Monday, 5 October 2015

Berlin, Summer of 1945 - Joan Lennon

Of course I knew that Berlin was heavily bombed during WWII. I knew it as a series of facts - X many air raids, Y many tons of explosives dropped, Z many deaths. But it was this video of the aftermath, filmed under a blue sky, on a bright sunny day in the summer of 1945, that made it real for me in a completely different way.  In the description of the video are the bare words: "Daily life after years of war."  There's nothing I can add to that.

Joan Lennon's website.
Joan Lennon's blog.


Clare Mulley said...

Appalling destruction, as across much of Europe. The Warsaw Rising Museum has incredible aerial footage of what little was left of Warsaw - even less. Like some Syrian cities today.

Penny Dolan said...

Hard to comment after images like these, especially watching so many of the faces and the difference in the movements - the resigned people, the swagger of the troops.
I also felt as if the second line of "bucket carriers" was staged to be re-asssuring propaganda - pretty young girls in their best dresses. But so much that wasn't.
Glad to have seen this, Joan.

Janie Hampton said...

Thank you Joan for posting this excellent film. This August I went by train from Warsaw to Berlin this August and visited the museums of both. Mad that about 200,000 people were killed in each city, so close to each other.

Joan Lennon said...

Thanks for watching and commenting. I see more every time I watch it - tiny vivid details.

carol drinkwater said...

These post-war images are haunting. And it is no different today. That is what breaks my heart. Syria, of course, immediately springs to mind. Thank you so much for posting this, Joan. It resonates.

Leslie Wilson said...

Many of these images are deeply familiar to me, yet seeing them as a video, in colour, gives it a whole new dimension. I too was rather startled to see the 'Truemmerfrauen' collecting rubble in their best clothes, and from other photographs I'm sure this was indeed done because they knew they were going to be filmed. They wouldn't have stayed clean for long, that's for sure.I also thought of the Lebanon and Syria. But the voiceover of Goebbels's voice shouting in the rubble of the Sportpalast: 'Do you want total war?' (he went on to say 'do you want it even more total and radical than what you have experienced yet?' and his audience all yelled 'Yes!' in what he later described as an 'hour of idiocy',and said he'd had the best trained audience in Germany - that was so effective..
My mother hated aggressive war, because she felt she had experienced the lies and the propaganda and seen, to the bitter end, what the results were. She lived among the ruins afterwards, in Siegburg outside Cologne.