TIME Photojournalism Links

The 10 Best Photo Essays of the Month

A compilation of the 10 most interesting photo essays published online in February, as curated by Mikko Takkunen

This month’s Photojournalism Links collection highlights 10 excellent photo essays from across the world, including Stephanie Sinclair‘s work on child and underage brides in Guatemala in the latest installment of her decade-long project spanning 10 countries to document the issue of child marriage around the world. In Guatemala, over half of all girls are married before 18, and over 10% under 15. Many girls marry men far older than themselves, end up withdrawing from school and become mothers long before they are physically and emotionally ready. Sinclair’s powerful pictures and accompanying video capture Guatemalan girls trying to come to terms with the harsh realities of early motherhood, especially for those who have been abandoned by their husbands.

Stephanie Sinclair: Child, Bride, Mother (The New York Times) See also the Too Young To Wed website.

Sebastian Liste: The Media Doesn’t Care What Happens Here (The New York Times Magazine) These photographs capture a group of amateur journalists trying to cover the violence in one of the largest urban slums in Brazil, Complexo do Alemão in Rio de Janeiro.

Ross McDonnell: Inside the Frozen Trenches of Eastern Ukraine (TIME LightBox) The Irish photographer documented the Ukrainian soldiers in the week preceding the most recent, fragile cease-fire.

Sergey Ponomarev: Pro-Russian fighters in the ruins of Donetsk airport (The Globe and Mail) Haunting scenes of the Pro-Russian held remains of Donetsk airport.

Alex Majoli: Athens (National Geographic) The Magnum photographer captures the people of Greece’s struggling capital for the magazine’s Two Cities, Two Europes feature on Athens and Berlin.

Gerd Ludwig: Berlin (National Geographic) Ludwig documents Germany’s booming capital for the magazine’s Two Cities, Two Europes feature on Athens and Berlin.

John Stanmeyer: Fleeing Terror, Finding Refuge (National Geographic) These photographs show the desperate conditions facing Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Edmund Clark: The Mountains Of Majeed (Wired RawFile) The British photographer’s latest book is the Bagram Airfield U.S. Military base in Afghanistan, which one held the infamous detention facility. Also published on TIME LightBox.

Sarker Protick: What Remains (The New Yorker Photo Booth) This moving, beautiful series documents the photographer’s grandparents. The work was recently awarded 2nd Prize in the Daily Life stories category in the World Press Photo 2015 contest.

Muhammed Muheisen: Leading a Double Life in Pakistan (The Washington Post In Sight) The Associated Press photographer captures a group of cross-dressers and transgender Pakistani men to offer a glimpse of a rarely seen side of the conservative country.

TIME conflict

Who Started the Reichstag Fire?

World War Two
FPG / Getty Images Firemen surveying the ruins following the Reichstag fire in Germany, 1933.

On Feb. 27, 1933, the building was destroyed — and no matter who did it, the Nazis got what they wanted

It’s a semi-mystery that’s over eight decades long: who set fire to the Reichstag, the German parliament, on Feb. 27, 1933?

As described in the Mar. 6, 1933, issue of TIME, the arson came amid “a campaign of unparalleled violence and bitterness” by then-Chancellor Adolf Hitler, in advance of an approaching German election, and it turned a building that was “as famous through Germany as is the dome of the Capitol in Washington among U. S. citizens” into “a glowing hodge-podge of incandescent girders.”

Marinus van der Lubbe, an unemployed Dutch bricklayer linked to the Communist party, was tried and executed for the crime the following year, but even then TIME questioned whether the Nazis who held him responsible were also the ones who had paid him to set the fire, “promising to save his neck by a Presidential reprieve and to reward him handsomely for hiding their identity and taking the whole blame in court.”

In 1981, a West Berlin court declared that the trial had been “a miscarriage of justice,” though they stopped short of saying that he had been innocent. In 2001, evidence emerged that the conspiracy theory had been right along, with historians announcing that the Nazis had been the ones responsible for the fire, though even then others disagreed — and, as recently as 2014, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum noted that “the origins of the fire are still unclear.”

But, while van der Lubbe’s life still hung in the balance, reporting on the aftermath of the fire made clear that, whoever set the spark, the aftermath had already been determined by Nazi powers, in their own favor. Here’s how TIME summed it up just a week after the original report on the fire:

Before German Democracy could thus be downed this week, the Hitler Cabinet had to launch last week a juggernaut of super-suppressive measures & decrees for which they needed an excuse. What excuse could be better than the colossal act of arson which had just sent a $1,500,000 fire roaring through the Reichstag Building […] gutting completely the brown oak Reichstag Chamber and ruining its great dome of gilded copper and glass.

