Spring 1945: The Second World War was in its final phase. The Nazis were still pursuing their delusional goal of ultimate victory, unscrupulously sending the youngest of conscripts to the front. But the end of the war was already in sight.
The Red Army had been on German territory in the East for months. In the West, American troops succeeded in crossing the Rhine in early March. In the gardens of the Reich Chancellery on March 20, 1945, Adolf Hitler received children and youngsters said to have distinguished themselves in combat. Against all reason, Hitler continued to speak of ultimate victory – even though for Germany, the war had long since been lost.
Meanwhile, the battle for Iwo Jima was raging in the Pacific. Japanese forces fought to the last man to defend the small but strategically important island. One of the most iconic photos of the Second World War was shot here before the fighting ended.
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