Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hamburg 1943

Hamburg after the 1943 air raid and firestorm.

I do not know where in Hamburg the above photograph was taken. The devastation displayed in the photograph is on an unimaginable scale—the destruction is so complete there are no surviving landmarks that allow the viewer to identify the area of Hamburg depicted in the photograph.

The photograph below was taken near Saint-Michealis-Kirche, because the church itself may be seen in the background, still standing. Saint Michaelis was nowhere near the firestorm—the firestorm was at least five miles away from Saint Michaelis—and yet the destruction near Saint Michaelis was also on a shocking scale.

Although its walls and tower did not collapse, Saint Michealis was burnt out in 1943 (in the photograph, one may see that the church roof is no longer in place).

Saint Michaelis was to be bombed again in 1944 and 1945, suffering direct hits in both latter years. The church had to be completely rebuilt after the war.

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