The Reichstag fire was set by Communists, police promptly charged. Over a nationwide radio hookup the Minister of Interior for Prussia, blustering Nazi Captain Hermann Wilhelm Göring, cried: “The Reichstag fire was to have been the signal for the outbreak of civil war! … The Communists had in readiness ‘terror squads’ of 200 each … These were to commit their dastardly acts disguised as units of our own Nazi Storm Troops and the Stahlhelm … The women and children of high Government officials were to have been kidnapped as hostages and used in the civil war as ‘living shields’!…

“The Communists had organized to poison food … and burn down granaries throughout the Reich … They planned to use every kind of weapon—even hot water, knives and forks and boiling oil!…

“From all these horrors we have saved the Fatherland! We want to state clearly that the measures taken are not a mere defense against Communism. Ours is a fight to the finish until Communism has been absolutely uprooted in Germany!”

The “juggernaut” of new decrees included increasing the weaponry provided to Nazi troops (despite violation of the Treaty of Versailles) and the transfer of the majority of state powers from President Paul von Hindenburg to Hitler and his cabinet. Rights ensured by the German constitution were suspended, and a gag rule was placed on foreign journalists within the country, with severe punishments for violation. The German government was moved from Berlin to Potsdam. Within the month, TIME reported that nearly all of the country’s leading Communists and Socialists were in jail. By April, Nazis were using the threat of another fire to ensure the passage of the Enabling Act, which solidified Hitler’s place as dictatorial leader for years to come.

Whether Nazi involvement in the Reichstag fire was direct or indirect or, improbably, nonexistent, the result was the same.

TIME Greece

Violence Erupts in Greece Ahead of German Vote on Bailout

Minor clashes in Athens
ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU—EPA Riot policemen try to avoid a molotov cocktail during clashes after the end of an antigovernment protest called by leftist groups in Athens on Feb. 26, 2015

Protesters clashed with police, throwing stones and setting cars on fire

Violence broke out in Greece’s capital, Athens, on Thursday for the first time since the new government came to power a month ago, and one day before Germany is set to vote on whether to extend the European bailout of the debt-ridden country.

Around 50 of the 450 protesters that took to the streets on Friday clashed with riot police, throwing stones and petrol bombs and burning vehicles, the BBC reports.

The outrage is directed toward new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who came to power promising to end austerity measures imposed on the country because of its spiraling debt. Tsipras is now defending a four-month financial-aid extension on the condition of government reforms, causing dissent even within his own Syriza party.

Although the bailout extension has been approved by the euro zone’s Finance Ministers, it will only go into effect following votes from the parliaments of several European nations.

[BBC]

TIME Germany

Hitler’s Mein Kampf Will Be Reprinted in Germany for the First Time Since World War II

The new edition will be presented as a historical document and heavily annotated with analysis and criticism

Reprints of Adolf Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf will be hitting bookstores across Germany once more — the first time since the Nazi leader’s death.

A ban on reprinting the Nazi manifesto in the country has been in place since the end of World War II. The state of Bavaria has held the German copyright ever since but it expires in December, reports the Washington Post.

The new edition, which is being produced and published by the taxpayer-funded Institute of Contemporary History, will be a heavily annotated 2,000-page volume that features mostly criticism and analysis.

The institute says Mein Kampf (My Struggle) is an important historical and educational tool.

But opponents, including many Holocaust survivors, are outraged with the reissue, with many seeing it as giving a fresh voice to a ruthless and deranged dictator who was responsible for the deaths of more than 11 million people.

“This book is most evil; it is the worst anti-Semitic pamphlet and a guidebook for the Holocaust,” said Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community in Munich.

Though republication of Mein Kampf has been banned in Germany, the book is widely available online and in many other countries including the U.S. and Canada.

The first print run is due out early next year.

Read next: The ‘Death Penalty’ and How the College Sports Conversation Has Changed

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

MONEY stocks

Are International Stocks Still Worth the Risk?

As the Eurozone continues to face the Greek economic crisis and slow growth overall for the continent, many investors are wondering if buying international stocks is worth the risk.

TIME World

A Mini Auschwitz Display at a U.K. Kids’ Attraction Has Been Slammed as ‘Bizarre’

Trains of Holocaust victims shown next to displays of London in the Swinging 60s

A tourist attraction geared at families and children in Birmingham, England has drawn flak for its “Railways in Wartime” Auschwitz display, depicting model trains shepherding Holocaust victims to their death in Nazi concentration camps.

