Dating to 1946, this silent home movie shows the city of Cologne, Germany as it looked at the end of WWII. The Cologne Cathedral is seen amidst the ruins of the city. Rebuilding efforts and rubble clearing are seen (:49) including with hand tools and heavy machinery. At 1:45 close shots are seen of the cathedral, and at 2:30 shots of a fruit and vegetable stand and a grocery store in a shopping district that appears mostly untouched by war. At 3:30 a city gate is shown. At 3:50 a band plays for donations. At 4:00 a fountain is seen in a park, with German girls sitting and doing knitting. At 4:40 some factories are seen including what might be a power plant with its smokestacks billowing. At 5:00 the harbor area is seen with ships unloading ore, possibly coal for the power plant. At 6:30 close ups of the smokestacks. At 6:57 cranes are seen moving ore and at 8:00 a railroad is seen. At 8:00 a blast furnace is seen in operation and at 8:33 liquid metal is shown, possibly steel.
During World War II, Cologne was a Military Area Command Headquarters (Militärbereichshauptkommandoquartier) for the Military District (Wehrkreis) VI of Münster. Cologne was under the command of Lieutenant-General Freiherr Roeder von Diersburg, who was responsible for military operations in Bonn, Siegburg, Aachen, Jülich, Düren, and Monschau. Cologne was home to the 211th Infantry Regiment and the 26th Artillery Regiment.
The Allies dropped 44,923.2 tons of bombs on the city during World War II, destroying 61% of its built up area. During the Bombing of Cologne in World War II, Cologne endured 262 air raids by the Western Allies, which caused approximately 20,000 civilian casualties and almost completely wiped out the central part of the city. During the night of 31 May 1942, Cologne was the target of “Operation Millennium”, the first 1,000 bomber raid by the Royal Air Force in World War II. 1,046 heavy bombers attacked their target with 1,455 tons of explosives, approximately two-thirds of which were incendiary. This raid lasted about 75 minutes, destroyed 600 acres (243 ha) of built-up area (61%), killed 486 civilians and made 59,000 people homeless.
Cologne was taken by the American First Army in early March, 1945. By the end of the war, the population of Cologne had been reduced by 95 percent. This loss was mainly caused by a massive evacuation of the people to more rural areas. The same happened in many other German cities in the last two years of war. By the end of 1945, however, the population had already recovered to approximately 500,000.
By the end of the war, essentially all of Cologne’s pre-war Jewish population of 11,000 had been deported or killed by the Nazis.The six synagogues of the city were destroyed. The synagogue on Roonstraße was rebuilt in 1959.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com