Wiesbaden Hauptbahnhof Then and Now

Wiesbaden Hauptbahnhof is a railway station for the city of Wiesbaden, the state capital of the German state of Hesse. It is a terminal station at the southern edge of the city centre and is used by more than 40,000 travelers each day, so it is the second largest station in Hesse after Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof.

The Deportation of the Jews of Wiesbaden

In March, May and June of 1942 some 500 Jews were deported from Wiesbaden, among them several rabbis. The deportees were led in groups down the city’s streets toward the local train station, loaded onto cattle cars, and sent to the Lublin district in Poland. After a layover in Piaski these Jews were sent to Sobibor, Belzec and Majdanek, where they were murdered.

The Jews of Wiesbaden from Kristallnacht until the Annihilation of ...

On the 11th of June 1942, more than 600 Jews from the district of Wiesbaden, mostly from the city itself, were loaded onto cattle cars and deported to Frankfurt. From Frankfurt, these Jews were deported together with 600 Jews from the Frankfurt community to the district of Lublin. Nearly two hundred of them were deported directly to Majdanek, and the rest were sent to Sobibor following a two-day stop in Izbicia. It is not known of anyone who survived this transport.

By the time of the next deportation, some 40 Jews in Wiesbaden had committed suicide.

On the 27th of August 1942, the last public prayer service was held in Wiesbaden. From the 27th to the 29th of August 1942, six hundred Jews, many of them elderly and weak, were collected in the courtyard of the Orthodox synagogue. The Jews were photographed at the collection point in front of the Orthodox synagogue, during their registration at the police station, and when they boarded the deportation train at the city’s train station. On the 29th of August the Jews of Wiesbaden were deported to Frankfurt, where another 600 local Jews boarded the train. On the 1st of September the train left Frankfurt, and it arrived in Theresienstadt the following day. The Jews on this transport were primarily elderly or sick people, as well as Jews who had been decorated or injured in World War I, and their families. Later, these Jews were deported from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz. Thirty-two Jews from this deportation survived the war.

119 Best Terezin Ghetto images in 2020 | History, Wwii, Jewish ghetto

The responsibility for liquidating the community’s assets was placed on Berthold Gutmann, a lawyer who was sent on the September 1st transport to Theresienstadt together with his son. The head of the Jewish community, Moritz Maxheimer, was also deported and was murdered in Auschwitz a month later. The secretary of the Jewish community, Arthur Strauss, was deported in March 1943 together with his wife Anna to Theresienstadt, from where he was deported in October 1944 to Auschwitz. Thirteen Jewish doctors from Wiesbaden were deported and perished as well, most of them in Theresienstadt. 

In December 1942, fewer than 200 residents of Jewish origin remained in Wiesbaden; most of them were “half” or “quarter” Jews, or Jews married to Aryans who had been defined by the regime as having extra privileges. In 1943 these Jews were added to the Frankfurt community. Twenty-five of them were deported to Theresienstadt in February of 1945.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Warsaw, Poland

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (PolishGrób Nieznanego Żołnierza) is a monument in WarsawPoland, dedicated to the unknown soldiers who have given their lives for Poland. It is one of many such national tombs of unknowns that were erected after World War I, and the most important such monument in Poland.[1]

The monument, located at Piłsudski Square, is the only surviving part of the Saxon Palace that occupied the spot until World War II. Since 2 November 1925 the tomb houses the unidentified body of a young soldier who fell during the Defence of Lwów. Since then, earth from numerous battlefields where Polish soldiers have fought has been added to the urns housed in the surviving pillars of the Saxon Palace.

During the 1939 invasion of Poland, the building was slightly damaged by German aerial bombing, but it was quickly rebuilt and seized by the German authorities. After the Warsaw Uprising, in December 1944, the palace was completely demolished by the Wehrmacht. Only part of the central colonnade, sheltering the Tomb, was preserved.

After the war, in late 1945, reconstruction began. Only a small part of the palace, containing the Tomb, was restored by Henryk Grunwald. On 8 May 1946 it was opened to the public. Soil from 24 additional battlegrounds was added to the urns, as well as more tablets with names of battles in which Poles had fought in World War II. However, the communist authorities erased all trace of the Polish–Soviet War of 1920, and only a few of the Polish Armed Forces’ battles in the West were included. This was corrected in 1990, after Poland had regained its political autonomy.

Here are a couple of photos of Saxon Square before the German destruction of the city.

An aerial view of the city after the war the Germans destroyed. The losses to Warsaw’s urban architecture at the beginning of 1945 were estimated at around 84%, with industrial infrastructure and historic monuments destroyed at 90% and residential buildings at 72%. After the Warsaw Uprising, a city which was home to over 1 million people before the war was almost deserted, with only a few thousand people living in its ruins.

Eisenhower in Warsaw Poland 1945

General Dwight Eisenhower during his visit in Warsaw, capital of Poland. Picture taken on the Old Town Square.
General Dwight Eisenhower during his visit in Warsaw, capital of Poland. Picture taken on the Old Town Square.

