Eyes are the Window to the Soul: 23 Powerful Photos That Capture Human Emotion

1. Amazement – Harold Whittles, born deaf, hears for the first time after being fitted with a hearing aid

childhearing

2. Madness – A shell-shocked soldiers during the Battle of Courcelette in mid-September 1916

shellshock

3. Defeat – A German soldier marched into captivity during the Battle of Stalingrad

pain

4. Fear – 15 year old German soldier, Hans-Georg Henke, cries after being captured by the Allies

germanchild

5. Exhaustion – American POW after being liberated from a German camp, 1945

dyingsoldier

6. Panic – Faces of Liverpool fans being crushed during the Hillsborough disaster – April 15 1989

lpool

7. Envy – Sophia Lauren glaces at Jayne Masfield, April 12 1957

envy

8. Hatred – The moment Joseph Goebbels learned that the photographer was Jewish

hate

9. Shame – A woman who had consorted with German soldiers during the occupation of France is ‘punished’ by having her hair shaved off

headshave

10. Courage – Sold into marriage by her Taliban father and suffered the removal of her nose and ears

nose

11. Suffering – Nguyen Thi Ly displays Agent Orange deformities – a terrible legacy of the Vietnam War

12. Peace – A soldier of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Battalion stationed in South Vietnam

warishell

13. Awe – Children’s reaction to a puppet show in Paris, 1963

childrenhappy

14. Deception – The day before the departure of the 72nd Shinbu Corps for their Kamikaze (Divine Wind) mission in Okinawa

soldierpuppy

15. Joy – A young woman liberated from German imprisonment in 1945

happywoman

16. Emptiness – A shell-shocked soldier in Hue, Vietnam, 1968

vacant

17. Innocence – A young child whose blue eyes and dark skin suggest he has Ocular Albinism or Juvenile Uveitis

africanchild

18. Caution – Sahrbat Gula was made an orphan during the Soviet Union’s bombing of Afghanistan

afghanigirl

19. Acceptance – One of 28,000 Jews murdered by German soldiers at Vinnitsa in 1941 and buried in a mass grave

holocaust

20. Lost Innocence – An 8 year old Syrian rebel

syria

22. Relief – A heart surgeon sits after a 23-hour long heart transplant operation

doctor

23. Despair – A woman starving to death in the Warsaw Ghetto

womenground

Alex Browne studied History at Kings College London and is an Assistant Editor at Made From History. He specializes in post-war history in the USA and Central America.

  • ewen

    Great article, very powerful. Number 18- Soviet Union bombing of Afghanistan?

    • JamesCarson

      Thanks Ewen – yes you’re quite right. That’s since been changed :-)