My name is Marcos Renault. I am Brazilian, an engineer by training, but a history student at heart. For over forty-five years now, my interested has been the history of World War II.

When I made my first trip to Europe, about twenty-five years ago, I got the idea of ​​creating then-and-now comparisons of the various locations in which the battles against the nazi-fascist armies were fought during WWII – long before the current hype of photographing places of the past.

At that time, I became acquainted with “After the Battle”, a quarterly British magazine that already did that kind of work, presenting deep historical analyses and excellent photographs, which served as a very rich source of inspiration for my project. For the sake of clarity, I have no intention to compare my modest work with that done by the competent researchers and historians of the magazine.

It is important to note that I am not a licensed historian, much less a professional photographer. I do not count with any sponsorship or subsidy to create these records. I therefore apologize in advance, to those going through the contents of this page, as some of my pictures were not taken exactly at the same angles as those made during the war. Quite often, obstacles prevent me from positioning on the very same spot where the original author once stood. New buildings, parked cars, trees, redesigned roads, groups of tourists, an occasional angry dog – or, occasionally, the lack of a war tank to stand on – are some of the impediments that sometimes bar me from getting the perfect click.

Since the beginning of the (ongoing) work that is presented here, I’ve already put together thousands of before/after pairs of photographs, in several of the countries that composed the European theatre of war. The photos are sorted according to geographic location and will from now on be made available in monthly updates on this page, OLD NEWS OF THE WAR.

In using old photos of a convoluted period of human history, it is unfortunately impossible to attribute due credit to all of their authors. They were collected from various sources, such as WW2 Radio and Bunderaschiv. They were also obtained through my private collection, the National Archive, the Brazilian Army Archive, the archive of the National Veterans Association of FEB, friends’ collections, books and magazines. Should the authors of the old photos (or their representatives) feel in any way offended by their publication, they need only instruct me to include credits, or delete the files.

Having this content online was only possible due to Ricardo Andrade, Marcelo Rodrigo Cesário Ferreira, Lucas Torres  Vasconcelos  and Netuna Marketing Digital’s extreme dedication and technical skills, so the sincerest thanks are recorded here.

The companionship of my wife, Maria Cândida, and children, Pedro Victor and Paula, in the long days of research and the unconditional support given to this initiative and many others, could not be forgotten either. To them, all my love, recognition and gratitude. Without them, none of this would be possible.

Finally, I am not at all in favor of violence or war. This page is a tribute to the brave soldiers that gave their best so that we may live in peace today. Among these brave young men who left their homes without certainty of returning, there were more than 25,000 Brazilians who took part in the immense allied effort for the final victory in May 1945. They were part of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB), which fought in Italy under the Fifth United States Army.

Honor and glory to the brave soldiers who fought for peace!

Honor and glory to the victims of the tyranny that plagued the world during World War II!

Marcos Moretzsohn Renault Coelho