German tragedy of destiny

Berlin

 

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Berlin as the capital and cultural center of the German Reich was bombed very heavily. With over 9,000 sorties and some 45,000 tons of bombs the city was almost completely destroyed. The irreplacable architectural gems of the Schlüter, Knobelsdorf, Schadow and Schinkel were annihilated. Palaces, museums, churches, monuments and cultural sites fell victim to the bombs.

 

Berlin during peace time

 

 68,000 houses were destroyed, 400,000 people were left homeless. In the battle for Berlin in late 1943 the Allies used nearly 3,000 bombers.

 

Also, the evacuation of parts of the population couldn't prevent the high number of casualties owing to the bombings. Millions of refugees and displaced people crowded from the east to Berlin. They wandered around among the rubble and instead of escape many found a painful death in the bombing.

 

Overall, Berlin was bombed 363 times by British, American and Russian aircraft. About 50,000 civilians were killed. They burned, suffocated, were buried under the ruins or lacerated by the bombs.

 

50,000 dead

 

The most serious bombing raids:    

 

8 June 1940,

26 August 1940,

8 October 1940,

16. December 1940, 

21 December 1940,

24 March 1941,

8/9 August 1941,

13 August 1941,

8 June 1940,

26 August 1940,

8 October 1940,

16 December 1940,

21 December 1940,

24 March 1941,

8/9 August 1941,

13 August 1941,

8 November 1941,

17/18 January 1943,

2 March 1943,

8 March 1943,

30 March 1943,

24 August 1943,

1 September 1943,

4 September 1943,

18 November - 3 December 1943,

24 December 1943,

30 December 1943,

2/3 January 1944,

21 January 1944,

28/29 January 1944,

31 January 1944,

16 February 1944,

6/8/9 March 1944,

25 March 1944,

8 May 1944,

21 June 1944,

3 February 1945,

26 February 1945,

15 March 1945,

18 March 1945,

20 April 1945

 

     In these bombings thousands of civilians were killed, irreplaceable cultural assets destroyed and in an attack in March 1943 3,900 animals of the zoo perished.

 

 

Berlin aflame - reports the U.S. newspaper

 

  Report of a German newspaper

 

Particularly tragic was the last major attack aimed against the historically valuable Potsdam. Militarily completely pointless, 5,000 people lost their lives in the last days of the war. The unique historic buildings of the former Prussian royal city on the outskirts of Berlin were blasted with 1,700 tons of bombs into the air. The Garnisonkirche (church) to the grave of Frederick II, the Potsdam Palace and almost one-half of the downtown buildings were destroyed.

 

Berlin in ruins

 

Soviet propaganda footage of the battle of Berlin

 

Below the demonstration of the triumphant culture in graffiti: