Section 4

Victory and Loss, 1945

Official U.S. Navy Photograph. [Troopship returns], 1945.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph. [Troopship returns], 1945. New-York Historical Society.

American troops began returning to New York harbor soon after the German surrender in May 1945. Two million New Yorkers flocked to Times Square upon the announcement of Japan’s surrender on August 14, 1945, signaling the war’s end. While the Allies’ victory was widely celebrated, the country faced great losses; approximately 400,000 Americans were killed in the war, including 18,000 New Yorkers. Through photographs, documents, and artwork—including Joseph Delaney’s V-J Day in Times Square, Isamu Noguchi’s Belltower for Hiroshima, and Chaim Gross’s in Memoriam: My Sister Sarah, Victim of Nazi Atrocities—“Victory and Loss, 1945” evokes the celebrations and the struggles Americans experienced as they transitioned from the challenges of the war front and home front to ordinary life.

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