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Eyes of War

In 2015 it will be 65 years since the end of World War II in Europe. After the war was over, many thousands of people would never see again. Martin Roemers photographed and interviewed some of those who lost their sight as a result of the conflict. He photographed people who would once have been enemies. Some were children at the time, seeking shelter. Others were combatants. One of his subjects was a child during the war and was blinded by flying glass as her mother rushed her to an air-raid shelter. 'What depresses me are all these new wars, and that people still cannot stand each other,' she told Roemers. 'All that grief, that's what makes me sad.'

'Bombs, bombs, bombs, on Rosie's head!' My mother said that I was singing that one hour before the Dortmund air-raid sirens went off.'
Rosemarie Pinnau (born Germany, 1938)

'I remember a bright flash. Five weeks later I woke up in a hospital. I was as good as blind and both my legs were broken.'
Eric Church (born UK, 1924)

'I was assigned to a sewing workshop and had to repair uniforms. I sat by the window when a Russian plane came. I still remember that it sounded like a sewing machine.'
Gerda Degenhardt (born Germany, 1926)

'Do you know what I would like? To be able to see my children for a minute or even a second.'
Elena Griczienko (German, born USSR, 1939)

For more extensive interviews, click through the images.
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