“The Holocaust was only possible because of trains,” Wonderful World of Trains and Planes managing director Peter Smith told the Birmingham Mail. He said that he had received no complaints.

A sign by the display — which lies incongruously next to models of seaside Britain in the 1930s and London in the Swinging 60s — reads: “On each train about 3,000 men, women and children were herded into cattle wagons and moved hundreds of miles to the death camps – Bergen-Belsen, Auschwitz, Treblinka and others.”

Matt Lawson, a lecturer at Edge Hill University, has called the display “bizarre.”

“It’s a step too far and I really don’t understand the thought process,” Lawson told the Mail. “Did someone wake-up one morning and say, ‘You know what this place needs’…”

Mala Tribich, a survivor of Ravensbruck and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps who lectures on her experiences, said “Wonderful World’s Auschwitz is a useless tool in educating children about the Holocaust.”

[Birmingham Mail]

MONEY Markets

What the Greek Crisis Means for Your Money

Global markets seem safe enough for now, but a so-called “Grexit” could have unpredictable effects.

As government officials in Greece and the rest of the European Union continue to haggle over the terms of its bailout agreement, you may be wondering: Does this have anything to do with me?

If you are investing in a retirement account like a 401(k) or an IRA, the answer is likely “yes.” About a third of holdings in a fairly typical target-date mutual fund, like Vanguard Target Retirement 2035, are in foreign stocks. Funds like this, which hold a mix of stocks and bonds, are popular choices in 401(k)s.

Of those foreign stocks, only a small number are Greek companies. Vanguard Total International Stock (which the 2035 fund holds), for example, has only about 0.1% of assets in Greek companies. But about 20% of the foreign holdings in a typical target date fund are in euro-member countries, and if Greece leaves the euro, that could affect the whole continent.

What’s the worst that could happen? For one, investors and citizens in some troubled economies like Spain and Italy could start pulling their euros out of banks. Also, borrowing costs could go up, and that could hurt economic growth and weigh down stock prices. And if fear of European instability drives investors to seek out safe assets like U.S. Treasuries, then bond yields and interest rates could keep staying at their unusually low levels.

There are some market watchers who see a potential upside to the conflict over Greece, however.

“If you believe the euro is an average of its currencies, it could actually rise if Greece leaves,” says BMO Private Bank chief investment officer Jack Ablin. A higher euro would make European stocks more valuable in dollar terms.

Additionally, he says, if Athens is thrown into pandemonium, then it’s actually less likely other countries will want to follow Greece out of the currency union.

The Greek situation will also have an impact on the bond market. If fear of European instability drives investors to seek out safe assets like U.S. Treasuries, then many bond funds will do well, and yields and interest rates would stay at their unusually low levels.

Perhaps the most insidious thing right now, says Ablin, is uncertainty. Again, a Greek exit from the euro would be unprecedented, and that makes the effect unpredictable—and potentially very scary for the global market. So investors would be wise to keep in mind the possibility of “black swans,” a term coined by statistician Nassim Taleb to describe market events that seem unimaginable (like black swans used to be) until they actually occur.

TIME europe

Germany Says ‘Nein’ to Greece Bailout Request

Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras listens to Greek President Karolos Papoulias during their meeting at Presidential Palace in Athens, Greece on Feb. 18, 2015.
Thanassis Stavrakis—AP Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras listens to Greek President Karolos Papoulias during their meeting at Presidential Palace in Athens, Greece on Feb. 18, 2015.

Climb-down still leaves doubts in Germany that Athens is serious about implementing reforms

Greece caved in to pressure from the rest of the Eurozone Thursday and asked for an extension of its bailout program.

But euphoria in financial markets lasted less than two hours before the German finance ministry said the request wasn’t “substantial” and didn’t offer enough guarantees that it would continue to implement reforms.

Berlin’s rejection came barely an hour after Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem had confirmed that the Eurogroup’ (comprising the Eurozone’s 19 finance ministers) would meet again Friday in Brussels to discuss the request.

The statement was unusual in that, while Germany has traditionally led the group of creditors driving a hard line at bailout negotiations for six countries over the last five years, it has rarely done anything to pre-empt discussions so thoroughly.

A deal on Friday would buy time for the new Greek government to validate its promise of cracking down on corruption and collecting more taxes, particularly from the business elite that has successfully avoided them in the past. Greece’s government hopes it could then agree a new and less onerous deal with the creditors that would allow it to recover faster.

