Sunday, March 11, 2012
Hamburg: 7 July 1941
Hamburg’s elegant Jungfernstieg, made for strolling, at midday on Monday, July 7, 1941.
From the rare color photograph, one would never know that it was taken in the very heart of the second-largest city of a nation that had been at war for two years—and a nation that had invaded the Soviet Union barely two weeks prior to the date of the photograph.
Exactly two years and three weeks after the photograph, the city of Hamburg fell victim to a massive Allied air raid that caused giant firestorms—firestorms that destroyed vast portions of the city.
Within days of the firestorm, Hamburg was evacuated of its civilian populace.
The city, lying in ruins, was no longer habitable.