Otto John, middle, in Berlin in 1954.
German Federal archives/Wikimedia
The 1954 defection of West Germany's first domestic spy chief and ardent anti-Nazi rocked the world – and then he returned to Bonn.
Plotting a route out? German prisoners in Britain during WWII.
Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographe
Scientists have uncovered a hidden tunnel left in remarkable condition at a now derelict prison in Bridgend, South Wales.
Against the odds: French troops throw rocks at advancing German troops in the Vosges, 1916.
The French Army's efforts in the world wars have long been maligned. Its soldiers deserve better.
A scene from ‘Dunkirk,’ a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
Moviegoers get a hint of why Dunkirk stayed with those who lived through it, but an online archive of survivors' stories offers more depth.
‘Damenkneipe,’ or ‘Ladies’ Saloon,’ painted by Rudolf Schlichter in 1923. In 1937, many of his paintings were destroyed by the Nazis as ‘degenerate art.’
The 1920s and early ‘30's looked like the beginning of the end for centuries of gay intolerance. Then came fascism and the Nazis.
A pigeon ready for release, showing the cylinder containing a message strapped to her leg.
Imperial War Museum
The humble carrier pigeon played a huge role in World War I and saved many lives. But despite huge technological advances, animals are still suffering and dying in modern wars.
In the years leading up to World War II, Ivan Maisky and Winston Churchill developed a close friendship.
Courtesy of the Voskressenski family
The Soviet ambassador to London showed that charm and contacts can trump espionage when it comes to gathering information.
Chinese ceramics recovered from the 9th century Belitung shipwreck in Indonesia, now held at the Asian Civilisations Museum (Singapore)
ArtScience Museum Singapore
Archaeologists this week found that more than half of of HMAS Perth, a WWII wreck in Indonesia, has disappeared. It's now a race to protect the millions of other wrecks and sunken cities lying under the oceans.
Australians shelter from Japanese snipers in Borneo, 1945.
Australian War Memorial collection/Flickr
There are about 59,000 cards in archival boxes from the Red Cross's WW2 enquiry service. While their language is impersonal, the golden rule was to provide solace to soldiers' families, and fast.
London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral during the great fire raid of December 29, 1940, during World War Two.
As the bombs fell, people flocked to the movies.
Syrian Christians and Muslims offer prayers for nuns held by rebels, at the Greek Orthodox Mariamiya Church in Damascus, Syria, in 2013.
For many centuries, Syrian society has included people of many faiths – Sunni and Shi'i Muslims, Christians and Druze. This past is important to know to understand the present.
The Cap Arcona burning.
The chaos that led to a disastrous attack in the final days of WWII.
World War II poster.
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
Trump's travel ban is an echo of policies passed in the United States during World War II.
President Donald Trump speaks at a conference for law enforcement.
The Trump administration may do well to make a friend of the federal bureaucracy it's so intent on gutting, according to an expert who studies the role of civil servants in government.
Two U.S. soldiers on Easter morning, 1945.
When war broke out, black Americans fought in segregated units to serve their country. The breath of freedom they experienced in Europe flamed the fight for equality when they returned home.
Teenage migrants arrive in the UK, seeking safety and yet are surrounded by a new society’s suspicion.
Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Post-WWII Britain welcomed child refugees with open arms. Now they are put in camps and treated with contempt.
People carry photos of soldiers who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
AP Photo/Andres Kudacki
The Japanese attack on a US naval base on Dec. 7, 1941 set in motion a series of events that transformed the United States into a global superpower. Will Donald Trump bring that era to an end?
The Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, which dropped the first atomic bomb in history. The bomb was made from Congolese ore.
The Soviet Union tested its own atomic bomb in 1949, to the profound shock of the US. This heated up the Cold War dramatically and thrust the Congo to the centre of American geopolitical strategy
Building more renewable energy will be part of the effort to decarbonise energy systems.
We have the technology to phase out fossil fuels, but it will take more than that.
Journalists Alexander Clifford of the Daily Mail and Alan Moorehead of the Daily Express in the North African desert, 1942.
Imperial War Museum, via Wikimedia Commons.
Alan Moorehead's accounts of the second world war revealed his vital and gripping talent, but his peacetime novels were stilted and corny. A new biography delves into his life and language.