Browse Items (245 total)

  • Tags: civil defence

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Charly Pfeifer recounts his experiences of the bombing of Betzdorf an der Sieg, a small town not far from the Ruhr. He explains the strategic importance of the city, due to the presence of locomotive works. He recounts taking shelter from the bombs…

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Rob Carter was born in the village of Scampton and reminisces about his life on the land before the war. He recounts the foundation of RAF Dunholme Lodge, which his house overlooked. During the war, he served in the Auxiliary Fire Service. He was…

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Maria Teresa Boazzelli describes the bombing of Frascati on 8 September 1943 and provides an account of life inside an improvised shelter: people praying and screaming after explosions. She explains how the Germans had been expecting the bombing and…

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Gerda Gentner (b. 1934) recalls the first bombing of Dresden on 7 October 1944. Gerda describes how she unsuccessfully tried to persuade a young boy to take shelter with her in the basement and reminisces her feeling when she knew that he had died…

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Brigitte Terboven (b. 1930) recalls the bombing of Essen and the dropping of an air mine by a British bomber which was trying to evade a German night fighter. The bomb hit the ground about 20 meters from her home which collapsed like a house of…

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Jörg Funfoff (b. 1942) recounts the experience of being a young boy at Heiligensee, a Berlin suburb; on the flying path of approaching bombers. Narrates how he was the first to hear the bombers approaching before they are in sight (a fact he was…

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Jaun Schauerte (b. 1936) recalls rushing to the shelter with a suitcase and a bag pack. Remembers one night when his grandmother fell under the heavy weight of the rucksack and nobody stopped to help her. Recalls the Bremen bombing, while he was…

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Margarete Meyer (b. 1936) describes the 13 February 1945 Dresden bombing and recounts how her mother reacted to the alarm. She rushed to the shelter and took some belongings, including what she thought was her confirmation dress. Explains how her…

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Inge Heinrich (b. 1922) describes the bombing of the Berlin borough of Kreuzberg and recounts how she had dreamt of being buried alive under the rubble but surviving in the end. Tells of how the patent agency building, in which she was working, was…

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Christoph Wagner Brausewetter (b. 1929) recounts the hardships civilians endured inside a shelter, the risks involved and the fact they spent there more time there than at home. Maintains that the worst year was 1943, when aircraft were no longer…

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Maria Caterina Siccardi (b. 1924) remembers attending the funeral of a young soldier and her fear of being bombed. She also describes the makeshift shelter her grandfather built and how she rushed to take shelter in it every time an aircraft…

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Paola Bianchi (b. 1938) recalls daily life in wartime Tuscany. She describes Rosalinda, a strict midwife, and recounts how people used to take refuge in shelters. She also gives an account of how, during the evacuation to Arezzo, they rushed to take…

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Piercarlo Debernardi (b. 1928) describes how his father built the family home next to the convent of La Visitazione in Turin, a house now considered a landmark in the city. He gives an account of wartime building regulations, stressing the…

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Carlo Gasparini (b. 1930) talks about his memories of the bombing raids on Milan. He provides an account of a night bombing with many flares that illuminated the sky as if it were day. He also describes the rush to safety during another bombing, and…

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Mirco Marelli describes a bombing raid on the factory where he used to work in 1941: when the alarm sounded, bombs started falling but he was too far from any of the shelters so he took cover under a staircase with a friend. He highlights how…

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Giovanni Monchiero (b. 1923) gives a detailed account of his experience in labour camps in Germany: he started working at a train station but it was bombed, then he moved to the Opel garage but it was also bombed. He also describes an occasion when,…

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Mariannina Di Palma (b. 1925) recalls the rush to safety when the air-raid siren sounded. She recalls that on one occasion she still had a dish cloth in her hand when she got to the shelter. Mariannina also remembers that her mother used to take…

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Maria Grazia Camperi (b. 1923) recalls how people used to take shelter in railway tunnels, standing on narrow walkways along the track. She stresses how dangerous this was and recalls the sight of people being killed or mutilated by passing trains.…

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Silvana Morganti (b. 1924) recalls the bombing of the San Lorenzo neighbourhood in Rome, in which she describes the sight of dead people, a destroyed shelter, and children waiting for their dead mothers to return. Silvana also explains that she…

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Margherita Franco (b. 1934) describes how an unexploded bomb was found in the garden of their house. Mentions technical terms she learned at that time and describes how her father resorted to the Unione Nazionale Protezione Antiaerea bomb disposal…

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Two men of the Unione Nazionale Protezione Antiaerea are in the foreground running. One of them is pointing to the sky with his left arm, whilst the other soldier is holding on to his helmet with his right hand. The buildings around are engulfed in…

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People are held back outside the gate of a walled yard as a trolley carrying an unexploded bomb is pulled by five men, four dressed in green and one in a white shirt with the colours of the Italian flag. A young boy has climbed a column just outside…

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Members of the Unione Nazionale Protezione Antiaerea are clearing the rubble and debris of a severely damaged terraced building. Another broken wall is visible on the right of the picture. A woman and a young girl are stopped by one of the men on the…

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Helga Cent-Velden (b. 1926) recounts her life in Berlin under constant threat of bombing. Describes how her father tried to locate a suitable air raid shelter for the family and especially how he ruled out the Shell House because of a canal running…

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Luciana Cella Guffanti (b. 1932) describes the role played by officers of the Unione Nazionale Protezione Antiaerea during the bombings of Milan, especially when they had to persuade reluctant people to go to the shelters. She describes an occasion …
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