The Reconstruction of Dresden after the Horrific Firebombing at the end of World War II

In the final winter of World War II, the allied forces bombarded Dresden and killed thousands of the residents. The population of the city at the time of the bombing was greater than 650,000. During the night of 13-14 February, British Royal Air Forces dropped 1478 tons of high explosives and 1182 tons of incendiary bombs on the first bombing run and 800 tons of bombs on the second run. Later that day, the U.S. air forces drooped 950 tons of high-explosive bombs and more than 290 tons of incendiaries. The results were devastating: 24,866 out of 28,410 houses in the inner city of Dresden were destroyed, many of the schools, hospitals, and churches. The majority of the historic buildings, landmarks, and bridges were destroyed.

After World War II, thousands of Dresden’s residents volunteered in the daunting task of cleaning and rebuilding the city. Many of the historic buildings and landmarks were rebuilt, some of the ruins of churches, royal buildings, and palaces, such as the Gothic Sophienkirche, the Alberttheater, and the Wackerbarth-Palais, were razed rather than being repaired. Compared to West Germany, the majority of historic buildings were saved.

Here below are some historical photos that show the reconstruction of Dresden after World War II.

#3 First attempts to clear the bombed Schlossstraße of Dresden and remove ruins.

#4 Women working on a rubbish heap next to the Trümmerbahn (a railway to transport rubble) in the old city of Dresden.

#5 The women of Dresden clearing debris from the floor of the Zwinger art gallery.

#6 An elderly couple do their best to help clear the debris during the post-war reconstruction of bomb-damaged Dresden, 1946.

#7 Workmen assemble a scale model of Dresden as it should look in twelve years time, after its reconstruction by the Russian occupying forces.

#8 Although Sunday is a day of rest in Dresden volunteers continue to help clear the bomb damage debris, March 1946.

#9 A shed is erected for the Clerk of the Works, who will supervise the reconstruction of the famous Zwinger Art Gallery.

#10 Work continues on the restoration of the Zwinger Gallery, March 1946.

#11 People step out of a tram car to view the destruction of a entire town, 1946.

#12 Workers shovel debris inside a heavily damaged building in Dresden.

#13 The Semperoper is being rebuilt, recorded during construction work in 1977.

#14 In the entrance vestibule, the search is on for remnants of paint from the old painting of the Semper Opera House.

#15 The Semperoper, which was destroyed in the bombing raid on Dresden.

#16 The construction workers in front of the residential palace in Dresden.

#17 The mayor of Dresden Walter Wiedauer and the architect Conart Herbert (Right) Planned the city’S Reconstruction.

#18 The zwinger palace in dresden after the start of renovations, 1953.

#19 Ruin of Dresden Castle which was destroyed after the bombing of Dresden.

#20 Volunteers spend a Sunday morning clearing rubble, 1946.

#21 Gustav and Alma Piltz help to clear rubble, 1946.

#22 Volunteers clear rubble on a Sunday morning, 1946.

#25 People clear rubble in front of the ruins of the Frauenkirche, 1952.

#27 Sheep graze near the ruins of the Frauenkirche, 1957.

#28 A model of planned construction in the city center, 1969.

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Written by Benjamin Grayson

Former Bouquet seller now making a go with blogging and graphic designing. I love creating & composing history articles and lists.

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