Skip navigation


“French women who befriended the Nazis, through coerced, forced, or voluntary relationships, were singled out for shameful retribution following the liberation of France.  The woman photographed here, believed to have been a prostitute who serviced German occupiers, is having her head shaved to publicly mark her.  This picture was taken in Montelimar, France, in 1944.”

“The punishment of shaving a woman’s head had biblical origins. In Europe, the practice dated back to the dark ages, with the Visigoths. During the middle ages, this mark of shame, denuding a woman of what was supposed to be her most seductive feature, was commonly a punishment for adultery. Shaving women’s heads as a mark of retribution and humiliation was reintroduced in the 20th century. After French troops occupied the Rhineland in 1923, German women who had relations with them later suffered the same fate. And during the second world war, the Nazi state issued orders that German women accused of sleeping with non-Aryans or foreign prisoners employed on farms should also be publicly punished in this way.”



Photo by Toni Frissell. London 1945.
“I was told he had come back from playing and found his house a shambles—his mother, father and brother dead under the rubble…he was looking up at the sky, his face an expression of both confusion and defiance. The defiance made him look like a young Winston Churchill. This photograph was used by IBM to publicize a show in London. The boy grew up to become a truck driver after the war, and walking past the IBM offices, he recognized his picture.”


Erika, 15, a Hungarian Freedom Fighter, carries a machine gun in Budapest during the revolution, 1956, she was eventually shot by the Soviets


“Machinegunners from 2. Nassauisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.88 in a seemingly exposed position circa 1916. Some of the fellows are wearing shoes instead of marching boots, and the lack of equipment and accoutrements, suggests this is in fact a training environment.

The “K” on the shoulder strap stands for (King) Konstantin of Greece, Chief of the regiment since 1913.”




A fifteen-year-old German antiaircrafter of the Hitler Youth, Hans Georg Henke, taken prisoner by the soldiers of the 9th U.S. Army in the city of Giessen, Germany. 29.03.1945.