Effects of WWII Bombing of Berlin on

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Annelie
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Effects of WWII Bombing of Berlin on

Post by Annelie » 25 Jan 2019 17:51

Not sure where to place this or if even anyone is interested other than myself.

Have searched fro some time (several years) but perhaps I not aware of the correct path to
look?

Are there any research and statistics of the bombing in Berlin and the health
effects it had long term on small children, or about to be born?

We know about the effects on people especially the fire fighters and their
health problems from 9/11 but I would like to know more about the children
of WWII.

Did they come down with cancer or perhaps lung problems etc.

Thanks
Annelie

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Sheldrake
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Re: Effects of WWII Bombing of Berlin on

Post by Sheldrake » 25 Jan 2019 19:04

There is a mass of material on the bombing of Germany undertaken by the wartime allies.

It may be difficult to separate out the effects of bombing on Berlin children's health from the effects of eating wartime rations, The battle for Berlin and Soviet occupation as well as post war malnutrition.
Here is a start http://ftp.iza.org/dp10807.pdf

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Annelie
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Re: Effects of WWII Bombing of Berlin on

Post by Annelie » 25 Jan 2019 19:20

Well that was quick.

Thankyou very much Sheldrake. :D

Cwaines
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Re: Effects of WWII Bombing of Berlin on

Post by Cwaines » 15 Aug 2020 17:50

Is there still some interest in discussion of this subject? I can’t offer any scientific evidence but can offer some anecdotal observations. Both my parents were children during the war. They had very different experiences growing up. My mother lived in Berlin until April 1945. She fled Berlin with her mother, sister and younger brother ending up in a refugee camp in Denmark for 2 years before getting to the family farm in Jerrishoe.
I can speak to the emotional effect this had on her, if you are still interested

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Annelie
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Re: Effects of WWII Bombing of Berlin on

Post by Annelie » 15 Aug 2020 19:11

Hello,

Yes, I am interested especially the effects of the bombs and bombed out
buildings and all the toxic chemicals etc. like lead paint etc that were used in those
days. and the emotional effects and the lack of proper food.

Annelie

Cwaines
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Re: Effects of WWII Bombing of Berlin on

Post by Cwaines » 17 Aug 2020 01:20

My mother was born in 1932. She lived with her family in Siemensstadt, her father worked for Siemens as an engineer. She rarely spoke of her parents or her childhood. No funny stories of childish mischief or adventures. No descriptions at all about her parents. Her mother passed in 1961 from cancer, her father disappeared during the battle of Berlin after sending his wife and children to his brother at the family farm in Jerrishoe. My grandmother fled with three children aged 10 to 15 and somehow instead of reaching Jerrishoe ,ended up in Denmark in a refugee camp where they were held for 2 years and then they finally reached the farm.
I think there were several emotional effects. The greatest was the priority of food. She always had a large vegetable garden and it was very important to her. She always had a well stocked fridge, freezer and pantry. Food was never wasted. Food was always freshly prepared and no leftovers. She was an excellent cook and could make a gourmet meal out of very simple ingredients. What struck us the most was her determination to extract every morsel of meat and marrow out of any bones.
Another major effect I believe was as children we were not permitted to go back outside and play in the evenings after dinner. We ate a bit later but it was frustrating for my sister and I in the summer. We also were never permitted sleepovers. I believe these two factors were a result of childhood experience. Evenings and nights were when the bombs fell. Parents did not want to be separated from their children when bombs were falling.
I believe the war had it’s worst effect on my mother’s younger brother who was 10 in 1945. I believe the war experience was a major contributor to his severe mental illness that began when he entered his thirties.
My mother passed at the age of 53. She had battled breast cancer and the radiation treatment weakened her aorta causing an anurism that tore. I do not know if this was a genetic caused cancer or if it was environmentally related but so far none of the next generation have had any cancer issues.
I hope some of this may answer some of your questions. I would be very interested to hear about the experiences of other “children of the war survivors”. We are bombarded by information on PTSD and I do think children who grow up in war zones have a great deal to contribute to PTSD research.

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Re: Effects of WWII Bombing of Berlin on

Post by Hans1906 » 17 Aug 2020 13:45

Annelie,

I remember a documentary, "Flying over the ruins of Berlin in 1945..."

