Photographer Martin Roemers captured black-and-white portraits of 40 survivors of World War II for his series "The Eyes of War." Before, they were divided by age, status, and country allegiances, but after the war these divisions fell away as they all became victims of conflict.
Accompanying each photograph is an interview between Roemers and his subject, describing how they went blind and how their life has changed since. The stories, like the images, are raw, honest and full of pain. One subject, Anja Stupp, recounts losing her eyesight playing in the woods as a child. She stumbled upon an old chest, which turned out to be an anti-tank mine. When it exploded it blinded Anja and killed everyone she was playing with. The stories of the victims' presents are as full of sorrow as their pasts: “Do you know what I would like? To be able to see my children for a minute or even a second” recounted Elena Griczienko.
The images and interviews are compiled into the book "The Eyes of War." The photographs are also showing at the Kunsthal Rotterdam in the Netherlands until August 26. The striking images depict the physical residue of war and time. Yet even more horrific than the physical scars of the war is the sense of sorrow and loss, floating in their expressions like ghosts.
Warning: The images below may be disturbing to some readers:
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