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Color Footage of Berlin in July, 1945

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by KodiakBeer, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I found this on YouTube and find it interesting for several reasons, primarily because it's extremely high quality, high resolution footage, considering the era. Yet, beyond that it shows a people only a few months after the apocalyptic battle to take the city, already cleaned up and rebuilding. You see a resilience in these faces, and you see a bit of the famous Berlin "eff off" attitude - a cosmopolitan attitude similar to a New Yorker, Parisian or Londoner, who are quite sure they are the center of the world. They are clearing the rubble and rebuilding, the clothes are as clean and pressed as was possible under the circumstances, the faces reflect a certain wry humor. They are defeated, but they are still Berliners. Life will go on.

     
  2. Highway70

    Highway70 Member

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    It appears the only ones cleaning the rubble are women. All inappropriately dressed for the work.
     
  3. toki2

    toki2 Active Member

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    Civilians over the age of 17 were required by the occupation forces to join work party's clearing up the cities. Failure to do so could result in imprisonment or withheld rations. In July 1945 the process of sifting through then releasing Axis forces not wanted for war crimes would still be underway so it was mostly women left.
     
  4. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Remember, all the surviving men were mostly in POW camps.
     
  5. Half Track

    Half Track Active Member

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    Really interesting, thanks for that! I liked the way one of the women in the bucket brigade saluted.
     
  6. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    No fat people...
     
  7. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    That short period following the apocalypse and before the Soviets clamped down must have been a time of hope. Much of that footage is in the Soviet zone, yet the people (not knowing what is to follow) are in good spirits. The killing has stopped, the brutality of the immediate occupation has ended (at least here, where foreign journalists are observing), there is food...

    .
     
  8. Highway70

    Highway70 Member

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    Civilians over the age of 17 were required by the occupation forces to join work party's clearing up the cities. Failure to do so could result in imprisonment or withheld rations. In July 1945 the process of sifting through then releasing Axis forces not wanted for war crimes would still be underway so it was mostly women left.


    There are a lot of men on the streets. Why aren't they working on the clean-up?
     
  9. toki2

    toki2 Active Member

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    As part of the reparations civilians were put to work in reconstructing the infrastructure damaged by war. On registration their 'expertise' would have been taken into consideration and they would have been assigned suitable employment. e.g. police, civil servant, building trade, engineers bakers etc. Members of the Nazi party were generally used for hard labour and agricultural work. Soviet controlled zones did not take previous occupations into account and an unknown number of Germans were taken away to labour camps and never returned. Women during the Reich were expected to be good hausfraus therefore not career minded so after the war they had limited work experience therefore were alloted more menial tasks plus they had children to tend.
    I knew a German woman who got employment with the Allied Broadcasting Service as she had studied English at University before the war. My father, in the RASC, in Hamburg worked with gangs of German labourers repairing roads and the docks. Fleets of lorries lined up every day in the city to take these workers to wherever they were needed. No work - no food.
     
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  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I think it was in Wages of Destruction that I read that Nazi Germany actually had a fairly high percentage of women working but it tended to be in agriculture rather than industry. It's also possible I'm not remembering correctly. Sounds like most of the men left would have already been working in infrastructure critical jobs so the pool of those who could do general clean up would be mostly female.
     

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