On this day: the Reichstag in Ruins

Ruins_of_the_Reichstag_in_Berlin,_3_June_1945__BU8573Ruins of the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany. 3rd June 1945. Second World War Two.

This photograph shows the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany in ruins on the 3rd of June, 1945. While the building was not used for the German Parliament during Nazi rule, it was used for propaganda meetings, and for military purposes during the Second World War.

The building suffered heavy damage from Allied bombings, and was considered a prize for the Red Army because of its symbolic significance.

From the collection of the Imperial War Museum.

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On this day: Denazification in Trier

This photograph from the US Army archives, shows denazification taking place on a street in Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany on the 12th of May, 1945. The city had surrendered to the Allies on the 2nd of March.

In the image a Nazi sign, naming the location “Adolf Hitler-Straße (Street)”, is removed from the outside of Hotel Monopol.

Denazification began as the Second World War drew to an end, with National Socialist signs and symbols removed and Nazism erased from Germany and surrounding areas.

Denazification-street Workers removing the signage from a former Adolf Hitler Street in Trier, Germany. 12th May 1945. Second world War Two

On this day: a US air display in Germany

The United States Third Army Air Service, an organisation based in France and Germany immediately after the First World War, is shown here demonstrating Caquot Observation balloons at an

The United States Third Army Air Service, an organisation based in France and Germany immediately after the First World War, is shown here demonstrating Salmson 2A.2 of the 1st Aero Squa

The United States’ Third Army Air Service, an organisation based in France and Germany immediately after the First World War, is shown here demonstrating Caquot Observation balloons and planes at an air show in Coblenz, Germany on the 26th of April 1919.

The area was occupied by France in the aftermath of the war, and in a sign of defiance of the occupation, the Germans living in the region began using the alternative spelling of “Koblenz” – which is the name used today.

The American organisation was disbanded in July of the same year.

On this day: a warning in Nazi Germany

Warning_sign_in_cologneA Cpl. of 82nd Airborne Division reads a warning sign in the street Cologne, Germany, 4 April 1945. Second World War Two

4th April 1945: A corporal of the US 82nd Airborne Division reads a warning sign in Cologne, Germany as the Second World War draws to an end. Cologne came under Allied control the previous month.

61% of Cologne was destroyed by bombing during the war, and most of the city’s centre was devastated.

On this day: War Begins

The Outbreak of the First World War, 1914:

A Berlin crowd listens as a German officer reads the Kaiser’s order for mobilisation on 1st August 1914. The following day, following the requirements of the Schlieffen Plan, Germany invaded Luxembourg and demanded free passage for its troops through Belgium in order to attack France.

Berlin crowd listens as a German officer reads the Kaiser's order for mobilisation on 1st August 1914. The following day Germany invaded Luxembourg and demanded free passage through Belg

On this day: Cologne in Ruins

Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral) seemingly undamaged (although having been directly hit several times and damaged severely) area surrounding it is completely devastated. The Hauptbahnhof

The German city of Cologne is seen in ruins on the 24th of April, 1945, as the Second World War drew to an end. Though is was hit by Allied bombs a number of times, Cologne Cathedral still stands.

The city suffered heavy damage over the course of the war, and had come under Allied control in early March.

 

On this day: the bombing of Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg_ob_der_Tauber_Bomben_Zerstörung_Weltkrieg_1945 As the Second World War came closer to its end, German soldiers gathered at the Bavarian town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber on th

In ruins after the attack.

As the Second World War came closer to its end, German soldiers gathered to defend the Bavarian town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the 31st of March, 1945.

The town, considered a model of idyllic Nazi life and used as an example for people across Germany, was bombed by sixteen Allied planes that day. Thirty-seven people were killed, and there was significant damage to structures, including the loss of hundreds of homes, half a dozen public buildings, and hundreds of metres of the historic wall.

Even considering the extensive damage, the Allies were aware of Rothenburg’s historical significance and limited the attack in a way they did not with other targets.

Today the town has been carefully reconstructed, and is a popular tourist destination that makes up part of the famed Romantic Road.