After the Fall: Photos of Hitler’s Bunker and the Ruins of Berlin

Re-blog from Time Magazine.

TIME

In the spring of 1945, as Russian and German troops fought — savagely, street by street — for control of the German capital, it became increasingly clear that the Allies would win the war in Europe. Not long after the two-week battle for Berlin ended, 33-year-old LIFE photographer William Vandivert was on the scene, photographing the city’s devastated landscape — and the eerie, almost unfathomable scene inside the bunker where Adolf Hitler spent the last months of his life; where he and Eva Braun were married; and where, just before war’s end, the two killed themselves on April 30.

Between August 1940 and March 1945 American, Royal Air Force and Soviet bombers launched more than 350 air strikes on Berlin; tens of thousands of civilians were killed, and countless buildings — apartment buildings, government offices, military installations — were obliterated. Vandivert, LIFE reported, “found almost every famous building [in Berlin]…

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