Saturday, July 25, 2015

Berlin: July 1945

In Germany's End: April 1945, THC recounted the terrible last weeks of the European portion of World War II.  Here is some archival footage of Berlin taken in July 1945, about ten weeks after the end of the Battle of Berlin.  It's taken around the time of the Potsdam Conference, held in a Berlin suburb from July 17 to August 2.  At Potsdam the victorious allied leaders, Stalin, Truman and Churchill (replaced halfway through by Clement Atlee who defeated Churchill in the British election) decided on the details of the occupation of Germany and the strategy for ending the war with Japan.

About three minutes in you can watch a women calmly doing her laundry in a second floor apartment from which one of the walls is missing.  At about 4:50 is what appears to be a brief view of the pit in the courtyard of the Reichschancellory where the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun were dosed in gasoline and incompletely burned.  The last minute is a stunning view of the destruction from a low level aerial flight.Berlin remained in a destitute state until after the Soviet blockade and attempt to get the Western Allies to abandon the city in 1948-9.

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