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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2008, 3:02 AM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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Historic pre-war photos of German cities

More pictures here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gall...ture=335587524


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008...rldwar.germany

A lost heritage: Nazi pictures reveal full devastation wreaked by allied bombers
Box of negatives found in attic show splendour of pre-war German cities\


Frankfurt, 1942

A newly discovered collection of more than 3,000 aerial photographs of Germany before and during the allied bombing campaign of the second world war presents the most comprehensive record yet of how devastating the campaign was on the country's cultural heritage, historians claim.

Experts have called "spectacular" and "unique" a wooden box full of negatives found in an attic in the northern city of Kiel, describing them as an inventory of 1940s Germany which throw a new focus on the systematic nature of the allied bombing policy.

The black and white pictures, which have now been digitalised, were commissioned by the Nazis to assist in plans to rebuild German cities once Hitler's Third Reich had conquered Europe.

The photographs, taken diagonally with special cameras from low-flying aircraft, offer detailed views of buildings. They concentrate on Germany's inner cities, which are shown in their full baroque and gothic splendour.

They are a painful contrast to the post-war state of many of Germany's cities, most of which were filled with functional postwar architecture, car-friendly infrastructures and soulless inner cities.

"They show a land which no longer exists," author Katya Iken wrote in Spiegel Online, pointing out the irony that Hitler's plan was to reconstruct "a beauty which he had been responsible for destroying in the first place".

Gothic Frankfurt is depicted in the pictures prior to its widespread destruction in allied bombing raids in October 1943 and March 1944.

Bombing raids

The late gothic splendour of Stuttgart has been captured in aerial shots taken before its Flemish late gothic town hall was destroyed in a fire following bombing raids of 1944.

In pictures of the baroque city of Dresden, the bombing of which is one of the most controversial allied actions of the war, in which up to 40,000 died, historians say the pictures offer the most detailed pictorial study yet of the extent of the destruction.

"This is a spectacular and unique set of photographs which shows us for the first time the scale of the destruction. They are not photographs of industrial sites or transport infrastructure so we know their purpose was not military, rather they were meant for propaganda and reconstruction purposes," said Christian Bracht, head of the photographic archives, Bildarchiv Foto Marburg, which acquired the images.

Photographers were dispatched across the country between 1943 and 1945 by Hitler's chief architect and armaments minister, Albert Speer, with orders to capture the country from the air as it was then.

Speer's "work committee for the planned reconstruction of cities destroyed by bombing" was to decide the extent to which cities were to be reconstructed in detail.

Hitler personally intervened in the reconstruction project at the same time as he was waging war on Europe. In one memorandum he requested that the rebuilding should include "as far as possible - the widening of streets" to make way for the motor car.

Hitler's wish to preserve a selective array of Germany's cultural treasures is well documented. Shortly before he killed himself he chose to view part of a collection of 40,000 colour images he had commissioned of frescoes in churches, cloisters and castles across Germany.

It is not known whether Hitler saw the aerial shots himself. But, one commentator wrote, as it was Hitler who started the bombing raids on Britain in the blitz, "had he seen them it would perhaps have brought home to him how full of rich architectural jewels Germany was until the war... which transformed town centres to piles of rubble."

The photographs, which are due to be published in German newspapers this week, are expected to reignite an emotional debate, fuelled by recent books and films, about the nature of the bombing campaign and the extent to which it was necessary - despite the hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties it caused - in bringing down the Third Reich.

Bracht said he was shocked to see the extent to which cultural centres such as Lübeck, which he said had no military significance, had been destroyed.

He said: "This clearly indicates the extent to which the campaign was aimed at destroying German morale."

The photographs were found in the attic of the late daughter of Hans Stephan, an employee of Speer's building inspection department. He later went on to play a role in the postwar reconstruction of Berlin.

While Speer had been eager to realise megalomaniac cityscapes in place of old centres, particularly in Berlin, Stephan had voiced resistance to the idea. "Every city was until now proud of their centuries-old city centres and they understandably fear barren, stylised projects which are thrown up in two years," he wrote. "We must preserve as much of the old substance as possible."

