In the Wake of War: The Reconstruction of German Cities after World War II

Hardcover | October 1, 1991

byJeffry M. Diefendorf

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In 1945 Germany's cities lay in ruins, destroyed by Allied bombers `hat left major architectural monuments badly damaged and much of the housing stock reduced to rubble. At the war's end, observers thought that it would take forty years to rebuild, but by the late 1950s West Germany's citieshad risen anew. The housing crisis had been overcome and virtually all important monuments reconstructed, and the cities had reclaimed their characteristic identities. Everywhere there was a mixture of old and new: historic churches and town halls stood alongside new housing and department stores;ancient street layouts were crossed or encircled by wide arteries; old city centers were balanced by garden suburbs laid out according to modern planning principles. In this book, Diefendorf examines the questions raised by this remarkable feat of urban reconstruction. He explains who wasprimarily responsible, what accounted for the speed of rebuilding, and how priorities were set and decisions acted upon. He argues that in such crucial areas as architectural style, urban planning, historic preservation, and housing policy, the Germans drew upon personnel, ideas, institutions, andpractical experiences from the Nazi and pre-Nazi periods. Diefendorf shows how the rebuilding of West Germany's cities after 1945 can only be understood in terms of long-term continuities in urban development.

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In 1945 Germany's cities lay in ruins, destroyed by Allied bombers `hat left major architectural monuments badly damaged and much of the housing stock reduced to rubble. At the war's end, observers thought that it would take forty years to rebuild, but by the late 1950s West Germany's citieshad risen anew. The housing crisis had been...

From the Jacket

In 1945, Germany's cities lay in ruins, destroyed by Allied bombers that left major architectural monuments badly damaged and much of the housing stock reduced to rubble. At the war's end, observers thought that it would take forty years to rebuild, but by the late 1950s West Germany's cities had risen anew. The housing crisis had been...

Jeffry M. Diefendorf is at University of New Hampshire.

other books by Jeffry M. Diefendorf

Format:HardcoverDimensions:424 pages, 9.57 × 6.46 × 1.22 inPublished:October 1, 1991Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195072197

ISBN - 13:9780195072198

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"Diefendorf's analysis will be particularly valuable because of its breadth and depth. That is, he looks at the reconstruction from the perspectives of all the major participants of the rebuilding process and he places his analysis fully into the historical context of the culture and politicsof German planning traditions since the late nineteenth century."--Diethelm Prowe, Carleton College