May 8, 1945

8 May 1945: Collapse and New Beginning

German Federal Archives

The end of the war and the early post-war period in posters of the Federal Archives

Vergeßt sie nicht!, o. Ang., 1947-12, From the collection of: German Federal Archives
For the inhabitants of a conquered Germany the end of the Second World War on the 8/9th May 1945 signified a turning point, but definitely not a time to relax. The sudden transition from war to post-war, from destruction to reconstruction is reflected in the posters of the Federal Archives (Bundesarchiv) from the years 1945/6. If the last months of the war were still being permeated by the rallying cries of the Nazi regime and the calls for self sacrifice, then May 1945 saw the allied forces taking over and putting into place initial measures. For the population it was a question of coming to terms with every day life. The pictures show that, paramount in their minds, were the fear of infectious diseases, the concern about the POWs, the missing and the displaced, and the importance of cooperation in rebuilding the cities and towns which had been destroyed. There is evidence that as early as August 1945 cultural programmes and events were being resumed, and new postcodes had been introduced to facilitate written correspondence. In these posters of the early post-war period one can already see different emphases emerging, however subtle. In the Soviet occupation zone different messages were being conveyed than in the western zones. The exhibition ends with one desire, which will unite both sides in 1949, namely the desire for a lasting peace.
Das droht uns wenn wir versagen - darum Kampf bis zum Sieg, Christian Minzlaff, 1945-02, From the collection of: German Federal Archives
Propaganda in the last months of the war, 1945
Das droht uns wenn wir versagen - darum Kampf bis zum Sieg, Christian Minzlaff, 1945-02, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 003-029-048 / Christian Mintzlaff

Durchhalteparole, o. Ang., 1945-01, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 003-029-023 / o.Ang.

Alles entbehrliche für die Front! Volksopfer!, o. Ang., 1945-01, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 003-029-064 / o.Ang.

Einmal läuten die Glocken Sieg Sieg Sieg. Dazu hilft dein Volksopfer!, H. Kisselbach, 1945-01, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 003-029-062 / H. Kisselbach

Während der Besatzungzeit ist Deutschland als ein einzig wirtschaftliches Ganzes zu betrachten., o. Ang., 1945-08, From the collection of: German Federal Archives
8 May 1945: The war is over!
Proclamation No. I, o.Ang., 1945, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 004-002-064 / o.Ang.

Befehl des Chefs der Besatzung der Stadt Berlin, 1945-05, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 004-002-063 / o.Ang.

Während der Besatzungzeit ist Deutschland als ein einzig wirtschaftliches Ganzes zu betrachten., o. Ang., 1945-08, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 100-004-015 / o.Ang.

Nach der Bezahlung der Reparationen sind dem deutschen Volk genügend Mittel zu belassen, um ohne Hilfe von au0en existieren zu können, o.Ang., 1945-08, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 100-004-019 / o.Ang.

1/4 aller Trümmer in Kiel geräumt. 54 Millionen Ziegelsteine geborgen. 6 1/2 Millionen KG. Nutzeisen, o. Ang., 1945/1949, From the collection of: German Federal Archives
Reconstruction and daily life immediately after the war
Wir helfen Alle! Mann mit der Schippe, tritt vor!, o. Ang., 1945, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 100-033-014 / o.Ang.

Jeder Stein aus den Trümmern wird zum Aufbau gebraucht! packt alle zu!, o. Ang., 1946, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 100-033-009 / o.Ang.

1/4 aller Trümmer in Kiel geräumt. 54 Millionen Ziegelsteine geborgen. 6 1/2 Millionen KG. Nutzeisen, o. Ang., 1945/1949, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, B 285 Plak 004-006-004 / o.Ang.

Fleckfieber! Töte die Laus sonst tötet sie dich!, Oehlschlägel, 1946-03, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, B 285 Plak-025-005 / Oehlschlägel

Atlanta: Besatzungszonen mit neuen Postleitzahlen, Karl W. Schilling, Heilbronn, 1945/1949, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 004-002-002 / o.Ang.

Vergeßt sie nicht!, o. Ang., 1947-12, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 004-007-006 / o.Ang.

Lagerordnung, o. Ang., 1945/1949, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 004-007-007 / o.Ang.

Frauen helft! Schafft den Umsiedlern die neue Heimat, o. Ang., 1946/1949, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 100-039-001 / o.Ang.

Wer einen Schieber anzeigt ist kein Denunziant, er hilft, dem Ärmsten das Leben sichern, Schulz & Henschel, Berlin, 1946-06, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 100-034-029 / Schulz & Henschel, Berlin

Opernaufführung in Freital, o. Ang., 1945, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, B 285 Plak-054-001 / o.Ang.

Interiemstheater Dresdner Bühnen, o. Ang., 1945, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, B 285 Plak-055-001 / o.Ang.

Buchenwald klagt an!, o.Ang., 1945/1949, From the collection of: German Federal Archives
Arrest and punishment of war criminals and National Socialists (Nazis)
Buchenwald klagt an!, o.Ang., 1945/1949, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 004-005-009 / o.Ang.

Nürnberg 1946. Die Nazi-Kriegsverbrecher Schuldig!, o. Ang., 1946, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 004-005-008 / o.Ang.

Enteignung der Betriebe der Kriegs- und Naziverbrecher, Boehner Werbung, 1946, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 100-031-034 / Boehner Werbung

Vor einem Jahr. Große Steinstrasse. Heute, Aufbau Werbung, 1945/1955, From the collection of: German Federal Archives
Post-war years
Vor einem Jahr. Große Steinstrasse. Heute, Aufbau Werbung, 1945/1955, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, B 285 Plak-023-022 / Aufbau Werbung

Wir mahnen. Kriegsgefangenschaft als Erlebnis und Aufgabe, Relief + Grafik Walter, 1949/1966, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 005-047-045 / Relief + Grafik Walter

Erntefest. Gutes Brot gedeiht nur in Frieden, Fiedler, 1949-09, From the collection of: German Federal Archives

BArch, Plak 100-034-017 / Fiedler

German Federal Archives
Credits: Story

Federal Archives
Poster 003 - Nazi regime in Germany and Europe
Poster 004 - zone time
Poster 100 - SBZ / GDR posters
B 285 Poster - Gesamtdeutsches Institut - Federal Institute for all-German tasks - Poster stock

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.
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