But after the war such ideas were no longer fashionable. He hid the set of negatives and focused on the reconstruction, which became a struggle between those who wanted careful rebuilding and those in favour of rapid regeneration.
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2008, 7:01 AM
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any more photos?
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  #3  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2008, 6:30 PM
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i wanna see more.

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  #4  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2008, 9:28 PM
sznter sznter is offline
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These fantastic pictures can be viewed in somewhat better quality on the website of the University of Marburg: http://www.fotomarburg.de/bestaende/uebernahm/kieler
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  #5  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2008, 1:24 AM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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Here's a few snippets from the site sznter posted:




Cologne


Munich
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  #6  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2008, 11:01 PM
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^Wow usually the only arial photos you see from before the war are of North America.

This kinda makes me think of Faust, where they're flying over the world...I dunno it's dorky.
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  #7  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2008, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilon Doomm View Post
^Wow usually the only arial photos you see from before the war are of North America.

This kinda makes me think of Faust, where they're flying over the world...I dunno it's dorky.
Maybe that's because you live in North America.

There are no shortage of books in my local book shops with Aerial photos of Frankfurt before the war. Berlin has plenty as well, and when in London I have seen many there also.

I guess it's just like I can't find a book with pictures of North America from the air before the war in most Frankfurt book shops. It helps to be in the country or at least region.
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  #8  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2008, 12:58 AM
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kool find

i got a book from the early 1900s of berlin photos pre ww1
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  #9  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2008, 7:18 PM
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Seeing pictures of german cities before the war is really bad for my heart...

There were a los of innecesary bombered cities destroyed by the allieds.

Here you have some fascinating coloured photos...


Berlin


























Dresden












Leipzig














Breslau/Wroclaw












Stettin/Szczecin








München (Munich)











Freiburg








Hamburg




















Karlsruhe






Magdeburg






Halle








Danzig/Gdansk










If we reach the second page i have more...
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  #10  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2008, 11:05 PM
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Please don't restrain yourself.
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  #11  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2008, 6:00 AM
SuburbanNation SuburbanNation is offline
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oh. my. god. what wonderful looking cities.

my german american relatives destroyed those german cities that their own ancestors walked.

and so, are all cities built by german hands destined for tragedy on some magnificent scale?




http://www.builtstlouis.net
st. louis, usa - present time
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  #12  
Old Posted May 24, 2009, 2:21 PM
dirtyfinger dirtyfinger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zilfondel View Post
Here's a few snippets from the site sznter posted:


actually it's pre war warsaw
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  #13  
Old Posted May 24, 2009, 5:26 PM
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pre great war Berlin














source: a 90 somthing year old book from my shelf that no one knows who the photographer was when i researched it
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  #14  
Old Posted May 24, 2009, 9:49 PM
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Great thread!!! Those pics are awesome!
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  #15  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 11:57 AM
ady26 ady26 is offline
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Amazing, it makes no sense seeing these photos in the present days !
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  #16  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2010, 2:01 PM
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Bring back Gothic, the modernists and brutalist visionaries have done their best and worst since.Create an ugly building and you create an ugly society Long live traditionalism I dont hate all skyscrapers!!
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  #17  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2010, 1:08 AM
zeno3333333 zeno3333333 is offline
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Sows what can happen if lots of people follow a evil person....

....like Hitler. Hitler did what he did only because thousand upon thousands of other people followed him and his evil ideas....Hitler did not kill millions of people... Hitler plus thousands of OTHER additional people killed those millions of people.
Stepping off of soap box....
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  #18  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2010, 1:48 AM
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Here's a color clip of Berlin in 1936, the year it hosted the summer Olympics, of course.

oops I guess I should move that to the Found City Videos thread...

Click here.
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Last edited by sopas ej; Feb 25, 2010 at 2:01 AM.
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  #19  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2010, 2:20 AM
Domdeone Domdeone is offline
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Beware of politicians kissing babies...

Except for propaganda,what were the German people allowed to know except what was filtered thru via the nazi party, no tv or www in those days
Similarly today there appear to be these 50+ year clauses or disclosures before governments release vital stats on their deeds
Note the awesome size of the imperialistic leader`s statues in public squares
throughout european cities.Think they got bigger after every victory.
Orson Welles eat your heart out!
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  #20  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2010, 9:13 AM
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Awful feeling to see what was lost, thanks for the photos everyone..
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