Germany 1946 Springtime

Germany 1946. Spring in Ruins. Film length 03:10. A licence fee of 6 times 30 seconds is charged to purchase a licence for the entire film.


Springtime in ruins – Germany 1946 from Historiathek – zb Media on Vimeo.

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Germany 1946 Springtime

Historical context

The first spring of peace after 6 years of war. The spring of 1946 was characterised by great devastation and hardship in Germany. After the end of the Second World War in May 1945, Germany lay in ruins. Major cities such as Berlin, Munich, Dresden, Hamburg and Cologne had been heavily bombed and much of the urban infrastructure had been destroyed. The country faced numerous challenges and daily life was very difficult. The film tries to show hope and the admirable ingenuity of the people.

In the spring of 1946, Berlin was a city scarred by the destruction of the Second World War. The end of the war had left the city in ruins, with large parts of the infrastructure and houses destroyed. The Allied bombing raids and the fierce battle for the city between the Soviet and German forces had reduced much of Berlin to rubble. Efforts to clear the rubble and rebuild the city made only slow progress. The “rubble women” became a symbol of the city’s reconstruction.

For the inhabitants of the bombed cities, daily life was a great struggle. Housing was a critical issue, as many people were homeless and lived in makeshift shelters or overcrowded, partially destroyed buildings. The lack of sufficient living space led to severe overcrowding, as several families were often crammed into individual flats that had survived the bombing.

Social structures were often torn apart in other ways too. Families were separated and many people mourned the loss of loved ones. There was a general atmosphere of uncertainty and trauma as the population struggled with the consequences of the war and the collapse of the Nazi regime.

Food shortages were acute. The war had disrupted agricultural production and supply lines, leading to shortages of food and other essentials. The Germans had to rely on the rations provided by the Allies, but these were often insufficient to meet their needs. Black markets flourished as people traded everything they had for food, clothing and other essentials.

Efforts to clear the rubble and rebuild made slow progress. The “rubble women” came to symbolise reconstruction as these women, many of whom had lost their husbands in the war, took on the arduous task of clearing the rubble by hand. Their work was important for the start of reconstruction and the restoration of some semblance of order.

Despite the hardships, the Germans tried to rebuild some semblance of normality. Social and cultural activities were slowly resumed. Performances took place again in the theatres and concert halls. These events provided a much-needed change of pace and a sense of continuity with the pre-war world.

In Garmisch, a “Ski-Gaudi” took place, in Traunstein the historic Georgiritt, with an American officer watching over the scene alongside the blessing priest. Normality and chaos lay close together. The spring festival takes place on Munich’s Theresienwiese. Amidst the rubble and the challenges of daily life, there was also a sense of hope, which this film about the spring of 1946 aims to reinforce. “Wonders of two worlds” is written on a fairground ride. The optimistic narrator sees a mosaic of small joys, which still has all the diction of the Nazi propaganda style. After 6 years of war, the first spring of peace.

Additional information

Licence options film

Cinema, TV and web, commercial (30 sec. each) (4210,00 €), Cinema, TV and Web, Editorial (30 sec.) (€ 1240.00), Educational institution, museum, exhibition and web editorial (30 sec. each) (€ 610.00), Web Editorial (30 sec. each) (330,00 €), Web, commercial (30 sec. each) (2230,00 €)

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