The Ghosts of World War II: The photographs found at flea markets superimposed on to modern street scenes

This haunting collection of images shows what it would look like if the ghosts of World War II returned to our streets.

The remarkable pictures overlay modern scenes from France with atmospheric photographs taken in the same place during the war.

Historical expert Jo Teeuwisse, from Amsterdam, began the project after finding 300 old negatives at a flea market in her home city depicting familiar places in a very different context.

Dangerous crossing: Soldiers race up Avenue de Paris in Cherbourg in 1944, speeding past the rubble and over modern-day road markings

Fear and fighting: The original image from 1944, before it was laid over a photo taken from the exact same spot today
Startling contrast: Dutch historian Jo Teeuwisse finds pictures from archives and then researches their background, before taking a picture in the same place now and elegantly interweaving them

She researched the background to each of the most interesting finds and created a beautiful series of pictures by super-imposing the old pictures on top of new ones.
Now she has rediscovered photographs of soldiers at war in France and across Europe and put together further sets of evocative and emotional designs.

Miss Teeuwisse believes that making war scenes familiar by linking them to somewhere we recognise heightens their impact.

‘I knew what happened there, but knowing the exact spot of some detail will etch it into your visual memory,’ she said.
Her work goes much further than the visual, too.

The website of her organisation, Historical Consultancy, reads: ‘For years we have been researching daily life before and during the Second World war, not just gathering information but also interviewing eye witnesses and recreating certain aspects of history to gain a unique insight into that era.’

The organisation works with authors, film and TV companies, museums, schools, documentary makers, designers, theatre productions and many more.

It has helped individuals trying to find out more about their family history, carrying out close research into any events from between 1900 and 1950.

From dark times to blue skies: German prisoners of war are marched through the north-western French city by American soldiers

Marching on: Allied soldiers are seen on the move past shops from then and now in these fascinating pictures of France from the Left Behind series

Changing environment: German soldiers surrendering beside the modern terraced houses of the Rue des Fossés Plissons in Domfront, Orne
Honouring the dead: Village behind the front lines in Normandy celebrate Bastille Day for the first time in over four years at a memorial that still stands today

Vivid reality: The past and the present collide as touches of colour appear on this emotive shot on rue Armand Levéel in the French city of Cherbourg


Categories: Art, History | 1 Comment

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One thought on “The Ghosts of World War II: The photographs found at flea markets superimposed on to modern street scenes

  1. Creative and evocative. Wish I had the talent to do something like this.

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