Outdoor Market in Burned-Out Neighborhood, Poland


The caption for this news photograph reads: “Poles distributing vegetables amid the ruins of town destroyed by shell-fire in one of the battles between Germans and Russians. Thousands of towns and villages in Poland are still in ruins and must be rebuilt. This work will be one of the first tasks of the new Poland. And American steel and other materials will be needed in the work of reconstruction, as well as our financial aid. Owing to the rather remote position of Poland as regards France, England and the United States and to the difficulties in getting materials from German manufacturers until Germany has recovered from the war, the rebuilding of Poland will be less speedy than the reconstruction of the devastated areas in France and Belgium and Italy. 11/19/18” The Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as the JDC), a humanitarian relief organization, was a significant contributor to reconstruction efforts, particularly in affected Jewish communities. The image is from photographic agency Underwood and Underwood, a major producer of stereopticon (a kind of magic lantern) slides, which entered the news photography field in 1910. The photograph is from the archives of the JDC, which contain documents, photographs, film, video, oral histories, and artifacts recording the work of the organization from World War I to the present.

Last updated: March 4, 2016