The War Years in Germany - 1935 to 1945, Part 2

These pictures come from an album over 50 years old. Many of the images are faded, but it is still possible to get a sense of the life led by John and Gerda during this tumultuous period. John and Gerda had many friends from the circles of Expressionist painters, who were called "degenerate" by Hitler, as well as many teachers in the Bauhaus. Toward the end of the war, the bombing became so intense that Gerda had to evacuate to a small town 40 miles from Berlin.

At the end of this section, there is a very interesting passage from John's diary about the bombing of Berlin on November 23, 1943. This was one of the biggest bombing raids of the war, leaving over 150,000 people homeless and sparking firestorms throughout the city. It turned the capital of the Nazi empire into an inferno, and this passage describes what that was like for people who lived through it.