In the spring of 1944 Lee decides to be accredited with the US Air Force to have greater freedom of movement. Having obtained permission from Vogue, she crossed France to leave with David E. Scherman for Torgau in Germany, where the American troops would join the Russian ones. Once the assignment is completed, the two, aboard a large Chevrolet purchased by Scherman and customized with the wording Life, continue south, stopping in Nuremberg, where General Patton informs them that that evening the Rainbow Company will enter the Dachau concentration camp.
The two photographers are the first to enter the area and Lee is totally and deeply incredulous at what she saw: the smell was nauseating, the piles of bodies – here as later in Buchenwald – were countless, the dying lie desperately in puddles of vomit and excrement, while some SS had been lynched by prisoners.
In the face of such horror, the truth could no longer be hidden and Lee felt the need to tell what she saw in no uncertain terms. In the cable she sent to the editors was only one sentence: “I implore you to believe that all this is true”.
That same night Lee and David went to Munich, in an anonymous building occupied by Allied troops in Prinzregentenplatz and only by chance, and with great amazement, the two discover that it houses Hitler’s apartments. It is there that, what is one of Lee Miller’s best known photographs is made: her naked in the bathtub that belonged to the Führer. Lee and David, after stealing some souvenirs, go to rest in another apartment not far away, which belonged to Eva Braun.
The following day the two leave for Salzburg to follow the attack on the Berghof, the impregnable Alpine chalet that belonged to Hitler, set on fire by the SS in an attempt to protect its secrets. The two arrive at nightfall and Lee takes a particularly symbolic shot: the funeral pyre of the Third Reich. Back at the foreign press headquarters in Rosenheim Lee and David get to work on their articles until the official news arrives: Germany has surrendered, the war is over!