Friday Trivia

I am a curious person and often wonder about things, strange things. . . one question I have pondered was "what happened to all the rubble in Berlin after World War Two".   You may wonder why - well, I have read many books on WWII and and one thing led to another.  FINALLY I know the answer and I was sort of exciting about sharing it.  


The Devils Mountain

The mountain rises 80 metres above the city and is completely man-made.  It was built by the Allies from the rubble of Berlin during the following twenty years as the city was rebuilt. One estimate for the amount of rubble is about 12 million cubic meters, or about 400,000 buildings. It is higher than the highest natural hill (the Kreuzberg) in the Berlin area.

Once completed the Allies used the hill to build a Listening Station (white tower at back of photo) to spy on East Germany.  Up to 1,500 were employed at the Listening Station at the height of the cold war.  Now it sits in ruin as Berliners decide what to next with the Station.

And here is another interesting fact about the rebuilding of Berlin - the Trümmerfrauen, or rubble women - these German women not only tended the wounded, buried the dead and salvaged belongings they also began the grueling task of rebuilding war-torn Germany by clearing the country's cities of an estimated 400 million cubic meters of debris, using only basic tools and, above all, their bare hands.  Just imagine how big the task must have looked - rebuilding an entire city by hand - after surviving years of war including starvation. 



  1. Wow, very interesting, Jo! I never stopped to wonder about it - I guess I thought they would have cleaned up as much of it as they could to use to rebuild. History is amazing.

  2. Clara - I think as much as possible was reused, whihc is why the Rubble Women were so important (cleaning all the bricks), but what couldn't be used had to go somewhere. History is amazing, couldn't agree more.

  3. I love history, and have read oceans about WW2, but never thought of that! Still, the women don't look too sad about their work! I guess they were glad to have work to do, I presume they were paid? And they should have been pretty happy about surviving the war too! =)

  4. Bets - These women received higher rations in return for their hard work. I think they looked happy (happier than before) due to the fact that they had survived (in its self amazing)- and that was worth smiling about. And if they didn't build their cities who would - they had no homes, they really had no choice.

    However 15 million Germans males died or were in prision, so life was still very tough.

  5. Thanks Jo, that's the sort of fascinating trivia I really love.

  6. Wow, thanks for sharing..I wish you were my children's teacher. :)

    I will have my son read this he is really interested in WWII. I am also sending it to my other son who went to Berlin and would love to get to work there one day...he fell in love with the German people. He will find this interesting also.
    Thanks for a great post...I so enjoy gleaning from you, you truly challenge me.


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