Destruction of Germany During and After the War / Zerstörung von Deutschland während und nach dem Krieg
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German POWs recently captured, and in the custody of American military police (MP).
Captured German generals, May 1945.
Luftwaffe officer entering captivity in England.
U-Boat officers after being captured.
German prisoners of war.
US Army 2nd Infantry Division guard with German prisoners near Schoneseiffen, Germany 1945.
Captive young German soldiers of the 12th SS Panzer Division -Hitlerjugend under the escort of the Military Police of the 3rd U.S. Army. These guys were captured in December of 1944 during the operation in the Ardennes – January 7, 1945.
Young soldiers captured by 6th Armored Division,1945.
White Flag Alley, Cologne 1945.
1945 Norway, elements of the Panzer Brigade Norwegen capitulate to the British troops.
An American soldier escorts a German crewman from his wrecked Panther tank during the Battle of Elsenborn Ridge.
German prisoners taken during the battle are given tea by their captors.
German forces surrendering in St. Lambert on 19 August 1944.
Being marched into captivity after Stalingrad.
206th Infantry Division’s commander, Alfons Hitter (second from right) and Gollwitzer surrender to the Soviet forces.
Goering on May 10, 1945, one day after his capture by the Americans of the 36th Infantry Division.
Parade of the Generals
On July 17, 1944, the captured generals were driven through the streets of Moscow, a Soviet propaganda coup called the “Parade of the Generals.” Among the highest ranked were generals of the Paul Völckers and Gollwitzer, but also Lieutenant General Hans Traut . The generals were served spoiled food, so that many suffered during the several hours of torture on foot through the city from diarrhea and were further humiliated by self-defilement.
Post War Germany
British Field Marshal Sir Bernard “Monty” Montgomery (17 November 1887 – 24 March 1976) decorates Marshal of the Soviet Union Konstantin Rokossovsky (21 December 1896 – 3 August 1968) with a Knight Commander of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) at the Hindenburg Platz near Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, 12 July 1945, while other Soviet generals are waiting for their turn.
British Field Marshal Sir Bernard “Monty” Montgomery (17 November 1887 – 24 March 1976) decorates The Deputy Supreme Commander in Chief of the Red Army, Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov (1 December 1896 – 18 June 1974) with the sash of the Knight Grand Cross of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (G.C.B.) at the Hindenburg Platz near Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, 12 July 1945.
British Field Marshal Sir Bernard “Monty” Montgomery (17 November 1887 – 24 March 1976) decorates Soviet generals at the Hindenburg Platz near Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, 12 July 1945. The Deputy Supreme Commander in Chief of the Red Army, Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov (1 December 1896 – 18 June 1974), the Commander of the British 21st Army Group, Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery, Marshal of the Soviet Union Konstantin Rokossovsky (21 December 1896 – 3 August 1968) and General of the Army Vasily Sokolovsky (21 July 1897 – 10 May 1968) of the Red Army leave the Brandenburg Gate after the ceremony. Zhukov (Commander of 1st Belorussian Front), on Montgomerys left, was presented with the sash of the Knight Grand Cross of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (G.C.B.), while Rokossovsky (Commander of 2nd Belorussian Front), on Montgomery right, was made a Knight Commander of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.). Sokolovsky (Deputy Commander of 1st Belorussian Front), in the background between Montgomery and Rokossovsky was made a Knight Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (K.B.E.). The same was Colonel General Mikhail Malinin (28 December 1893 – 24 January 1960) who is standing just behind Rokossovsky.
Even during World War II, the Nazi planners began to move around. Moderately so called for a departure from the medieval city centers which had dominated Germany for centuries. The results were not always pretty. Pictured here is Germany’s first high-rise apartment complex, Hamburg’s Grindelberg, built in 1957.
The initial work of reconstruction was done by the rubble women , or rubble women. With so many men in the war, the allies relied on women between the ages of 15 and 50 to do the hard work of clean-up.
With such vast destruction, there was a severe shortage of apartments and living space in Germany immediately after the war. Many Germans had to live in Nissenhütten (in 1946). Others hold up in their largely destroyed homes. This particular camp was the temporary home of the German soldiers who had returned from the front.
For many modernist city planners, the destruction in Germany. In both East and West Germany, planners set about creating a “break” from the past. Pictured her is the monumental boulevard Karl Marxallee (originally Stalinallee) in East Berlin. The demonstrators are marching on the occasion of Stalin’s death in 1953.
Germans fleeing from eastern Europe after the Second World War.
German refugees in Bedburg, near Kleve, 19 February 1945.
The above-ground portion of the Führerbunker shortly before it was destroyed in 1947. Hitler & Eva Braun’s remains were burnt in a shell crater in front of the emergency exit at the left. The circular structure was for generators and ventilation.
The destroyed Führerbunker, 1947.
Churchill sits on a damaged chair from the Führerbunker in July 1945.
Return to Germany – Release from P.O.W. Camps
Late returnee General of the infantry Friedrich Gollwitzer is welcomed by a nurse in the camp Friedland, October 1955.
Berlin, like most cities in Germany, lay in ruins when World War II came to an end. Reichstag in the middle on the left.
The Reichstag after the conquest of the Red Army. Berlin, May 2, 1945.
Tiergarten Flak tower, Berlin 1945.
A work party clears rubble from an air-raid on Berlin, 13 October 1940.
After the war, a debate broke out in Germany over whether to rebuild exact copies of old buildings or to radically depart from pre-war Germany. Many felt that it was not. Others felt that radical modernism ignored centuries of pre-war German history. Some projects, like the New Museum in Berlin, pictured here after a 1943 bombing raid.
