Streetcar Travels Through Dresden Rubble

Dresden Kommunales Wirtschafts-Unternehmen (KWU) Strassenbahnlinie 4 (Dresden Municipal Economic Companies Streetcar 4 line) passes Schlossstrasse (Castle Street) as it travels on Wilsdrufferstrasse (Wilsdruffer Street) across from the Altmarkt (Old Market Square). At the end of Schlossstrasse the spires of Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Cathedral) and Dresdner Residenzschloss (Dresden Castle) both were heavily damaged during the February 13-15, 1945, bombings. They were not renovated until the 1980s, and not fully rebuilt until after the German reunification in 1990. The main tower of Dresdner Residenzschloss collapsed due to bombings, and cannot be seen in this view. The streetcar was probably manufactured by Maschinenfabrik Augsburg Nürnberg Aktiengesellschaft (Machine Works of Augsburg and Nuremberg Public Company) or MAN AG; MAN provided most of the streetcars for Dresden before the war. Trummerbahn (Rubble trains) of all types, including streetcars, were used to haul the debris of war out of Germany's cities after the war. Women, called Trummerfrauen, were mostly responsible for clearing the rubble, as most men were in prisoner of war camps. The debris was taken to interim sites, where it was sorted for new buildings or disposal. After the firestorm in February 1945, streetcar service was suspended until May 12; the 22 line restarted the first service to Desden's city center on July 23. The number 4 line restarted service on November 12, 1946. Wilsdrufferstrasse is now the premiere shopping center of Dresden, and was rebuilt soon after the war. Much of Dresden was not rebuilt though the late 1950s.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Deutsches Bundesarchiv
Date Photographed: 
Tuesday, November 12, 1946
Altstadt Dresden