THE battle for Europe has been brought vividly back to life in stunning colourised photos of World War Two.
Julius Jääskeläinen from Visby, Sweden, has spent countless hours researching, restoring and colouring black and white images from the conflict.
Photo shows a Canadian soldier during battle in Capua, Italy, in 1943. The photos have been brought to life in colour[/caption]
German troops moving through a burning village on the eastern front[/caption]
Estonian Waffen-SS volunteer Kalju Jakobsoo with his dog Caesar on September 4, 1944[/caption]
Now he’s amassed a compelling collection of wartime pictures that bring the history magnificently into the modern day.
But some images serve as grim reminder of the horrors of war. one shows a man reduced to skin and bone at Ebensee concentration camp; another shows children preparing machine guns in Leningrad.
While other photos capture a sense of humanity: one has a Nazi soldier tickling a sleeping comrade with a feather; another shows US and Soviet troops embracing like old friends in Griebo, Germany.
Mr Jääskeläinen, 20, said that colourising photos was a great way to close the distance between the history and ourselves.
He said: “It removes a layer of separation between you and the photo.”
“Things seem much more real to me when I actually get to see it in colour and many others have said the same, which makes me feel that I’m actually doing something of value.
“Before, I viewed events like World War II in a wider scope, but working hundreds of hours with hundreds of photos has really given me a more individual outlook.
“I always like to think about the life of the person in the photos I colourise.
“Sometimes they wear their wedding rings so I know they had a wife, and I wonder if they ever made it back to their wife or did they leave them a widow?
“They certainly related more to me this way.”
I always like to think about the life of the person in the photos I colourise
Transforming the photos is an exhaustive process, with even a simple photo taking an hour, while complex images might require several sessions spanning a few days.
“I always start out cleaning the image up,” said Julius. “When you deal with such old photos, there’s bound to be some damage.
“Sometimes it’s just small scratches which are easily fixed by a couple clicks of the mouse, then there’s serious damage that needs to be fixed manually which can take hours to clean up.”
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For students of history, the results are fascinating, but Julius has personally benefited from transforming the photos too.
“Colourisation has really been a positive force in my life,” he said.
“I’ve gotten to know a lot of wonderful people all over the world because of it and I’m very glad I decided to give it a shot.”
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Photo shows American and Soviet troops meeting in Griebo, Germany, at the war’s end in 1945[/caption]
A Finnish soldier walking past a burning house in a village on the Karelian Isthmus[/caption]
Two girls assembling submachine guns during the Siege of Leningrad in 1943[/caption]
hoto shows Captain Yuri Belov and Lieutenant Nikolai Sergeyevich Davidenko in Paris[/caption]
A man liberated from Ebensee concentration camp in Austria on May 8, 1945[/caption]
A Kaufman replacing a road sign in Krefeld, Germany, in 1945[/caption]
German mechanics working at Immola Airfield, Finland, on July 2, 1944[/caption]
A soldier of the Polish Independent Carpathian Rifles Brigade with his monkey mascot on board a Royal Navy destroyer travelling from Alexandria, Egypt, to Tobruk, Libya, on August 27, 1941[/caption]
Members of the Polish Independent Highland Brigade taking their oath in Malestroit, France, in 1940[/caption]
Luftwaffe Major Clemens Graf von Schönborn-Wiesentheid in the field. He was killed in a flying accident in Sofia, Bulgaria on August 30, 1944[/caption]
Photo shows men from the 5th SS Panzer Division ‘Wiking’ in a Marder II tank in the Soviet Union in 1942[/caption]
Dutch soldiers fighting in the trenches during the Battle of the Grebbeberg in May 1940[/caption]