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Old January 23rd, 2013, 12:24 PM   #41
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Rotterdam was completely destroyed at the very beginning of the Second World War. In one day the entire citycentre was bombed and burned down to the ground in the days following. The consequenses were dramatic. Rotterdam losts it soul and it will take centuries to give the city back its former glory.

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Old January 23rd, 2013, 01:57 PM   #42
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Stettin/Szczecin (Old town completely destroyed during the allied bombings in 1943 and 1944)
Pre-war population: 383 000



All images come from http://sedina.pl website.

Szczecin is one of those European cities whose historical and cultural achievements have been shared by more than one nationality.
The city's beginnings goes back down to the 8th century, when Slavic settlers established a borough on the present Castle Height.
In 967 Duke Mieszko I annexed the town for the newborn Polish state, but was unable to hold or Christianise it.
It was Bolesław Krzywousty who recaptured the town in 1121 and brought the Catholic faith to the locals.

Krzywousty died in 1138 and the Polish Crown crumbled; Pomerania formally became an independent principality.
The crucial milestone of Szczecin's history followed with the Location Act, released in 1243. It introduced Magdeburg Law and some important economic regulations.
Periods of allegiance to Germanic and Danish rulers followed, before Western Pomerania was unified by Duke Bogusław X in 1478, with Szczecin being chosen as the capital.
The large degree in the participation in far distance trade trade (mainly food, grain, fishes and timber) brought Szczecin to the prosperous state.
Flourish development of the city was strongly influenced by its membership in Hansa.

The next major shift in power came in 1630, when the Swedes conquered the city.
Sweden then ceded Szczecin to the kingdom of Prussia in 1720, which as part of Germany held the region until WWII.
Under Prussian rule, Szczecin (Stettin in German) grew considerably, becoming the main port for landlocked Berlin.
By the outbreak of WWII the city had nearly 400, 000 inhabitants.

In April 1945 the Red Army passed through on its way to Berlin, leaving 60% of the urban area in ruins.









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Last edited by Oslo2022; February 18th, 2013 at 10:06 PM.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 03:53 PM   #43
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Icredibly beautiful. Historic Rottardam wasn't even bombed intentionally

TOKYO. Street life at 6:00min


Last edited by Ingwaeone; January 23rd, 2013 at 04:00 PM.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 04:19 PM   #44
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Quote:
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Icredibly beautiful. Historic Rottardam wasn't even bombed intentionally
Uhm, yes it was. There is more information available on the Rotterdam Blitz on Wikipedia.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 04:52 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viriatuus View Post
Budapest; Vienna; Antwerp, Arnhem, Nijmegen; Caen, Rouen, Le Havre... should have been included in the list.
Vienna? Antwerp? Budapest? They remained quite untouched, isn't it?
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 04:58 PM   #46
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This is one of the most telling pictures of the Nazi crimes during WWII. Once the Warsaw Uprising failed in 1944, the Nazis made sure nothing was standing above 4 feet.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 05:17 PM   #47
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As the thread title strictly says, only pre-war images are allowed in this thread
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Last edited by Oslo2022; January 23rd, 2013 at 05:43 PM.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 05:43 PM   #48
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So that's why Rotterdam is so modern now. I guess no attempt was made to rebuild its historic core. Very edifying. thanks
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Warsaw Post-War Reconstruction to Present
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 05:59 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wc eend View Post
Vienna? Antwerp? Budapest? They remained quite untouched, isn't it?
Budapest:



Some losts
Royal palace:


Elisabeth bridge:


Promenades:
Pest


Buda


The pictures from Fortepan and FSZEK.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 07:09 PM   #50
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Cities lost with % urban area destroyed

Berlin: 4.300.000 inhabitants, area completely destroyed 33%, damaged 33% (of which 17% heavy), undamaged 33% (of which ca 50% was removed after WW2 or undone of its outer beauty. Remaining 50% of which ca 50% has "something to do" (but not a lot!) with the prewar building.
52 million tons of bombs, 75 million kubic meter rubble.
Intensive city fight and useless shelling for 10 days by 16 Soviet Corps!

