Shweinfurt Case Study

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As of 2011 the population of Schweinfurt, Germany is 53,247 people but during world war two Schweinfurt was a bombing target which results in 1079 civilian casualties and many left as refugees reducing the population by fifty percent. Schweinfurt was the primary German manufacturer of ball-bearings which went into tanks and aircraft. The ball-bearing factories: Kugelficher-Georg-Schäfer, Fitchel & Sachs and VRF were the targets of the bombings. (www.thirreichruins.com) The United States 8th Air Force focused bombing these factories in hopes of hurting the German war effort. Interestingly “roughly half of the German bearing industry was located in Schweinfurt.” As of 1936 the German army’s presence was in Schweinfurt with three military barracks …show more content…
World War Two started when she was 5 and ended when she was ten. Helga recalls being about 7 or 8 when the air raids started. Even so young she understood that what was going on was “dangerous” and caused “shortages”. Later Helga explained to me that everything was rationed, the food would come in shipments and people waited in line to get it. Times were so bad that sometimes people would wait in line for horsemeat. “People lined up at night with little chairs and the women usually did their knitting then family members would take turns waiting in line.” Other issues caused by the war included a lack of coal to heat houses, or water if a bomb hit a water line, and power outages. “I remember doing homework by candlelight sometimes and it was just a horrible …show more content…
“He was in the office and experienced some of the air-raids right there when they were bombed. As for her mother, “She was a housewife; women did not work out of the house” During the air-raids she said, “Initially, we just went in the basement of our house but they built the bunkers as the air-raids got more frequent” She described how the basements of houses were often connected by openings the residents made so if one part of the building collapse they could get out by another house. “I heard from friends who lived Wordsworth (a close by town) towards the end of the war they had the most terrible air-raid and the whole town was burning. This friend of mine she said they went whole blocks through other basements going towards the river to escape the fire.” There were sirens to announce an air raid and sirens again to let everyone know it was “all clear”. When the sirens went off, “You just grabbed your bag and started taking cover where ever you could find it a basement or bunker.” In their bags people had packed important documents and valuables. Helga described the sirens as “scary” and “horrible” and noted, “I still to this day hate sirens.” From her basement Helga said she could hear the bombs “horrible whistling sound as they came down.” When they landed, “You heard a big explosion and sometimes when you came upstairs you really didn’t know if

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