsk Children’s Polyclinic, was publicly hanged with two other suspected partisans in front of the National Academy of Science of Belarus; each bore a placard stating, “We are partisans and have shot at German troops” in both German and Russian. Sherbatsevich was accused of aiding wounded Soviet soldiers, officers and partisans, although there are no German records of her ever firing at German soldiers. The boy in the foreground looking at the camera is thought to be her 14-year-old nephew Vyacheslav Kovalevich, who happened to be passing through the area on the way to the cinema. That same day, Sherbatsevich’s 17-year-old son Volodya was hanged, along with a 16-year-old girl who is thought to be named Maria “Masha” Bruskina, and World War I veteran Kiril Trus, for their involvement in partisan activities. Minsk, Belarus, Soviet Union. 26 October 1941.