Königsberg, East Prussia

The Soviet Aftermath

1950 - koningsberg castle ruin

1945 - The remains of Königsberg's Castle

demolition of kb castle

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.

Castle Ruins

Castle Demolition

 Castle remains were completely Demolished in 1968

 

Konigsberg -1945

 1945 - Königsberg City Centre - Immanuel Kant's Grave on the Left

Overhead view devastation in of Lower Castle Pond afrea

1945 - Königsberg City Centre

Overhead view of University and Castle Devastation

Lower Castle Pond Area - Albertina University at top left - Remains of castle  lower left of centre.

 

 

Konigsberg around 1948

1948 - Königsberg Street Scene 

 

Inside Bombed Out Dom

1945 - What remained of the interior of the Dom Church on Kneiphof Island

 Dom in 1981 - before being restored

 

Steindamm - Soviet era

1945 - Steindamm

 Kneiphof island and Dom in 1949

1949 - What remained of Königsberg's historic city centre: Kneiphof Island and Dom Cathedral

Gesekus Square around 1950

1950 - Gesekus Square

1950 Streetcar

1950 - Living Among the Ruins - Street Car along Soviet Prospect

1960 - Lenin Prospect

1960 - Rebuilding a city Soviet style