© Gerald Waller, 1946, New Shoes, Austria

Six-year-old Austrian boy “Werfel” receiveing a new pair of shoes at the Am Himmel orphanage, donated by the Junior Red Cross in America.

The picture was first published in LIFE magazine on December 30, 1946 (page 22) and again on September 24, 1951 (page 180).

This was the caption in the 1946 issue:

EUROPE’S CHILDREN - Christmas brings joy and sadness

For many of Europe’s children there was a Santa Claus this Christmas. When a big box from the American Red Cross arrived at Vienna’s Am Himmel orphanage, shoes and coats and dresses tumbled out. Like the youngster (above), the children who had seen no new clothes throughout the war smiled to high heaven. But for thousands of other European children there was no Santa Claus. When a boatload of illegal Jewish immigrants arrived at Haifa, Palestine recently, two Polish children (opposite) got separated from their parents. Tears filled the eyes of the boy, and his wan sister clutched him protectively. They were later reunited with their parents, but the whole family was shipped to Cyprus. (+)

Here’s a scan of the 1946 article (click for larger image):

Gerald Waller in LIFE magazine (Dec. 30, 1946)

The punk band Bad Religion used Gerald Waller’s photo for the cover of their album Christmas Songs.

» find more pictures of World War II (and the consequences) here «