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Ghosts of War: WWII Photos Superimposed on to Modern Street Scenes

History is often seen as a subject of cramming – what we often don’t appreciate, is how intertwined it is with our present. Dutch historian Jo Hedwig Teeuwisse tries to demonstrate that very literally with her Ghosts of  War photo series, where she blends the present day and the original World War II pictures of the same place into one.

Jo spends hours looking for the locations and taking pictures that match the originals, and then photoshops them to combine the war ghosts into the current settings.

“I try to make people realise that history is all around us. That where you live, work or go to school, once people fought, died or simply experienced a different kind of life. We are history, history is us,” – she says.

The project reminds me of Shawn Clover’s Then and Now Blend of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. The latter may be technically better, however Jo chose a more popular theme – WW2. This is probably one of the reasons Jo’s pictures became much more popular than Shawn’s.

Without further ado, here are some of our picks from this wonderful photo series with author’s comments.

Website: Flickr | Facebook

“Cherbourg, avenue de Paris, ancient Poste de Police, jardin Public.”

“Captain WH Hooper, who commands the Company of the 314th IR of the 79th IUS D and some of his men surround a column of German prisoners. Column takes a southerly direction, it will join the POW camps located on the plateau of the Mountain Roule, near the farm of Fieffe.”

“Rue Armand Levéel à Cherbourg.”

“Corner covered, 1943, Acireale, Sicily”

“American troops in the center of Cherbourg pass under a balcony with English, American and French flags.”

“France, 1944. Rue des Fossés Plissons à Domfront (Orne). German soldiers surrendering.”

“At la Madeleine, a hamlet of the town of Sainte Marie du Mont, Utah Beach area. A group of U.S. Fire Engineering leaving the chapel.”

“Allied vehicles drive past Palace Noordeinde, The Hague, (may 1945)”

“German soldiers walking back to Germany after their surrender, walk passed a man with a Dutch flag. The Hague, may 1945.”

“Allied soldiers walking towards center of Eindhoven, September 18th 1944, Frankrijkstraat Eindhoven.”

“On may 7th (2 days after German capitulation) thousands of Dutch people were waiting for the liberators to arrive on the Dam square in Amsterdam…Then for some reason the Germans placed a machinegun on the balcony and started shooting into the crowds… It has always remained uncertain why it happened but the sad result was that at the brink of peace 120 people were badly injured and 22 died.”

“Auschwitz I, January 27th 1945. Russian soldiers with prisoners of Block 19, the quarantine blockhouse in the medical section of the camp.”

“Saint Marcouf (Manche)”

“People are waiting for the liberators. (may 1945)”

“Shopkeeper standing in front of his shop.”

“A group of civilians and GI’s in front of the notary office of Trévières Street Octave Mirbeau. The entrance is decorated with French and allied flags.”

“Rue Dom Pedro, civilians and American soldiers tear down the sign indicating the headquarters of the Todt organization in Cherbourg.”

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  • Dolf Veenvliet via Facebook

    Wow… I know a bunch of these places…

  • http://www.facebook.com/hap.hall.5 Hap Hall via Facebook

    Stunning.

  • Derren Lee Poole via Facebook

    Brilliant!

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.weiss.351 Bill Weiss via Facebook

    Awesome pics

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know who did it first but Sergey Larenkov has been doing this for years. Check him out at http://sergey-larenkov.livejournal.com/

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=682624611 Jo Hedwig Teeuwisse

      Sergey and I started using this technique roughly at the same time.
      But we were both not the first to discover it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/damian.philip Damian Philip via Facebook

    Great photos

  • http://www.facebook.com/elena.davidson.77 Elena Davidson via Facebook

    One clever man said that in Russia people were doing everything not to forget about the war while in Europe they were doing everything not to remember. Was he wrong?

  • http://www.facebook.com/StirnaGun Guntis Stirna via Facebook

    Rīgai tādas sērijas varētu uztaisīt ne vienu vien.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gary.marshall.9659 Gary Marshall via Facebook

    makes you think….

  • http://twitter.com/max843 max843

    These are like scenes I saw in my mind in 1964 France and Austria. Many French villages still had piles of rubble from bombings and were just rebuilding new town centres. In the Maria-Theresien-Platz in Vienna, even with the beautiful trees, I could almost hear the goose-stepping troops, so prevalent in 1940s radio drama – nightmares for a four-year-old.

    As a 23-year-old in Europe, WWII had seemed like ancient history – this brought it home.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5O4WPYDW4T6P6PL5XQ7FRSYVKU Ellen

    Only Congress has the Power to Declare War and Congress hasn’t Declared War since WWII; all Wars since then have been illegal. Most of Congress must be INVESTED in Mega-Corp(se) businesses like the Bush/BinLaden Carlyle Group (makers of weapons of War) and INVESTED in stock market WAR STOCKS… Making a financial killing while making many killings via War on innocents (War is the epitome of the Abortion of human beings)

    • filmrecords

      Right, like FDR didn’t cash in on WW2, plz

  • http://www.facebook.com/shirlg2 Shirley Goodly

    whoaa..What can be said about these photos? . Looking at them gave me goosebumps, they capture the very soul. I’m so pleased I found this site.. truly amazing..

  • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dechenerilles Anne de Chénerilles

    wow, this is exactly how I feel when I’m visiting a place which I know has history.. only plays in my head tho^^

  • http://twitter.com/Bigern1977 Ernie Ames

    WOW! <3 it!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/erik.maydahl Erik Maydahl

    The scariest thought came to mind after looking at the pics and reading the comments… history often repeats itself… pray to God no.

    • Anonymous

      The scariest thought is that it IS repeating — over and over again — right now, today, not in those particular places, but all over Africa and the Middle East, and even more horrible this time, because of advancements in modern weaponry.

  • Anonymous

    Very nice statement. I have another idea for the artist. I would like to see a similar collection of photos of pre-invasion Iraq and Afghanistan, superimposed with recent events. The ghosts of peace.

  • filmrecords

    Approved by Congress. While the reasons for declaring war on Iraq are stated in this piece, the #1 reason is not mentioned. (Iraq had their own banking system before the invasion, and it does not anymore). {hey, who runs it now?} Also good to note that 2 of the main reasons were proved to be false. (WMDs & involvement in 911).Sadam “gave bounties to suicide bombers” was also a main reason (pressure from Israel). I don’t think these payments were incentives. I think he “took care” of families who sacrificed a member, and this incensed Israel. I think the banking thing incensed them also. My opinions from the outside.