Everything is in it, from death to birth, from joy to sadness, from optimism to resignation.

​—Luke McCallin, author of The Man from Berlin
​​Even if you think you’ve seen it all before on the European war, Berlin 1945 is likely to surprise you.

—Greg Mitchell, The Nation magazine

Berlin 1945


World War II: Photos of the Aftermath


By Michael Brettin

"Photos of the Aftermath" brings to life people the world has too often relegated en masse to the ranks of accessories to Hitler's crimes. 

– William Kern, managing editor, Worldmeets.US

Born in 1964, Brettin studied History, Politics and Slavistics and graduated with a PhD in History from Hamburg University. He is also a graduate of the Henri-Nannen-Schule. Currently, he works as a managing editor of the Sunday issue of Berliner Kurier. 

​​​​For a moment, history seemed to stand still. 
—NPR Berlin

Peter Kroh

Michael Brettin

​​​​​​​The authors offer useful historical insight and context. They remind readers of the heavy casualties.
— Publishers Weekly

218 pages, 177 bw photos, 
8.5'' x 11''Hardcover:ISBN: 978-1-935902-03-4Sugg. Retail: $29.95Softcover​​ISBN: 978-3-960260-14-1Sugg. Retail: $19.95

Berlin, in May 1945: World War II is over in Europe. The Soviet army has conquered Berlin, a city reduced to rubble, and now under martial law. Soldiers from America, Great Britain, and France will move in a few months later. Broken tanks and makeshift barricades are littering the streets, tenements and churches were turned into bombed-out shells, tunnels have been flooded and train tracks destroyed. German soldiers are been hauled off to POW-camps in Siberia, while old men are cutting up dead horses for food,women are trading clothing for survival, and children are left to their own devices in the ruins. And the victors, Russian soldiers of the Red Army, look as much exhausted as the defeated. These rare pictures have been taken by photographers of the Red Army immediately after the surrender. They are published for the first time in the United States, allowing a glimpse into an era of destruction and desperation, but also survival and rebuilding.

​With a preface by Stephen Kinzer, former New York Times Bureau Chief in Berlin.

Born in 1950, Kroh has worked as a photo reporter in East Berlin, for BZ am Abend. After the Wall fell, BZ am Abend was taken over by West German media giant Gruner & Jahr and renamed Berliner Kurier. Kroh became photo editor, a job he held for two decades. Today, he is retired. He lives near Berlin. ​

These photos depict a grotesque normalcy, beyond the well-known iconography of heroic liberations and optimistic rebuilding.

—Der Spiegel

​Berlin 1945 is a historical archive that acts as a window on the aftermath of total war. 

– Jason Walsh, Christian Science Monitor