Most heavy hit area's: NO-Kreuzberg/Luisenstadt (the firestorm area: 4 sq Kilometer), Hansa Viertel (first victim); Tiergarten Viertel. Area east of Alexander Platz. Surroundings of: Unter den Linden, Frankfurter Allee, Kaiserallee, Bayerische Platz, Breitscheidplatz, Lützowplatz, Bülowstrasse, Belle Alliance Platz, Königsplatz.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 07:43 PM   #51
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Shame that in many cases the war destruction was compounded by post-war planners razing surviving buildings to the ground on a bid to create some sort of concrete "utopia".
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 08:33 PM   #52
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Razing down of whole areas in Berlin

Yes, that is a shame. But after the war the Germans would get rid of Kaiser-architecture (huge buildings), They wanted (and still want) a modern city for 3/4 of the former inhabitants (not all of Berlin origin). With lots of modern offices, parking space, highways through the city aso.
Modern buildings are all separate and individualistic; there is no city building like in the beginning of the previous century. Concrete, glass and if lucky some bricks. No ornaments at all and all withy flat roofs. Windows: large, prefarably horizontal, no subdivision. Facade: straight. No curves whatever!!!
So the demolished all standing churchtowers (a miracle if considering they where primary Soviet targets!). Demolished all the great station buildings, all great stores (Kaufhauses), allmost all embassy's.....It is now indeed modern and a relatively tranquile, handsome and elaborant city. But the great Boulevards and impressive buildings are almost all gone. This is worse than Warsaw, London or Budapest.
In the 60-ties the GDR removed almost all still standing buildings in the city center and West Berlin removed relatively well preserved city areas around the Vineta Platz and Rollberge in Neukölln in the seventies.
Berlin is not really old Berlin except for a couple of tiny (!) areas around the Bergmann Quartier (and even here facades are not save until now!), some streets in Prenzlauerberg and a large suburb called Friedenau.
Most roofs of houses were simplified, wave lake roof windows were removed, curves straightened, windows replaced, balconies removed aso.
A typically way of German thoroughness. What an enormous and tragic loss. This can not be described. Last year the first book emerged about this event: "Schnorkellos".
Even up to now around the new mall at the Leipziger Platz the still standing houses at the backside of the houses facing the street are demolished..........and nothing original comes back: not a single house!!!!
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 08:57 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klassiker View Post
Berlin: 4.300.000 inhabitants, area completely destroyed 33%, damaged 33% (of which 17% heavy), undamaged 33% (of which ca 50% was removed after WW2 or undone of its outer beauty. Remaining 50% of which ca 50% has "something to do" (but not a lot!) with the prewar building.
52 million tons of bombs, 75 million kubic meter rubble.
Intensive city fight and useless shelling for 10 days by 16 Soviet Corps!

Most heavy hit area's: NO-Kreuzberg/Luisenstadt (the firestorm area: 4 sq Kilometer), Hansa Viertel (first victim); Tiergarten Viertel. Area east of Alexander Platz. Surroundings of: Unter den Linden, Frankfurter Allee, Kaiserallee, Bayerische Platz, Breitscheidplatz, Lützowplatz, Bülowstrasse, Belle Alliance Platz, Königsplatz.
The list of most heavily hit areas (and the photos clearly show these areas were completely in ruin) represent well over 50% of the historic, commercial, and political areas of the city. What "half" did not get touched?
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 09:06 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecological View Post
If you put it into figures.

60% of ALL BUILDINGS in London were destroyed or damaged.

2,000,000 homes in London were DESTROYED

Another 1,500,000 damaged
The population of London at the time was 8 million with an average of 4-5 persons per household. These stats would suggest EVERY home was destroyed which is not the case by a substantial margin. Where did these figures come from?

In comparison to the central European cities bombed, London fared pretty well during the war.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 10:51 PM   #55
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Kyiv, Kiev - The capital of Ukraine
Pre-war population: 650 000 - 800 000



The city's name is said to derive from the name of Kyi, one of its four legendary founders (see Etymology, below). During its history, Kiev, one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, passed through several stages of great prominence and relative obscurity. The city probably existed as a commercial centre as early as the 5th century. A Slavic settlement on the great trade route between Scandinavia and Constantinople, Kiev was a tributary of the Khazars, until seized by the Varangians (Vikings) in the mid-9th century. Under Varangians rule, the city became a capital of the Rus', the first East Slavic state. Completely destroyed during the Mongol invasion in 1240, the city lost most of its influence for the centuries to come. It was a provincial capital of marginal importance in the outskirts of the territories controlled by its powerful neighbours; first the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, followed by Poland and Russia.

The city prospered again during the Russian Empire's industrial revolution in the late 19th century. In 1917, after the Ukrainian National Republic declared independence from the Russian Empire, Kiev became its capital. And from 1921 onwards Kiev was an important city of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and, from 1934, its capital.

