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How Much Can the Germans Take? <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1941)How Much Can the Germans Take?
(Collier's Magazine, 1941)
The attached 1941 COLLIER'S MAGAZINE article reported on how the people of Berlin were faring after one solid year of R.A.F. bombing. By war's end it was estimated that as many as 580,000 Germans had been killed as a result of the Allied bombing campaign (many of them were children and far more women than men). This article examines what Berlin life was like when the bombs fell.

Click here to read about the bombing of Japan.

Life in W.W. II Germany <br />(Collier's, 1943)Life in W.W. II Germany
(Collier's, 1943)
This Collier's article clearly illustrated the gloom that hung over the German home front of 1943:

"Nobody escapes war service in Germany. Children serve in air-raid squads; women work very hard...The black market flourishes everywhere. More fats are required, as are fruits and vegetables, for the people's strength is declining. A report I have seen of Health Minister Conti shows that the mortality rate for some diseases rose 49 percent in 1941 - 1942."

Click here to read about the dating history of Adolf Hitler.

What Were the Germans Thinking? <br />(Click Magazine, 1943)What Were the Germans Thinking?
(Click Magazine, 1943)
"We cannot conduct a Gallup poll in Germany, but we can find out by other opinion polls and from other inquiring reporters what the average German is thinking. Our reporters are the Nazis themselves. The poll is tallied daily at short-wave listening stations, among them that of the Columbia Broadcasting System. The C.B.S. corps of engineers monitors and records and interprets the voices of the enemy."

"The Nazi propaganda here analyzed is a record of Nazi failure to keep the German people from thinking 'non-German' thoughts and failure to prevent the record from being known."

This article is illustrated with fourteen W.W. II photographs.

''They Saw Hamburg Die'' <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1943)''They Saw Hamburg Die''
(Collier's Magazine, 1943)
Here is a 1943 article that was cabled from Stockholm, Sweden, relaying assorted eyewitness accounts of the Allied bombing campaign over the German city of Hamburg in 1943:

"The people of Germany have now learned, through the terror-filled hours of sleepless nights and days, that air mastery, the annihilating blitz weapon of the Nazis in 1939 and 1940, has been taken over by by the Allies...The most terrible of these punches has been the flood of nitroglycerin and phosphorus that in five days and nights destroyed Hamburg."

Click here to read about the bombing of Japan.

It was an Englishman nick-named "Bomber Harris" who planned and organized the nightly raids over Nazi Germany: click here to read about him.

Letters from the German Home Front <br />(Coronet Magazine, 1943)Letters from the German Home Front
(Coronet Magazine, 1943)
The misery that lingered over the W.W. II German home front is well documented and many of the issues concerning melancholy, hunger and thirst can be read in the attached assortment of letters that were pulled from the bloodied uniforms of the thousands of dead Nazi soldiers that surrounded the city of Stalingrad in 1943. These personal correspondences by German parents, wives and sweethearts present a thorough look at the dreariness that lingered over the German home front.

Living Under the Bombs <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1941)Living Under the Bombs
(Newsweek Magazine, 1941)
Here is one of the reviews of Pattern of Conquest, a book by Joseph C. Harsch (1905 1998) - a CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR correspondent who had been posted to Germany during the earliest years of the war:

"Harsch says that German morale is 'fundamentally unsound' however, and that it took a bad beating when the RAF first bombed Berlin, which Marshal Goering had said would happen only 'over his dead body'. ('Have you heard the news?' Berliners asked each other, after the first raids. 'Goering's dead.')"

Click here to read about the 1943 bombing campaign against Germany.

- When the Home Front Became the Front Itself <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)- When the Home Front Became the Front Itself
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
"Berliners with an ear cocked to the cold east wind could hear the drums of doom: The heavy roll of Russian artillery along the Oder River. By night, flares from Soviet planes bombing the Berlin-Frankfurt highway lit up the eastern horizon."
The German Resistance <br />(Coronet Magazine, 1941)The German Resistance
(Coronet Magazine, 1941)
"The Free German Movement is vigorously gnawing away at the very roots of Naziism with teeth filed to needle sharpness. Our organizations are fighting Hitler, at home or in South America with his own weapons. We have consolidated earlier gains against Hitler with important new gains."

So wrote Dr. Otto Strasser (1897 1974) who oversaw the Free German Movement, the Black Front and other Nazi resistance organizations. He must have been pretty effective, the Nazis put a half-million dollar price on his head.

''Eighth Over Berlin'' <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1944)''Eighth Over Berlin''
(Newsweek Magazine, 1944)
"Comparing the American [daylight] raids with the RAF [nighttime] incursions, it was certainly a great shock to Berliners to find their city now open to round-the-clock bombing."

"We don't mind the Yanks who come when the sun shines and it's warm. It's the Tommies sneaking in at night that we don't like so much."

The Soviets Bombed Berlin, Too <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1941)The Soviets Bombed Berlin, Too
(Newsweek Magazine, 1941)
This Newsweek article reported on the first Red Air Force bombing raid on the city of Berlin (August 11, 1941). The Soviets kept the pressure up for a few more weeks until their airfield was overrun in September.
The Last Three Months <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)The Last Three Months
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
"From inside Germany last week emerged the picture of a state that by all normal standards was in the last stages of dissolution... All signs indicated a physical breakdown perhaps as great as that of France in 1940... Refugees, mostly women and children with blankets around their bodies and shawls on their heads to protect them from the sub-zero weather, queue up for hours outside bakeries to get a loaf of bread. Draftees ride tanks in never-ending columns."
Inside Germany <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1944)Inside Germany
(Collier's Magazine, 1944)
"The most striking thing about Germany today is its quiet. There is no noise. The people are sullen... There are no parades, no bands, no singing in Germany now. When American internees heard the Allied bombers, saw cities in flames and felt the shock of four-ton bombs, they knew why."

This account of war-torn Germany was written by one of those internees who was incarcerated since December of 1941 and subsequently released in March, 1944.

Sticking It To Berlin <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1943)Sticking It To Berlin
(Newsweek Magazine, 1943)
"[Berlin,] the target of 69 RAF raids so far, [the city] has has been hit hard only a few times this year and underwent no raids during 1942. On the morale front it ranks ahead of all other German cities. When the others were raided the outcry of the Germans was bitter but local. When Berlin hit groans rose from all over Germany. If RAF night raiders should raze the capital by fire, as they did Hamburg, the whole German nation would suffer the shock of Berliners... Goebbels begged them to stand up under bombs as stoutly as the British did in 1940."
Despair and Hunger <br />(PM Tabloid, 1940)Despair and Hunger
(PM Tabloid, 1940)
PM correspondent Richard O. Boyer (1903 1973) was in Berlin in June of 1940 when Paris fell to the German Army. He was dumbstruck by the surprising gloominess that hung heavily upon the German people the week of that great victory:

"I could not understand it all and could scarcely believe the testimony of my own eyes. The scarlet banners with their black swastikas that garlanded the city everywhere in response to Hitler's orders seemed only to emphasize the worried melancholy. The victory bells that rang each day at noon acquired the sound of a funeral dirge when one looked at the tired, pinched faces of the Germans hurrying along the pavements ... When I expressed surprise to a glum man sitting near me he glanced impatiently up and only said, 'We celebrated once in 1914'."