How was the life in Berlin weeks from the end of WW2 in Europe?
A video shows how life was in July 1945, weeks from the end of the world war II in Europe.
For those of you who have progressed into the book “Aquilis Serenade”, you will find yourself in changing times, some of war, some of survival and forgetfulness, when the skies and street had finally grown quiet, and some later periods frozen in an ideological face-off.
For those of you who have reached the pages of the book set in the early post-war years, this video of few minutes offers a window on these parts of the book that took place within few weeks of the defeat of the Nazi Germany (video made in July 1945). It shows how life went on, had to go on, when most men, even many of the youngest ones, had perished and how women and their children rebuilt from the bricks and objects salvaged from the rubbles their capital and with it, when allowed, some of fragments of their lives, possibly some measure of hope.
This film shows some of the landmarks, broken, fractured or burnt, amongst which the Reichstag, some olympic sites (from the 1936 games), the Dom cathedral or the ravaged Quadriga atop the Brandenburg Tor, and how people travelled, many using the few remaining yellow trams (as described in “Aquilis Serenade”).
It also illustrates how the borders within the city were only made of signs, no more. It would take 7 years for the DDR to implement a stricter policy to regulate border crossings based on visa authorisation (in 1952). The term West Berlin had emerged in 1949 a year after the Berlin blockade of the non-soviet zones and at the onset of the official constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany. Such measures of control were intended at mitigating the exodus of workforce and brains. But, border crossing were checkpoints and it would take another 9 years, and a single night of August, to suddenly give form to the segregation of the Eastern citizens of Germany from their Western counterparts. It would mark the rise of a Wall.
I wish you, with this video, as well as in the chapters of the story of “Aquilis Serenade” an enlightening and interesting journey in our past. As always, do not hesitate to share your thoughts here or via email.