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Siegen 20.07.1942 Girls are playing on a meadow. Foto: Bonitz
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Germany in the summer of 1939 - a snapshot on the eve of catastrophe
In the summer of 1939 most Germans must have known that war was inevitable. Soldiers were called up - sons, brothers and fathers were preparing to march on Germany's neighbours. Hitler had already exhausted the patience of Germany's European neighbours by annexing Austria, marching on Prague and the Munich agreement in September 1938. Were the millions of dead, the hunger and chaos resulting from the First World War forgotten? Or maybe the memory suppressed? We have decided to show the calm before the storm in these private colour photos of the last summer before disaster. The attempt of ordinary people to live an ordinary life is maybe a more sinister reminder of things to come.

Part of the World War II collection