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The majority of archeologists estimate that modern humans have been on the Earth for about 200,000 years. For the past few hundred centuries, modern civilization has seen countless tragedies and atrocities. It’s hard to imagine just what horrors people had to experience in their lives… until we developed the technology to record images and video. Now we know about some of terrible things have happened, all over the world (and are still happening). These shocking photos show us just how awful things have been for people. It doesn’t matter their age, creed, race or religion… this will make you feel.
1.) The Spanish Flu Outbreak: The Spanish Flu of 1918 killed approximately 100 million people worldwide. This photo, although seemingly “normal,” shows just how frightened people were of the illness. They attempted to live their daily lives… but with serious precautions.
2.) The Atlantic Slave Trade: This photo was taken aboard a British vessel, the HMS Daphne (11/01/1868). These child slaves had just been rescued from the trade.
3.) Crying Boy Soldier: This 16 year-old boy is Hans-Georg Henke, a member of the Hitler Youth. This was taken the day before Germany’s surrender; he was overcome with desperation and fear.
4.) A Berlin Wall Rescue: This German soldier from the East knew he shouldn’t let this child across the Berlin Wall, but he was separated from his parents. So, the guard lifts him across the barbed wire anyway, on the lookout for anyone who may catch him.
5.) William Saunders’s Photographs: This British photographer went to China and staged the above image of a fake beheading… encouraging the military to takeover China and “civilize” its people.
6.) Starving Mongolian Woman: This was published in National Geographic in 1913 by Stefan Passe. Mongolia was newly independent. A common punishment for criminals was being placed in a box like this in public… possibly until starvation.
7.) The Holodomor: This Ukranian famine was one of the worst in history. It was a manmade event and recognized as a genocide of millions (comparable to the Holocaust). This is Kharkiv in 1933. Corpses lie in the street, while passers by just go about their day.
8.) The Shanghai Baby: The Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937 eventually meshed with World War II. During one bombing raid, the Japanese bombed a Chinese train station that housed women and children. This baby somehow survived, although injured.
9.) A Concentration Camp Mass Grave: The Nazis killed 50,000 people at the Bergen-Belsen camp before it was liberated in 1945 (Anne Frank was among those slaughtered). “Mass Grave 3” shows camp doctor Fritz Klein standing among the dead. He decided if prisoners should be sent to the gas chamber because they were unfit to work. He was later hanged for his atrocities.
10.) The Nagasaki Brothers: Shortly after the bombing of the city, this photo was taken. The younger child in the picture is dead and the older boy is his brother. He carried his brother to a crematorium, watching him burn but refusing to cry. He had just lost everything in the world, but still focused on honoring his fallen (and equally innocent) younger brother.
It’s difficult to look at the world the same way after seeing these… isn’t it? Share these photos with others. More people should realize some of the things that have happened in the world (and how terrible they were).