One picture, which depicts Adolf Hitler standing triumphantly in the Reichstag as he declares war against the United States of America to Nazi colleagues on December 11, 1941, has been specially colourised as part of a new book on the history of photography, Retrographic: History in Colour.
Other chilling snaps from the era show a huge gathering at a party rally in 1934, whilst an additional photograph shows a group of school children giving the Nazi salute.
Germany was not the only country to make a declaration of war seventy-six years ago today as Mussolini’s Italy joined Hitler in declaring war on the US after America had declared war themselves on Japan in the wake of Pearl Harbor.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt then, in turn, declared war on Germany and Italy as pictured, whilst Poland also declared war on Japan.
Michael D. Carroll, the author of Retrographic, discusses Hitler’s declaration of war to a greater extent in the book.
“Just three days before this speech, on December 8, 1941, Japan attacked America’s Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, bringing America into Britain’s war against Japan.
“Against the advice of his most senior supporters, who feared a Germany already at war with Britain and Russia would overextend itself, Hitler decided nevertheless to declare war on America,” he said.
“The Fuhrer was surrounded by his closest allies as he made his history-changing declaration.
“Directly behind him sat Hermann Goering, acting as President of the Reichstag and next to him was Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop to his right, and Propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels on his left.
“Hitler declared war on the US in part, so his submarine fleet of U-boats could attack American supply ships that were vital in keeping Britain in the war, but also in the belief that Japan would reciprocate by declaring war on his enemy, Russia.
“He was mistaken. Japan failed to declare war on Russia, which allowed the Soviets to throw all their forces at countering the German invaders.”
Striking images like these are featured in British author Michael D. Carroll’s new book, Retrographic on the colourisation of historical images.