In April 1945 the Red Army conducted severe battles in the streets of Berlin conquering the capital of Reich meter by meter. It was obvious who will win the war in Europe. Soon after the siege that lasted 2 weeks was raised, 33-years-old photographer of LIFE magazine William Vandivert arrived to Berlin. We present his photos of Hitler's bunker and destroyed Berlin that have never been published before.
The center of Berlin saw most severe battles in spring 1945. Thousands of people died while fighting for the capital including victims among peaceful population that weren't registered by anybody. Too many people lost their houses. But the end of the Third Reich occurred on 30 April 1945 with the death of two people: Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun. (William Vandivert/TIME & LIFE Pictures).
Vandivert was the first Western photographer who managed to obtain access to the bunker of Hitler. Some photos taken by him were published in LIFE in July 1945 though the most part of these photos has never been published. You look at the photo of one room in the bunker that was burnt by the retreating Germans. Things that were restored were taken by the Red Army men (William Vandivert/TIME & LIFE Pictures)
The picture of the 16th century was captured by the Germans in Milan. Vandivert had to take photos in the dark using one candle only as there was no light available. His group was the first group that arrived to the place. Others came 40 minutes later (William Vandivert/TIME & LIFE Pictures).