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss2FuoFHkIc
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2wGkHg2JkQ
Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRS52xajXPU

Combined with the classical music of the time is hard to see, war, and war is hell.

Hans1906

All these documentaries were never shown in my younger years, probably my grandparents were not aware about all
this destruction at all.
They had to take care about the many DPs, and they were everywhere, the homecoming german soldiers, all the wounds of
the war, and they managed it, more or less...

"this is like being in some weird dream you want out of" (YouTube)
Es ist im Leben wichtig, viel zu wissen.
Manchmal ist es noch wichtiger, zu wissen, daß man nichts weiß.

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Annelie
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Re: Effects of WWII Bombing of Berlin on

Post by Annelie » 17 Aug 2020 21:23

Thank you Hans. I am aware of all those and almost anything that has to do
with WWII and Berlin. Youtube has become a great site to find things.

Cwaines, I have never understood why all these years no one has been interested in the children of Berlin.
They went through so much and I do believe they suffered effects of PSTD as well as effects of chemicals of
the bombing, paint and dust flying around them. They must also have perhaps learning disabilities with all that
lead paint in those days.

We all know about the fire fighters of New York of 9/11 and the early deaths of them from cancer because of the dust
and chemicals.

Look at the Dutch. The early demise of the actress Audry Hepburn many years after the war because of the lack of food.

As you stated children were not allowed out to play and I can imagine that during the end of war it was dangerous to play
outside and were kept inside segregated from others and become to live and to learn how to be alone.

Sorry to hear about the cancer of your mother. One has to wonder if perhaps the war contributed to the cancer or was just a
natural happening. I have so many questions...was their hearing affected? The soil must have become infected with chemicals?
Was the gardens because of the soil become an factor? Air pollution?.

So happy though that so many survived. In that case we are here, you and I because they were the lucky ones.

Cwaines
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Re: Effects of WWII Bombing of Berlin on

Post by Cwaines » 18 Aug 2020 00:22

I think the one thing that haunted my mother and my aunt especially was losing their father and never knowing what happened to him. It really weighed heavily on them. I remember in the late seventies or early eighties before the wall came down. My mother and my aunt had a terrific argument. My aunt went on a tourist visit to Russia, and before she left she told my mother that while she was there she was going to try to ask questions and contact authorities to find out what happened to their father. There was a lot of very loud German discussions between them and my mother told her very emphatically that under no circumstances was she allowed to ask any questions. My mother was absolutely terrified she would be taken away and never seen again. My mother’s terror was so heartbreaking.

I think the reason very little research was done on the effects of the war and the battle of Berlin on families and children was because the prevailing wisdom was that you just put it behind you and moved on, never dwelling on it, never even acknowledging it. It is a way of dealing with pain by locking it away in some dark corner of the mind. My mother was very lucky that her parents made the decision to get the children out of Berlin when they had an inkling what was going to happen. I don’t believe my grandparents were big supporters of Nazis since they didn’t want their children involved in the fighting. My grandfather had no choice but to stay behind. He would have been hung if he had been caught trying to leave. It was a huge risk they took even so leaving because the fanatics could have executed all of them. Never mind what would have happened if they had stayed and the Russians had gotten to them.
What I have learned is that war and patriotism combined with fanatic ideology brings out the evil in a great many people. The current atmosphere in certain countries worries me

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Re: Effects of WWII Bombing of Berlin on

Post by AllenM » 19 Aug 2020 22:43

I find the assumptions here somewhat disturbing. The Nazis this and the Nazis that. All from a detached and biased perspective. For people actually living in Germany during the war, Nazi anything was not the primary concern. The people were given jobs. They were given national pride. And the enemy was the Bolsheviks. Survival was the only concern. Imagine a stream of RAF bombers attempting to bomb a railway defended by flak. A bomb falls short and buries someone under dirt, who is later rescued, and recovers.

Of course there were health problems and they were recorded. At the end of the war, the Occupation Government, primarily American and British, imposed rationing. The US tried to denazify by removing party members from their posts. It didn't work. Their replacements had no real idea how everything worked. They were quietly returned so that things could get done on schedule. The Allies were in control but they were pragmatic.