The Bombing of Warsaw in World War II refers to the aerial bombing campaign of Warsaw by the German Luftwaffe during the siege of Warsaw in the invasion of Poland in 1939. It also may refer to German bombing raids during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. During the course of the war approximately 85% of the city was destroyed due to German mass bombings, heavy artillery fire and a planned demolition campaign.

The Warsaw Uprising was a major World War II operation, in the summer of 1944, by the Polish underground resistance, led by the Home Army, to liberate Warsaw from German occupation. The uprising was timed to coincide with the retreat of the German forces from Poland ahead of the Soviet advance. 

Although the exact number of casualties is unknown, it is estimated that about 16,000 members of the Polish resistance were killed and about 6,000 badly wounded. In addition, between 150,000 and 200,000 Polish civilians died, mostly from mass executions. Jews being harboured by Poles were exposed by German house-to-house clearances and mass evictions of entire neighbourhoods. German casualties totalled over 2,000 to 17,000 soldiers killed and missing.[11] During the urban combat, approximately 25% of Warsaw’s buildings were destroyed. Following the surrender of Polish forces, German troops systematically levelled another 35% of the city block by block. Together with earlier damage suffered in the 1939 invasion of Poland and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943, over 85% of the city was destroyed by January 1945 when the course of the events in the Eastern Front forced the Germans to abandon the city.

Amsterdam November

Found a few new before and after photos this week in Amsterdam. This is a target rich city as so little has changed on the streets over the past century.

Beschrijving Hartenstraat 19-21, Amsterdam – 1893
Beschrijving Van Baerlestraat 98, Amsterdam – 1894
Beschrijving Leprozengracht, Amsterdam gezien naar de Mozes en Aäronkerk. Na demping in 1882 werd dit het Waterlooplein – 1862 to 1882

London – Blitz 1941

The Old Bailey, London EC4M 7EH, UK

The Blitz was a German bombing campaign against Britain in 1940 and 1941, during the Second World War. The term was first used by the British press and is the German word for ‘lightning’.[4]

The Germans conducted mass air attacks against industrial targets, towns, and cities, beginning with raids on London towards the end of the Battle of Britain in 1940, a battle for daylight air superiority between the Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force over the United Kingdom. By September 1940, the Luftwaffe had failed and the German air fleets (Luftflotten) were ordered to attack London, to draw RAF Fighter Command into a battle of annihilation.[5][6] Adolf Hitlerand Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe, ordered the new policy on 6 September 1940. From 7 September 1940, London was systematically bombed by the Luftwaffe for 56 out of the following 57 days and nights.[7] Most notable was a large daylight attack against London on 15 September.

The Luftwaffe gradually decreased daylight operations in favour of night attacks to evade attack by the RAF, and the Blitz became a night bombing campaign after October 1940. The Luftwaffe attacked the main Atlantic sea port of Liverpool in the Liverpool Blitz and the North Sea port of Hull, a convenient and easily found target or secondary target for bombers unable to locate their primary targets, suffered the Hull BlitzBristolCardiffPortsmouthPlymouthSouthampton and Swansea were also bombed, as were the industrial cities of BirminghamBelfastCoventryGlasgowManchester and Sheffield. More than 40,000 civilians were killed by Luftwaffe bombing during the war, almost half of them in the capital, where more than a million houses were destroyed or damaged.[1]

In early July 1940, the German High Command began planning Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union.[8] Bombing failed to demoralise the British into surrender or do much damage to the war economy; eight months of bombing never seriously hampered British war production, which continued to increase.[9][10] The greatest effect was to force the British to disperse the production of aircraft and spare parts.[11] British wartime studies concluded that cities generally took 10 to 15 days to recover when hit severely, but exceptions like Birmingham took three months.[11]

The German air offensive failed because the Luftwaffe High Command (Oberkommando der LuftwaffeOKL) did not develop a methodical strategy for destroying British war industry. Poor intelligence about British industry and economic efficiency led to OKL concentrating on tactics rather than strategy. The bombing effort was diluted by attacks against several sets of industries instead of constant pressure on the most vital.[11][12]

Bastogne, Belgium and the Battle of the Bulge

I would like to thank Mr. Henri Mignon for spending he day showing me a around the Bastogne area and sharing so many incredible stories and memories with me. It was an experience that stay with me for all my life.

Henri was borne on the Bulge battlefield in 1936 in Houffalize, close to Bastogne. He spent 6 years studying Greek and Latin in the “Petit Séminaire de Bastogne” which became the Headquarters of the 501st (101st Airborne) during the siege of Bastogne. Please visit  his website and contact him for a tour of more information: http://www.mardasson.com

Church in Village of Foy 1945 2019 Battle of the bulge Bastogne history then and now band of brothers Stephen AmbroseRecogne Near Bastogne Belium Battle of the bulge history then and now 1945-2019Bastone Barracks - HQ 101 Airborne Division Bastogne, Belgium 1945-2019