10 POWERFUL Photos That SHOCKED The World
Ah, the internet… Without it, we’d all miss out on endless streams of cat videos, nonsensical memes, and fantastic Top 10 videos! Every once in a while, though, you’ll stumble across pictures, either new or old, that just make you stop and think. The following ten photos are incredibly thought-provoking, showing off the brighter side of humanity.
“Death Train” Liberation
April, 1945. World War II is months away from officially ending, but there are those feeling the perks of the changing tide. Among them are the Jewish refugees captured in this photograph, snapped by Major Clarence Benjamin. The joy and disbelief washed over their faces stems from the news that they have just been liberated from what they likely assumed would be their final ride. This picture is an embodiment of hope and freedom, an uplifting look not at the tragedies of war, but rather the positive outcomes that are sometimes glanced over.
Generation of Heroes
Two different generations of heroes, locked in an embrace that would lead one to believe they were relatives. As the story goes behind this powerful picture, the two are related only through the brotherhood of the American military. Pearl Harbor survivor Houston James and Marine Staff Sgt Mark Graunke, Jr. come together for a Veteran’s Day photograph that can be described best as moving. Graunke suffered several injuries while defusing a bomb in Iraq and lost a hand, leg, and eye. Of what these two generations of soldiers have in common, loss is probably pretty high on that list.
An Education for All
Whether rich or poor, everybody deserves an education. What’s shown in this image is not some school field day, but rather an entirely free school underneath a metro bridge in the Shakarpur area of Delhi. The school allows children from less financially fortunate households to attend school – and if knowing this free school exists wasn’t uplifting enough, the image captures the perfect moment of students engaged with their two teachers, who are busy writing a lesson on the makeshift chalkboard. The image shows the school’s earlier years where the teachers maneuver on mounds of dirt while the students gather on uneven surfaces. Later years have added more chalkboards, a flat block for the teachers, and blankets for the students.
Whether or not the German POW depicted in this 1915 picture survived World War I is unknown, but what can be figured is that, at least in this moment of time, they saw a side of their enemy that they probably never expected to see. Instead of being treated horribly, the German soldier is being shown by the Russians how to dance. As images like this and number 7 show, not everybody can simply follow the norms of war, sometimes having to break away from the continuous fighting to show a little bit of kindness to those that may be just as terrified of losing and dying.
Breaking Racial Barriers
It was during the 1970’s FIFA World Cup, during a time of racial strife between light and dark-skinned people, that Bobby Moore and Pele did the unthinkable and, for a moment, closed the gap. This powerful image freezes in time a brief moment that is important to just ponder over, especially as racial prejudice continues to be an issue. Honoring a 40-year-old tradition and paying respect to one another, Pele and Moore paid no mind to how the world may react to their interaction. If even for the seconds it took for this picture to be shot, the two shared a respect for one another that’s evident in their close stance and smiling faces.
A Ration for the Enemy
In times of war, it’s not uncommon for us to turn our backs on one another. This snapshot, taken during World War II in 1941 by the photographer of the 291st Division of the Wehrmacht, depicts an unusual scenario as a German soldier offers up his ration to a Russian mother and child. At the time, the act could have very well gotten him killed as the Germans were intentionally starving the Soviets; but today the picture shows that, even during the worst of times, a person’s humanity can overcome a prejudice and hatred they are essentially conditioned into believing, despite possible consequences.
After a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the small village of Ishinomaki, the horrors of uncovering lifeless body after lifeless body began for members of search and rescue teams. As Japan’s Self-Defense Forces went from property to property, expecting to find the worst at each disaster site, they came across something extremely unexpected. The cries of a four-month old girl could be heard coming from the rubble, leading the rescuers to discover the tsunami’s tiniest survivor. In a time of dread, finding the little girl likely brought hope – and the look of elation on the soldier’s face in this shot is uplifting.
Despite Racial Prejudices
Though not everything you see on the internet is real, sometimes even the staged photos you stumble upon may have some of the best messages attached. Case and point, this striking photograph that depicts a Klu Klux Klan member being saved by black doctors. Despite looking authentic, this image was actually pulled from Large magazine from an ad campaign titled “For people who think bigger than they are.” Essentially, this image, along with several others, showed noble acts despite “adverse circumstances.” Though the image was staged, it carries with it an influential message that we can all hopefully one day follow.
It takes a certain kind of person to be able to brave standing on the business end of a bayonet. To stick flowers into the bayonet requires even more bravado, and that’s exactly what the subject of this incredible photograph has. Pacifist Jane Rose Kasmir was partaking in a Vietnam War protest on October 21st, 1967 when she started to “plant” flowers in the bayonets of guards outside of the Pentagon. Kasmir’s actions led to the “Flower Power Movement” of the late 1960’s and early 70’s. The photo is a big symbol for peace and nonviolent protests, as the innocent-looking Kasmir stands confidently in front of steadfast soldiers, her demeanor showing no fear for the situation.
Love and Riots
Scott Jones and girlfriend Alex Thomas became an internet sensation when the two were photographed embracing on the ground as police in riot gear fade into the distance of the photo. What looks like a staged shot was actually the product of vandalism and rioting in the streets of Vancouver after the Vancouver Canucks’ loss to the Boston Bruins in 2011. Not a part of the rioting that erupted, Alex is said to have been knocked over by rioters before being caught in the onslaught of riot police. When the scene cleared, Scott began calming his hysterical girlfriend, leading to the now famous, and strangely beautiful, photograph.