«Natural history» of reconstruction. Historic centres and historic buildings in Germany after the Second World War.

Journal title STORIA URBANA
Author/s Gian Paolo Treccani
Publishing Year 2011 Issue 2010/129 Language Italian
Pages 18 P. 5-22 File size 687 KB
DOI 10.3280/SU2010-129001
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The essay presents the contents of the periodical "Storia Urbana", issue no. 129, which deals with the reconstruction in Germany after the Second World War. This volume is ideally connected to another on post-war reconstruction in Italy, issued in 2007, and a third one dealing with Japanese cities after the War, which has yet to be published. The aim of the three volumes is to underline the common issues of each process of reconstruction in the cities of the defeated territories but, also, to highlight the differences which characterized each example during the first ten years after the war. Germany, which is analyzed in this volume, is particularly complex and varied already from the beginning, due to the widespread nature of the problem of damage. The intention of the allied bombers was to psychologically annihilate the German population who mostly lived in the historical centres of the cities, with the technique of "moral bombing". For this reason, the old areas of German cities suffered much more damage than in other counties such as Italy, which also suffered widespread damage. As the essays within the volume underline, the reconstruction of German urban centres and historical buildings was in many cases undertaken with very different procedures, depending on the single case. This was so for many different reasons, such as the different political systems of Western and Eastern Germany after the war, economic issues - advantageous for Western Germany but, for this reason, not always positive for the destiny of the historical buildings -, public atheism in Eastern Germany, the different value assigned, in the East and West, to the idea of national identity and, also, the possible continuity with pre-war or pre- Nazi urban politics.

Keywords: Reconstruction, War damage, Historic centre, Historic Building, Western Germany, Eastern Germany

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Gian Paolo Treccani, «Storia naturale» della ricostruzione. Centri storici e monumenti nella Germania del secondo dopoguerra in "STORIA URBANA " 129/2010, pp 5-22, DOI: 10.3280/SU2010-129001