During the Second World War, Nazi Germany occupied Kiev on 19 September 1941. Overall, the battle proved disastrous for the Soviet side but it significantly delayed the German advances. The delay also allowed the evacuation of all significant industrial enterprises from Kiev to the central and eastern parts of the Soviet Union, away from the hostilities, where they played a major role in arming the Nazi fighting Red Army.

Before the evacuation, the Red Army planted more than ten thousand mines throughout Kiev, controlled by wireless detonators. On 24 September, when the German invaders had settled into the city, the mines were detonated, causing many of the major buildings to collapse, and setting the city ablaze for five days. More than a thousand Germans were killed.

An underground resistance quickly established by local patriots was active until the liberation from Nazi occupation. During the war, Kiev was heavily bombarded, especially in the beginning of the war and the city was largely destroyed including many of its architectural landmarks (only one building remained standing on the Khreschatyk, a main street of Kiev).



http://www.oldstratforduponavon.com/...v8-620x413.jpg


http://guidekiev.com/image.php?id=bf...5543dc605777fd


http://donetsk.kiev.ua/wp-content/ga...v-dkkd-002.jpg


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Old January 23rd, 2013, 11:13 PM   #56
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Coventry...

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Old January 23rd, 2013, 11:15 PM   #57
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Pre-WWII Manila

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Old January 23rd, 2013, 11:26 PM   #58
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Berlin, London, Warsaw (the 3 most hit cities)

Keepthepast: Yes London was twice the size of Berlin with 8 to 9 million inhabitants and the worlds largest city at that time.
The Luftwaffe concentrated on London, which was also the target of V1 and V2 strikes. I think the total damage can be compared to that of Berlin, but less valuable housing areas (like East End) were hit like the eastern part of the City around St. Pauls, whereas in Berlin the more prosperous areas of Schöneberg, Charlottenburg, Wilmersdorf and Tiergarten in the Western part of the city were hit (1943) AND the build-up area around the Frankfurter Allee in the East, the center (1944) and in februari 1945 the Kreuzberg/Luisenstadt "firestorm" area.

Areal photographs of Berlin in March 1945 show remarkable intact areas where nowadays virtually nothing has been left. Especially in the old city araound Alexanderplatz all was there if no bombardments took place.
Frightening pictures, because of the enormous amounts of historic intact blocks (each with hundreds of buildings) what was still standing was not the case on May 2nd 1945.

Areas less damaged were Prenzlauerberg, Neukölln, Friedenau, Steglitz, Lichtenberg, Lichterfelde, Siemensstadt and parts of Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Tempelhof, Charlottenburg, Wedding and Moabit.

Even the famous film out of an Allied plane flying over Neukölln to the North on May 5th shows how many facades in Neukölln where still standing, modern buildings and a high degree of urbanization, while nowadays that picture has changed dramatically: all outer decorum vaporized, many buildings have simply disappeared, ugly holes in once intact blocks, spires removed from still standing churchtowers aso.

A once great city has been thoroughly "ausradiert". When Hitler spoke this in his famous speech in the Sportpalast (also removed in the 60-ties), he could not imagine that he spoke about the fate of Berlin.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 11:45 PM   #59
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Laws in reconstructing destroyed cities

If looking at Rotterdam, Berlin, a dozen other large German cities it may be concluded that these once splendid compositions, with millions of details, were not rebuilt. Rebuilt were only SOME isolated buildings of a certain fame or status. The whole surrounding around these buildings has been disappeared and nowadays are occupied by straight, functional no nonsense utility architecture, devoid of any charm or beauty. In the best situation you can admire Skyscrapers which stand on the ground of dozens of buildings which stood there in the past. Only in Warsaw and Gdansk (thank God for the Polish people) efforts are ondertaken to restore also rows of houses and then mostly the outside of them and then mostly to own ideas or houses which stood there before the destroyed house (like Dresden's Sachsen Hotel). So after 1945 millions of highly detailed houses, churches, stores, factories, railway stations disappeared from the Earth.
Modernism took over until now.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 01:43 PM   #60
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Antwerp? They remained quite untouched, isn't it?
Antwerp got hit pretty hard by the V-bombs. About 4000 hits en as many dead, 50.000 damaged or destroyed buildings. However the V-bombs didn't cause the clear concentrated damage of a massbombing like Rotterdam or Dresden so it's not as obvious. Also none of the major monuments got hit except for the Boerentoren (That one got hit 50 times though, pretty solid construction apparently ).

So, definitely not a lost city but also certainly not untouched either.
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