10 Most Iconic Photos of the 1940s and The Story Behind Them

By | March 11, 2017

Captured at the height of Second World War and after Adolf Hitler had seized Paris, this photo illustrates Hitler surveying his conquest along with his various cronies. It became one of the most iconic photos of the 1940s and World War 2.

Discovered in the album of an Einsatzgruppen soldier, this is a powerful portrait of the death of the last Jew in Vinnitsa, Ukraine. The name was derived from the label seen at the back of the photo, and shortly conveys what transpired in Vinnitsa, that all 28,000 of the Jews living there were slayed.

Taken in 1943, this photo is one of the best-known from World War Two, as it shows the terror inspired by the Nazis. Though the most heartbreaking part of picture is the scared little boy in the foreground, hands in the air as he is removed coercively from his hiding place.

The iconic D-Day photograph, captured by Robert Capa, depicts the grim World War Two front along Omaha Beach. The spooky, blurred image may have been developed by an eager assistant who unfortunately melted the exposures, however it complements the haunting depiction of the chaos of war.

This iconic image shows the jubilance and relief across America when armistice was finally declared in World War Two. As opposed to popular opinion, the two individuals in the picture were not lovers. Jubilantly, the soldier was randomly planting kisses on women in Times Square – one of them was this lucky nurse.

Illustrating Soviet troops raising their flag on top of the German Reichstag building, this iconic picture was shot by Yevgeny Khaldei during the Battle of Berlin on May 2, 1945. Regarded as one of the most well-known and identifiable images of war, this was so popular for the reason that the usurpation of the historically important building symbolized the long-awaited downfall of the Soviets’ enemy. The takedown happened after a long and bloody battle within the building walls.

This image by Joe Rosenthal that won a Pulitzer prize, shows U.S Marines patriotically hoisting the flag atop Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in WW2. Of all the men shown here, half of them died in battle.

This profound image illustrates the explosion of an atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Japan on August 6th. With this, 150,000 people were killed or injured. It was the second atomic bomb used and the mushroom cloud shown in the photo provides the scope of the devastation.

The images of the first computer was made known in February 1946. The device is comprised of 18,000 vacuum tubes, numerous wires and 170,000 watts of power that filled a 1,500 square foot room.

Taken by Philippe Halsman, this surreal photo was a homage to the new atomic age as well as to Salvador Dali’s surrealist masterpiece “Leda Atomica”. The unusual photograph is actually a mixture of people jumping and then water and cats being thrown. This took six hours, about 28 jumps and various assistants hurling things in the air to be a success.

H/T AllThatIsInteresting