Most Amazing Historical Photos Ever Discovered

What Makes A Moment "Historic"

In some cases, only the passage of time and the consequence of that 'moment' makes us realize just how special it was; in other cases, regardless of time, context or place, we just KNOW that what we're looking at will ultimately have a huge say in shaping human history - with this in mind, we decided to gather together some of the most powerful and shocking historical photos ever taken. some of these photos have shaped human history.

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

An aerial view of the damaged Chernobyl nuclear-power plant, photographed a few weeks after the disaster, in May 1986. On April 26, 1986, a series of explosions and failures destroyed Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4. Several hundred staff and firefighters were faced by a fire that burned for 10 days sending radioactive radiation around the world. More than 50 reactor and emergency workers were killed in the immediate aftermath.

German Soldiers Reaction to Concentration Camps Footage, 1945

As part of the allied policy of postwar denazification, “forced confrontation” brought Germans face-to-face with the worst works of the Third Reich. The image shows the faces of German prisoners of war, captured by Americans. The original photo can be found in the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The Most Beautiful Suicide 

Bookkeeper Evelyn Mchale Leaps to Her Death from the 86th Floor Observation Deck of the Empire State Building, 1947. Technically rich, visually compelling and downright beautiful, this photo is widely regarded among the most iconic suicide photographs. In accordance with Mchale’s last wishes, she was cremated with no memorial, service or grave.

The body of 23-year-old Evelyn McHale rests atop a crumpled limousine minutes after she jumped to her death from the Empire State Building, May 1, 1947.

Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Meltdown Forms the World's Most Dangerous Lava Flow

The “Elephant's Foot” Eight months after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, this solidified lava mass of melted nuclear fuel was discovered in the ruins of the reactor building. At the time of its discovery, the emitted radiation was high enough to be lethal in less than three minutes.

West Berliners Lift & Show Their Children to Grandparents Residing on The Eastern Side, 1961

When the Berlin Wall was built in August 1961 entire families and neighborhoods became suddenly divided in what had until then been Germany’s capital. From family to friends to work colleagues, tens of thousands became abruptly separated with no chance of meeting face to face.

Executing a Young German Communist In 1919

Some sources say that the circumstances were real, others claim that the photograph had been staged for PR purposes. Two of the guys in the back rank appear to be unfamiliar with their Mauser riffles? The supposed to be executed man looking way too calm? Authentic or fake, we may never know.

Buchenwald concentration camp

German civilians are forced by American troops to bear witness to Nazi atrocities at Buchenwald concentration camp, mere miles from their own homes, April 1945.

History’s Most Evil Man: A Young Hitler Cheers the Commence of WWI, 1914

Local photographer Heinrich Hoffmann took this photo at a rally in support of war against Russia in Munich’s Odeonsplatz on August 2, 1914. Used countless times in newspapers, books, biographies and school books, this photo would later become a popular tool in the Nazi propaganda machine, appearing with headers such as “Adolf Hitler: A man of the People”.

French Resistance Member Georges Blind Smiles at A German Firing Squad, 1944

Georges Blind was a fireman from Belfort, France arrested in October 1944 for resistance activities. He refused to speak so the Nazis made him undergo a mock execution, hoping his comrades would speak. It didn't work. The Germans then deported him to Blechhammer concentration camp where he was murdered in November 1944.