The Soviet Aftermath
What remained of Königsberg's historic city centre: Kneiphof Island and Dom Cathedral in 1949
While many other German cities suffered similar fates in WWII, by being nearly bombed into oblivion and thousands of its citizens killed - Dresden and Hamburg come to mind -the situation at Königsberg deserves special mention. Over the years much of Hamburg and Dresden has been rebuilt, with many of the destroyed significant landmarks being restored to their prewar condition.
But when the Allied Forces gave the essentially destroyed City of Königsberg to the Soviets in 1945 they took a different approach. They simply bulldozed the remains of most bombed-out structures away after going through the rubble for still-usable building materials which were shipped back to Mother Russia. Thus, the possibility of their eventual restoration was essentially eliminated, while some buildings were left standing in their bombed-out condition until as recent as today. Given that all of the areas original German inhabitants had been expelled, there was no local opposition to this as Stalin had repopulated the city with people from all over the Soviet Union, including from as far away as Siberia. As well, the city was now Soviet territory and - behind the Iron Curtain - essentially closed to all foreign eyes because Stalin was turning it in to a naval base, taking advantage of a newly acquired year-round ice free harbour with access to the Baltic sea.
1945 - The remains of Königsberg's Castle
1968 - Castle Demolition
1968 - Königsberg Castle - Final Moments
1945 - Königsberg City Centre
Lower Castle Pond Area - Albertina University at top left - Remains of castle lower left of centre.
1950 - Living Among the Ruins - Kaliningrad, Street Car along Soviet Prospect
1948 - Königsberg Street Scene
1950 - Gesekus Square
1960 - Rebuilding a city Soviet style
1945 - What remained of the interior of the Dom Church on Kneiphof Island
The iconic Dom church on Kneiphof Island, which was still a ruin in 1990 has now been largely restored - the funding for this included financial contributions from Germany.
Steindamm - 1945