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15 Extremely Rare Photos From the Past

Photography has the unique ability to capture great historical moments in all their glory, or terror. Most of these very important moments have long been forgotten, but not lost thanks to these powerful photographs that stood the test of time. Here are 15 extremely rare photos from the past, and intriguing stories behind them.

  • Young suspected communist stands defiant as a German firing squad prepares to execute him in Munich, 1919.

  • Humor is usually the only escape from the realities of war, as this photo shows us. This is what happens to an airplane when it lands on the wrong aircraft carrier.

  • Rare photo depicting the final appearance of Mt. Rushmore as it was designed by it’s creators. Unfortunately the funds ran out before the structure was finished.

  • Cathedral of Amiens, completely fortified from the inside during WWII.

  • Rare photograph that describes that class differences in United Kingdom before the start of World War II.

  • The year of 1936 was the year of last public execution ever carried out in United States, this photo immortalized that moment in history.

  • The moment right before 17-year old Yamaguchi assassinated Socialist politician Asanuma in Tokyo. The year was 1960.

  • Catholic priest Louis Padillo giving last rites to a dying soldier, all while being in the middle of an active firefight. Venezuela, 1962.

  • An iconic picture that marked the Cold War era. 19-year old Bereitschaftspolizei officer Conrad Schumann was immortalized by this photo of him defecting from East Germany.

  • A scientist inspecting a mass of molten nuclear fuel that powered one of the Chernobyl reactors. One minute of exposure to this mass was enough to extinguish a life.

  • A group of Australian prisoners of war, enjoying their first moments of freedom after their release from Japanese POW camp in Singapore, 1945.

  • Commander of Auschwitz concentration camp, Rudolph Hoess, meeting his end at the Allied gallows. Ironically, he was hanged in the same place where he took the lives of so many.

  • Spent artillery shells left after a creeping Allied barrage during the Great War. This picture perfectly describes what the front lines looked like for the men fighting in the trenches.

  • Soviet officials examining the body of cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, who lost his life after his Soyuz 1 spacecraft burned up upon re-entry. Colonel Komarov was the first ever recorded casualty of human space flight.

  • Flag draped coffin of late President John F. Kennedy lying in the middle of Rotunda in Capitol Building, 1963.

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