Rebuilding Dresden After WW2

World War 2 was one of the most devastating events in human history. It was home to unspeakable horrors and tragedies all of which the world still remembers. The war lasted for 6 years and claimed the lives of nearly 75 million people with 25 million injured. Aside from the death toll, battles, and bombings left many European cities in ruins, one of which was Dresden, Germany.

dresden after the bombing and before rebuilding dresden

In the February of 1945, the Soviets were pushing the German soldiers deeper into Germany but still, the Germans were resisting. The Allied Forces were worried that the Soviets would not be successful in subduing the Germans and basically ending the war.

destroyed buildings of dresden

Under the leadership of English and American commanders, the Allies decided to bomb the biggest cities in Germany so that the Soviets could benefit from the confusion and upheaval. The bombing began during the night of the 13th of February and lasted 1,5 days.

started rebuilding dresden

More than 1000 planes dropped nearly 4000 tons of explosives and more than 1000 tons of incendiary bombs on Dresden. When the dust settled the catastrophic results revealed themselves. The city was completely destroyed and more than 60,000 people were dead.

destroyed dresden

Out of 28,000 houses, 24,000 were turned into rubble. Schools, hospitals, and homes burnt down under the incendiary bombings. After 2 months of Dresden bombing, Nazi Germany surrendered and the war was over. 5 years later, the new Germany started rebuilding Dresden.

allied planes dropping bombs on dresden

The Germans first started the reconstruction of the historical sites of Dresden. Although the new government wanted to make Dresden more modern and change its socio-economic demographic, places like the Semper Opera and Zwinger Palace were high-priority during the reconstruction.

the skeleton statue
The Parlour Trick

However, some historical sites like churches, royal buildings, and palaces were beyond repair. Therefore, the Germans decided to destroy them totally. Moreover, the reconstruction took a long time. Germany was able to repair some of the buildings only during the 60s.

dresden before the bombing
Wiki Commons

During the post-war era, some good events took place as well. Another rebuilding city in England, Coventry, became twin-towns with Dresden to spotlight the new friendship between former enemies. Moreover, a British fund gathered 600,000 pounds to help Dresden continue rebuilding in the 90s. Even today various levels of reconstruction take place in Dresden.

martin luther king statue
Bundesarchiv Bild