Berlin had its own dedicated air defense zone. Boys and girls were given weapons, including antitank rockets. Their homes were threatened. That was all they knew. If a boy could lift an anti-aircraft shell, he could help.

As far as the men in the Volkssturm, what were they to do? Would anyone reading this not defend his home to the death, especially considering the many young men in uniform who had already given their lives? Yes, German soldiers gave up to the Western Allies. The Russians were the enemy. But that cannot be said even today.

My father didn't put something into some dark corner in his mind. After the war, he lived and worked and got married. He, like others he knew, rarely spoke about it but what was there to say? Really. What was there to say? I heard a few accounts but he spent his time with others as they shared their stories. Once the bullets stop flying and bombs are no longer falling on your head, the future becomes brighter.

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Annelie
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Re: Effects of WWII Bombing of Berlin on

Post by Annelie » 19 Aug 2020 23:54

Allen,

Sorry that you have perceived this thread as Nazi this and Nazi that. Far from it. It has nothing to do with Nazis.
My interests only lay with the children and the studies that may have risen from the effects of the bombing.
Exactly like those recorded for the bomb dropped on Hiroshima and the effects on the people.

No one is blaming or any politics involved here. Not interested in this aspect. There are enough threads and
topics to this elsewhere.

It may interest you to know that there seems to be only one research done and that was of these last years
by an researcher in Eastern Canada. I tried to find out what the results were to no avail.

I would like to know if there was long term effects in health and IQ with the children considering
the dust, chemicals, lack of food etc.

Regards

AllenM
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Re: Effects of WWII Bombing of Berlin on

Post by AllenM » 20 Aug 2020 00:44

Fair enough. What dust? What chemicals? Berlin was a city but there were air-raid shelters or basements. One could also flee to the outskirts. The British sent their children to the countryside but some were left in London and other population centers. Lack of food was a common problem. I suggest looking at reports from neighboring countries, including England.

I have seen a period photo of a German girl laying in a clearing. She was dead but there were no obvious wounds. Some people stood nearby. Some became deadened to such sights. Germany had industry but there were still forests and farmland. That is why the forced laborers were brought in, sometimes teenagers, to keep everything going, especially the farms.

Perhaps you will find the following helpful: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28605623/

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Re: Effects of WWII Bombing of Berlin on

Post by Sid Guttridge » 20 Aug 2020 06:44

Hi Annelie,

You hit on a very interesting and neglected point. What about the survivors of air raids?

For a start, there were presumably at least as many people physically injured as were killed.

Then there are the psychological after effects on presumably many times more.

In my family, one of my great grandmothers was probably one of these. She lived near the naval dockyard in Malta. She thought the first Italian air raid was an RAF exercise and stayed outside on her balcony to watch. She was so shocked that the family had to move her to my grandparents' house further from the dockyard. She was reportedly traumatised and died a month later. She is not counted as amongst Malta"s war dead.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Effects of WWII Bombing of Berlin on

Post by VanillaNuns » 11 Sep 2020 23:12

Hans1906 wrote:
17 Aug 2020 13:45
Annelie,

I remember a documentary, "Flying over the ruins of Berlin in 1945..."

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss2FuoFHkIc
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2wGkHg2JkQ
Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRS52xajXPU

Combined with the classical music of the time is hard to see, war, and war is hell.

Hans1906

Thanks for those links sir. I tip my hat to you. :thumbsup:

I had seen some of this footage before but didn't realise there was just quite so much. In fact, more than half of it is completely new to me. I shall enjoy rewatching this and trying to spot familiar locations if I can.

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Re: Effects of WWII Bombing of Berlin on

Post by Hans1906 » 14 Sep 2020 07:31

Good morning VanillaNuns,

you are welcome, I recall a documentary in which allied bomber pilots told about their visits to the city of Berlin shortly after 1945.

Some of the bomber crew members were shocked by the total destruction of the city, truly shocked.
They were not aware of the extent of the destruction during and after the missions.

I will try to find this documentary, and post a link in the forum later...


Hans1906
Es ist im Leben wichtig, viel zu wissen.
Manchmal ist es noch wichtiger, zu wissen, daß man nichts weiß.

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