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The 32 most powerful images ever taken

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Every day billions of pictures are taken around the world, but how many of them will really make a mark? In this post we are going to show you some of the images that really made history.

A list of 32 powerful pictures that everybody in the world should see. Photographs that will make you think, will make you stare at them and feel the emotions of that moment and perhaps will make you weep. Some of them are popular photos that you probably have seen before, some other are pictures telling big stories of ordinary people.

You will see heroes saving lives, desperate people facing the end, photos of unexpected reunions and photos about affection, stories of war and stories of peace.

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Tank man, or Unknown protester. A demonstrator stands in front of a line of People’s Liberation Army tanks during protests for democratic reform. Photo credits: Charlie Cole


Auschwitz, inside a gas chamber. Photo credits: Kligon5


Australian Scott Jones kisses his Canadian girlfriend Alex Thomas after she was knocked to the ground by a police officer’s riot shield in Vancouver. Canadians rioted after the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins. Photo credits: Rich Lam


Eight-year-old Christian Golczynski accepts the flag for his father, Marine Staff Sgt. Marc Golczynski, during a memorial service. Marc Golczynski was shot during his second tour in Iraq just a few weeks before returning back home. Photo credits: Aaron Thompson


A starving boy and a missionary in Uganda. Photo credits: Mike Wells


Man Falling from the World Trade Center on 9/11. Photo credits: Richard Drew


Man being reunited with his dog after 2011 tsunami in Japan. Photo credits: unknown


A firefighter quenches a koala after 2009 black saturday bush fires in Victoria, Australia. Photo credits:


Alcoholic father and his son. Photo credits: James Lee Stanfield


Dog sits for the second day in a row at the grave of his owner, died after the Rio de Janeiro landslides in 2011. Photo credits: Vanderlei Almeida


“Wait For Me Daddy”, October 1, 1940. Five-year-old kid reaches out for his father while he is in line marching on his way to a waiting train. Image credits: Claude P. Dettloff


Heart surgeon after a 23-hour-long successful heart transplant. You can see his assistant sleeping on the floor. Photo credits: James Stanfield


Upset woman after Japan massive 2011 earthquake. Photo credits: Asahi Shimbun, Toshiyuki Tsunenari


World Press Photo Winner 1993. Boys raise toy guns in a gesture of defiance during the Palestinian uprising, began in December 1987. Photo credits: Larry Towell


A child gives a heart-shaped balloon to a policeman during riots against austerity measures in Bucharest. Photo credits: Ioana Moldovan


Russian soldier playing an abandoned piano in Chechnya in 1994. Photo credits: unknown


Afghan man offers tea to a soldier. Photo credits: Rafiq Maqbool


Russian soldiers during WWII.


The 1968 Olympics Black Power Salute: African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fists in a gesture of solidarity at the 1968 Olympic games. Both of them were expelled from the games later on. Photo credits: Associated Press


Russian flag raised on the Reichstag in Berlin during WWII.


Terri Gurrola is reunited with her daughter after serving in Iraq for 7 months. Photo credits: Louie Favorite


Flower power. Photo credits: Bernie Boston


Prisoner stares with no fear at Heinrich Himmler, one of the chief architects of the holocaust and chief of the gestapo. Photo credits: unknown


Young German Prisoner being rounded up after Stalingrad.


Word Press Photo winner in 1991. US Sergeant Ken Kozakiewicz (23), gives vent to his grief as he learns that the body bag at his feet contains the remains of his friend Andy Alaniz. ‘Friendly fire’ claimed Alaniz’s life and injured Kozakiewicz. Photo credits: David Turnley


American troops on D-Day Normandy landings on June 6, 1944.


A mother comforts her son in Concord, Alabama, near his house which was completely destroyed by a tornado in April of 2011. Photo credits: Jeff Roberts


French man in tears while German troops occupy Paris.


Myanmar citizen in front of the remains of his home near Yangon After 2008 cyclone Nargis. Photo credits: Brian Sokol


Young man just found out his brother was killed. Photo credits: Nhat V. Meyer

(Images via: 1, 2, 3)

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  1. You should include: “General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner in Saigon”.

  2. And the iconic daisy in the rifle barrel from the 60′s.

  3. reuf

    No pictures from Srebrenica??? you should include them!!

  4. Lee

    First full-Earth photo 1972

    Also, interesting perspective on Tank Man (I prefer to call him Standing Man). You see how long he stood there prepared to stare them down.

    edited by justsomething

  5. Some pretty heartbreaking photo’s in there. And if you stop and think, some are even missing – Vietnam, Rwanda, Congo, Hiroshima. The list seems to go on the longer you think. Might just wanna go out in the sun instead.

  6. Trix

    The same collection that’s being passed from site to site everywhere. And no, some of these qualify for “most powerful”, but many of them do not. There are some amazing pictures out there these aggregators appear to be entirely unaware of.

  7. Liam

    Photo four:
    Christian accepting the flag after his fathers death..
    The flag will go to the next of kin, in that situation it should have been the mother.
    Yet HE is accepting the flag, both his parents are dead.
    Heart-breaking. Just heart-breaking.

  8. i love historical posts and real-life images.. keep sharing such content

  9. Thabang SGK


  10. kianoosh


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