45 thoughts on “Berlin: Summer 1945

  1. It’s good to be reminded of the senseless devastation and ultimate futility of war. Whether Berlin, London, Mariupol, anywhere… I get the same harrowing feeling whenever I see people carrying on as best they can under distressing conditions. Good to know that life went on for the lucky ones but each and every one of them will have their own personal story to tell. Much to reflect on from those seven minutes, thanks for posting.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. I am pleased that you related to the film.
      My mum endured the Blitz in London’s docklands, (Rotherhithe) aged just just 15 when war broke out. I have her personal testimony seared into my brain, along with how the memories of it devastated her later life.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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      1. It’s surprising the effect such trauma can have, sometimes years later – sorry to hear that your mother suffered in this way.

        My father was too young to take an active part in WW2 – he ended up spending his military service in the fifties at JSSL Crail and the MOD in London – but he mentioned being lifted onto his next-door neighbour’s shoulders and told that he’d never forget the sight they were now seeing: York burning in the distance. They lived near Walmgate Bar just outside the city walls, he was just four at the time but the memory stayed with him for life.

        Whenever the air raid sirens sounded, he knew he had to drop everything and run as fast as he could to his grandfather’s house a few hundred yards away because they had a Morrison Shelter; he was allowed to take one thing with him and his cousin later told me that it was usually his toy drum – presumably to try to drown out the sound of any distant explosions. His grandfather had been invalided out of WWI (gassed in France) and couldn’t easily lie down or crouch under the table with the others; my father remembered him sitting in his armchair during the raids, waving his fists and cursing at the planes overhead. Must have been quite a racket in that house – like I said, everyone from back then will have had a story to tell!

        Cheers, HC

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        1. Those wartime stories were told to me in my 1950s childhood. My dad’s brother was captured in Burma and imprisoned by the Japanese in a camp. The man that came home from captivity was never the same, a mere shadow of his former self.


  2. I visited Germany in 1994, and went on a road trip from Detmold to Berlin, with a stop in Tangermünde on the Elbe River. Along the way, I saw Russian tanks pulling out of former East Germany. I had a picnic lunch at one section of the Berlin Wall. At that time, I was impressed by how beautiful Berlin was, and enjoyed walking along the Unter den Linden, including listening to the organ grinder play his music, as well as the Kurfürstendamm, where the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church stands as a memorial to the devastation of World War II. Anyway, I appreciate you posting this video!

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    1. I have been to both East and West Berlin, at the time of the DDR when the wall was still up. (I was visiting East Germany, and went for a day trip to the west) The Eastern side was far more interesting to me as a tourist.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  3. Like postwar London. Public transportation running past bombed out buildings. I can’t think of the title but there’s a film out there about a torch singer who lives in a bombed out building like the woman folding linens in this short. Amazing. Ah, the city’s bombed out. Taxi!

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  4. It illustrates what I have been reading recently, a series of stories centered in Berlin in the period 1935-50. The Adlon Hotel is often mentioned. You would think people who survived all that would somehow find a different way forward that would prevent such things ever happening again. But WW2 was only two decades after WW1. Human nature seems to be to hold grudges and seek vengeance. History tells the story over and over. We build and we destroy. All for what?

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