It’s Easter again. Do you celebrate it by hiding and finding the magical Easter eggs or celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ? However you celebrate it, it wouldn’t be quite possible if not for the two black American soldiers in the known photograph holding special “Easter Eggs for Hitler” and many others. They sacrificed their lives so we could freely celebrate these kinds of occasions.

The Photograph

The photo was taken on March 10, 1945, during the Battle of Remagen. In it were two black American soldiers: one was holding artillery ammo scribbled with “HAPPY EASTER ADOLPH” while the other was kneeling on the side with a sign that said “EASTER EGGS FOR HITLER.”

The two men in the picture were Technical Sergeant William E. Thomas and Private First Class Joseph Jackson, both from the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion. Although, at the time the photograph was taken, they were still part of the 969th Artillery Battalion. What was the best way to express your heavy dislike of your enemy than to dedicate some special, exploding easter eggs to him, right?

Now, the irony of this photo was that these two soldiers were fighting in a US Army that practiced racial discrimination as a matter of official government policy. These men were fighting to end the racism of Nazism while being subjected to it in their own country.