The effects of WWII in Hannover, Germany

Cara Dreams, family, Germany, World War II 4 Comments

One of the things we found in the Rathaus are detailed dioramas of Hannover at different times in its history. The first one is from the late 1600s and shows a walled town. Then then have one from 1939, 1945, and modern day. In each of them we can place where we live, work, etc. The detail is incredible.

But the reason it’s worth posting some photos is to give you an idea of the devastation wrought in Germany by WWII. The night before we left for Berlin, Eric and I watched a PBS special on the Bombing of Germany during the war (one of the only shows we could get…and very appropriate to where we are and our interests). I’d head that only 10% of Hannover survived the war. After seeing the dioramas that’s not such a random statistic any more.

The church in the bottom photos as it is today…

These aren’t perfect but come close to showing you the same sections of town from before and after the war.

The big circle on the left is WaterlooPlatz — where the soccer games are viewed right now. Behind that, the black building is the synagogue which was destroyed on Kristallnacht — the night the Jewish persecution started in a heavy way in Germany. Where we live now is just off the photo to the left with downtown working around the church in the right and north.
The same area after WWII. There’s nothing left.
The large building in the front is the Rathaus. You can see the church which was on the right above now in the left.
After the war.



Comments 4

  1. These pictures bring back memories, which I will never forget because I’ve lived through this terrible war as a small child. My hometown Hannau (near Frankfurt) was also 90 percent destroyed. But has been rebuilt bigger and better than ever! Germany is a beautyful country and I go back as often as I can to visit.

    1. Post

      Hermi, we loved Germany! We would go back in a heart beat. The people are wonderful and the country is gorgeous!

  2. Cara, My one ancestor was from Hannover. Her name was Caroline Swise. She died in Mercer, Co., PA in 1813. Do you know if the census records in Germany still exist for ~1850? I have read one of your books but just now can’t remember which one.

    Thanks for sharing this website.

    Lulu Belle

    1. Post

      Lulu, most of Hannover (90%) was destroyed during WWII. I don’t know for sure, but I would guess most genealogical records were destroyed.

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