Greece’s €240 billion program is due to expire at the end of the month, after which it will lose access to over €10 billion ($11.5 billion) of aid. On Monday, the Eurogroup had given Greece an ultimatum on extending the deal, telling finance minister Yanis Varoufakis to either take it or leave it.

A text of the request published by Reuters Thursday indicated that the government pledged to abide by all its previous commitments and recognize the bailout as legally binding. However, the wording of its first point implied that Greece wants to haggle over implementing reforms demanded by the original bailout agreement–an impression reinforced this week as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras promised to introduce new laws rolling back some of the agreement’s key provisions.

A spokesman for Germany’s finance ministry dismissed it as “not a substantial proposal for a solution. In reality, it aims for a bridging loan without fulfilling the demands of the program.”

Even so, the request is still a major climbdown for the new government, led by Tsipras’ radical left-wing Syriza party, which swept to power on a pledge to overthrow the bailout agreement in January and subsequently declared it “dead”. It pledges to honor all of Greece’s debts and, just as importantly, to continue accepting monitoring visits from the three institutions that have overseen Athens’ implementation of the bailout to date, the hated “troika” of European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission.

The request comes less than a day after the ECB subtly, but nonetheless significantly, increased the pressure on Greece by voting only a minimal increase in the amount of cash that Greek banks can access from it.

Greeks have reportedly been pulling deposits out of the banking system in increasing numbers recently, scared at the prospect of their country being forced out of the Eurozone. The increase of only €3.3 billion in the ceiling on Emergency Lending Assistence might have left banks unable to honor requests for withdrawals. The banks are already effectively barred from the ECB’s regular lending operations because the ECB no longer considers Greek government debt as good enough collateral.

The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung had reported earlier Thursday that the ECB would rather impose capital controls on Greece than allow its banking system to continue being drained of resources. However, the ECB later denied this, saying that: “There was no discussion on capital controls in the Governing Council and any reporting on this is incorrect.”

This story updates an earlier version published before the German government issued its statement.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME Ukraine

Ukraine Truce Hangs by Thread as Rebels Claim Key Rail Hub

Members of the Ukrainian armed forces ride on a military vehicle near Debaltseve
Gleb Garanich—Reuters Ukrainian soldiers ride on a military vehicle near Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine on Feb. 16, 2015.

Skirmishes continued near a strategic rail hub in Ukraine's restive southeast on Monday

The fragile cease-fire in Ukraine appeared to be near collapse Tuesday just 48 hours after it was implemented, as separatist fighters claimed to have taken a key rail hub after clashes with Ukrainian government forces.

Russia-backed rebels said they had pushed the Ukrainian army out of the contested town of Debaltseve, east of Donetsk, the Associated Press reports. A Ukrainian army official claimed five troops had been killed within the past 24 hours.

A leading representative from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) had earlier pledged to travel to the city on Tuesday to assess the situation after members of the group were denied access over the weekend.

The ongoing hostility threatened to nix the second Minsk accords hammered out in the Belarusian capital last week. They were aimed at bringing an end to months of fighting in southeast Ukraine, after an earlier peace deal reached in September unraveled last month.

Western leaders launched fresh appeals for restraint as a deadline to remove heavy weapons from the front approached Tuesday.

“It was always clear that much remains to be done. And I have always said that there are no guarantees that what we are trying to do succeeds,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin. “It will be an extremely difficult path.”

In Washington, the U.S. State Department said it was “gravely concerned by the deteriorating situation in and around Debaltseve,” and used its Twitter account to emphasize that diplomats were closely monitoring reports that a new column of Russian military equipment was headed toward the embattled hub.

“We call on Russia and the separatists it backs to halt all attacks immediately, engage with the OSCE to facilitate the cease-fire, and, as called for in the packet of measures agreed to on Feb. 12, fully implement their Sept. 5 and 19 Minsk commitments,” Jen Psaki, a spokesperson with the State Department, said in a statement.

The E.U. announced Monday the addition of 19 Russian-linked individuals and nine organizations to a sanctions list, in an apparent bid to ratchet up pressure on the Kremlin. The individuals targeted by the latest rounds of sanctions included leading pro-Moscow separatist fighters in Ukraine along with Russian singer and MP Iosif Kobzon.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it was “bewildered” by the E.U.’s decision and accused the body of doing Kiev’s “war bidding.”