USAAF B-17 damaged by mis-timed bomb release over Berlin, 19 May 1944.
Aerial view of Arnsberg destroyed viaduct Hustener Strasse, March 1945.
Floating Dock No. 5 at Deschimags Bremen U-Boat Yard.
Bremen aerial view Hochbunker F97 Hans Bockler Strasse,1945.
A panoramic view of the city of Cologne,1945.
The Hohenzollern Bridge (center) in Cologne was destroyed after 1 March by German engineers before the Americans could capture it.
Aerial photo of the bombed out and on fire oil refinery in Hamburg, Germany 1944.
Wreckage of pre-fabricated u-boat sections in the Submarine Yards at Hamburg 1945.
Taken in 1943, this image shows a view of the destroyed city from Hanover’s market church church. The entire country was buried under rubble – more than 400 million cubic meters of it alone. Additional damaged buildings were to be demolished, and still others were destroyed to make way for reconstruction.
Ruins of Hildesheim aerial view Binderstrasse Thega St. Andreas 1945.
Bombed Klockner Humboldt Factory at Köln.
Bombed railroad yard near Köln.
Aerial view of the ruins of the IG Farbenindustrie Synthetic Chemical Plant in Ludwigshafen.
Ruins of Ludwigshafen, Germany 1945.
In a seemingly endless catalog of annihilation, Berlin, Cologne, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Hamburg, Kiel, Lubeck, Munster, Munich, Frankfurt, Wurzburg, Mainz, Nuremberg, Xanten, Worms, Brunswick, Hanover, Freiburg and Dresden were all devastated. This image shows a view of the city of Mainz from its cathedral.
Aerial photo of the bombed out Focke-Wulf Factory at Marienburg, Germany.
The Reformation Church in Moabit, damaged in the night of 22–23 November, 1943.
München aerial view Residenz Feldherrenhalle Hofgarten May 1944.
The bombed-out city of Nuremberg, 1945.
Aerial view of Ludendorff Bridge March,1945.
Beginning on the night of February 13, 1945, more than 1,200 heavy bombers dropped nearly 4,000 tons of high-explosive and incendiary bombs on the city in four successive raids. An estimated 25,000 people were killed in the bombings and the firestorm that raged afterward. More than 75,000 dwellings were destroyed, along with unique monuments of Baroque architecture in the historic city center. The scale of the death and destruction, coming so late in the war, along with significant questions about the legitimacy of the targets destroyed have led to years of debate about whether the attack was justified.
Here, an aerial shot of Cologne taken in 1945.
Surrounded by his captors, a Luftwaffe bomber crewman is given a drink of water from a British soldier’s water bottle, after baling out of his aircraft, August 30,1940.
These young German soldiers, likely taken directly from the rank of a local Hitler Youth group, were captured somewhere outside of Leipzig Germany in May of 1945.
Hermann Göring on what appears to be a subsequent day after his surrendered, sitting down with Major Paul Kubala from U.S. forces.
A group of POW’s in a bomb crater at a the POW Camp at Sinzsig, Germany. One of the prisoners is shown making potato soup, which is the most popular dish of the camp. Several types of living quarters are also shown.
POW camp for women at Sinzig, Germany.
U.S. Army feeding the POWs.
Soviet soldiers moving leftovers in Berlin.
An American infantryman confronts a surrendering German in the town of Illy in the French Ardennes region. September 1944.
7th of June 1944.
Lower Normandy, France.
Members of 2. Panzer Division surrender.
Captured German parachute troops file past a Sherman tank of the New Zealand 4th Armoured Brigade at Cassino, 16 March 1944.
German POWs being escorted along one of the Gold area beaches, Normandy. 6 June 1944.
American officer gives water to an injured soldat.
Surrender At The Elbe River,1945.
US troops inspect an abandoned Sturmtiger of Sturm-Mörser-Kompanie 1002 near Calbe, Germany, April 1945.
German POWs recently captured, and in the custody of American military police (MP).
The day after his official surrender, German Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring (center, Oberbefehlshaber Heeresgruppe Süd) poses with American Major General Maxwell D. Taylor (right, Commander of 101st Airborne Division) and Brigadier General Gerald J. Higgins (left, Assistant Commander 101st Airborne Division) at Berchtesgaden, Germany, May 10, 1945. Kesselring surrendered to an American major at Saalfelden, near Salzburg, in Austria on 9 May 1945. He was taken to see Major General Taylor, who treated him courteously, allowing him to keep his weapons and field marshal’s baton, and to visit the Eastern Front headquarters of Heeresgruppe Mitte and Süd at Zeltweg and Graz unescorted! Taylor then arranged for Kesselring and his staff to move into a hotel at Berchtesgaden.
Modern Day Photos
The ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin, heavily damaged in an Allied bombing and preserved as a monument.
Black and White Photos
A captured dump of German landmines.
Panzer IV turret, Berlin ruins 1945.
Aachen tram, 1944.
The gold treasure in German salt mines Kaiserode, 1945, Bavaria.
German corporal killed during fighting against the Loyal Edmonton Regiment, Ortona, Italy.
After the Battle of Stalingrad.
The 17th SS Division’s headquarters after bombardment by the USAAF on November 8, 1944.
Soviet soldiers at the captured German airfield near Stalingrad, 1943 year.
Do-335s on the apron at Oberpfaffenhofen at the war’s end, including unfinished two-seat versions.
The wreck of the Fieseler Storch, with which Hanna Reitsch and Robert Ritter von Greim flew on April 27, 1945 to Adolf Hitler in Berlin.
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