“Such decisions … defy common sense and are ruining the emerged opportunity to find a solution to the internal Ukrainian conflict,” said the Foreign Ministry in a statement.

TIME Greece

Greece and Euro Zone Take Modest Steps to Bridge Differences

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, right, speaks with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, left, and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Brussels Feb. 12, 2015
Michel Euler—AP Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, right, speaks with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, left, and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Brussels Feb. 12, 2015

An imminent deal still appears to be some way off

(BRUSSELS) — Greece and its creditors in the 19-country eurozone took visible, if modest, steps Thursday to bridge their differences over Athens’ demands to lighten the load of its bailout, but an imminent deal appears still to be some way off.

Following weeks of haggling, the two sides made a series of encouraging noises at a summit of European Union leaders and even agreed to start technical discussions to inform a meeting of the eurozone’s finance ministers Monday. Investors are hopeful that a deal will be reached to avoid Greece’s exit from the euro — Greece’s main stock market closed about 6.7 percent higher Thursday.

“Europe always has been geared towards finding compromises,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Compromises are agreed when the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Germany is ready for this.”

Merkel has faced a barrage of criticism in Greece for being the key cheerleader of the austerity policies that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wants to consign to history. The Greek leader came to power last month on a promise to scrap the country’s bailout in favor of a new, lighter program. Despite the tensions surrounding their meeting, the two leaders exchanged warm greetings, holding each other by their elbows, and chatting amiably, if briefly.

Tsipras expressed his hope that a “mutually acceptable” debt deal can be secured next week at the eurogroup meeting and spoke in language that would likely cheer many of the skeptics in the eurozone.

“The Greek delegation will take part in these meetings with crystal clear proposals and we will try and convince, not blackmail, our partners about our proposals,” he said. “Our program will respect European rules …. we will keep balanced budget, respect the fiscal rules of the EU. We don’t want to go back to era of deficits.”

Tsipras also said his government will propose a set of reforms particularly dealing with the “shortcomings of the Greek state” such as corruption and tax evasion.

“The spirit that prevails in the European Union is a spirit of compromise to the benefit of all the parties,” he said.

In essence, the Greek government has said it won’t extend the current bailout program and its associated austerity and wants to negotiate a new bridge program that will tide Greece over the coming months and prevent a damaging exit from the euro. Tsipras and his left-wing Syriza party blame the current policies of budget austerity for choking Greece’s economy.

Despite a recent modest return to growth, the Greek economy is around 25 percent smaller than it was before the crisis and poverty and unemployment have swelled. Greece is lumbered by huge debts, which stand at around 175 percent of GDP, and it has repayments this year that it will have trouble meeting without outside help.

“The transition to a new program is the main subject of our negotiation,” he said. “The medicine that Greece has taken with this fiscal consolidation has devastated this country. This (the bailout) is over, forget it, it no longer exists.”

Without an agreed new program, Greece faces bankruptcy — and a possible exit from the eurozone, a development that would damage Greece’s economy, at least in the short-term, and throw global financial markets into turmoil.

Earlier, Tsipras following a conversation with Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the head of the eurogroup of finance ministers, agreed to allow representatives from his government to meet Friday with those from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund to discuss technical matters regarding Greece’s current bailout. The findings will inform Monday’s eurogroup meeting, the last scheduled one before Greece’s bailout program expires after Feb. 28.

Dijsselbloem said he hoped, at the very least, that the discussions will clearly illustrate the issues, the extent of the differences between the two sides and “whether we could adjust the current program, put in the new ambitions and ideas of the Greek government, and still have a viable program to work on over the next months.”

However, he sought to downplay expectations that a deal on Monday would be ready to be signed.

“Let me seriously douse your expectations on that point,” he said. “It really will be difficult. We are politically far apart.”

It seems that Europe’s leaders are open to tweaking the policy requirements of the bailout to deal with the new Greek government’s priorities. However, they will want to see offsetting measures to increases in the minimum wage, say.

“A measure that is annulled must be replaced with another that has the same budgetary, fiscal impact,” said Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the EU’s executive branch, the Commission. “It is on that basis that we will try to find an agreement over the coming days.”

Many of Greece’s European creditors, particularly Germany, are hesitant to give in to Greece too easily for fear of setting a precedent for countries that run up excessive debts. The 240 billion euros (currently $272 billion) in rescue loans Greece is getting come from taxpayers in other countries.

Many analysts think Europe will once again achieve a deal at the last-minute, with Greece agreeing to a bailout extension provided the required budget austerity measures are eased and Greece implements reforms.

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