HIST4260 Making History: Theory And Practice


Essay: Rubble Women After the End Of WW2 in Germany.

Discuss the role played by the rubble women during the rebuilding of Germany.

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Europe was ravaged by the Second World War, as were some regions of Asia or Africa.

The war ended on the 12th of September 1945. However, the devastating effects had such a profound impact that they destroyed the human life (Hart (2015)).

According to the report 12 million soldiers died and 25 million civilians were affected by the fires and wars, as well as the many diseases and other effects that the Second World War has caused.

In addition, a large number of properties were destroyed and America spent $350 billion to repair and restore buildings and infrastructures.

This was a stark example of the dire situation Germany faced.

The German economy was so devastated during the war that it created an economic crisis, which led to a much larger scale.

In reality, Germany was ravaged by the war and 3.5 million German Civilians died as a result (Ross (2015)).

The German youth suffered so much from the post-war trauma that the entire fabric of German society was torn apart, along with all its institutions and organisations as well the social capital.

German communities as a whole were negatively affected by malnutrition and outbreaks communicable diseases.

The role of the rubble-women in Germany is highly relevant to this.

You could argue that these women were allowed to take down the ruins following the Second World War.

Post-war clean up camps were attended by women between the ages of 15 and 50 with the aim to restore Germany’s lost glory.

Germany lost half its schools and 40% of its infrastructures to the Allies bombings. The result was that 7.5 million people were homeless.

As a state of emergency, the rubble workers played an important role in allowing reconstruction to begin.

This understanding enables me to write this essay to explain the role of rubble women after the Second World War. It is my intention to reconstruct Germany’s infrastructure and buildings.

The essay attempts to show how much destruction and demolition Germany experienced in its first years.

After this, the essay attempts to understand German perceptions regarding rubble women. The essay then examines the role of rubble woman in building better infrastructure in Germany.

Background of The Study

The Second World War was seen as an important part of modern Europe’s history.

The heavy destruction to Europe’s soil was caused by the Axis and Allies power clashes.

It was necessary for the great powers after the World War II to rebuild Europe.

It involved not only rebuilding the economy but also reconstructing architectures and buildings, removing debris from Second World War.

Glantz & House (2015) found that buildings left behind after the war ended were left as a memorial to the horrors of World War II.

The railroad sidings were also left with the unexploded bombs, tanks, and other military equipment.

Goodwin (2013) argued, likewise, that France had become a scrapyard for military vehicle after the war. More than a thousand Allied or German vehicles were awaiting shipment.

The fact is that the German prisoners-of-war piled up all their unusable steel.

Spielvogel (2016) correctly focused his research on the artificial hill at Berlin’s Western Side.

It was covered in the debris of wartime bombardment and reconstructed with the horrific memories of World War II. The locals called it Devil’s Mountain.

Germany is in chaos

One can argue that Germany experienced the greatest damage after the Second World War. The allied bombings and raids had destroyed approximately 3,600,000.

Over 7 million Germans were left homeless, and 600,000. civilians were killed.

Stephenson (2014) states that the Allied Air Force caused significant damage to both the dwelling units and the government buildings. Historical architectures were also destroyed.

The impact of the raid had a devastating impact on 45% of Germany’s urban areas.

Paxton (2017) presented a detailed analysis of damage to German provinces, and categorised regions according to the extent of the damage.

Voigtlander & Voth (2015) reported that 89% was destroyed in Wurzburg.

It was 83% in Remscheid, Bochum and 75% in Hamburg.

Most of the major buildings and apartments were also destroyed in this setting.

But, local schools and hospitals, churches, museums, and other public buildings were also destroyed by the Allied forces’ destructive policy.

Kvasnicka, Braun, and Bauer (2013) argued that the British Royal Air Force’s (RAF) raid policy during World War 2 was known as “night precise bombing”, and that their primary targets were industrial plants, and the airfields.

Burchardi & Hassan (2013) state that US troops intervened in the European theater to increase the German casualties.

The UK air force made the Allies an invincible force.

After the war, the US pilots were allowed to bomb German cities using carpet bombing. (Ash. 2013,

The main objective of the Allied Air Force had been to strike at all major and small German cities.

Role Of The Rubble Women

The Rubble Women:

The Trummerfrau or the rubble women were German citizens who played an important part after the Second World War.

Akbulut Yuksel Khamis & Yuksel (2017) argue that many middle and poor German women took the initiative to restore social and political stability in Germany.

Their primary task was to clean up the rubble and remnants of buildings and monuments that were destroyed during the aerial attacks of the Allies Air Forces.

The debris was mostly associated with the historical and general remains of buildings and monuments.

O’Keefe’s 2017 research revealed that most of those buildings can be found in industrial and urban areas across Germany.

According to O’Kefe (2016), the purpose of the role of the rubble woman was to aid the country more than it did for them (Akbulut Yuksel Khamis, Yuksel and Yuksel 2016).

You could argue that German women were motivated by their love of the country to take part in the economic cleaning program, which helped to bring development to the region after the Second World War.

Wilson (2016), on the other hand, advocated that the clean-up duties should be left to young women.

It can be said that the majority of young women in the program were from middle and poor families. This was because the aristocrats were reluctant to take on such tasks.

Fritz (2016) proved that the program was open to women of all ages. There was no age restriction.

Therefore, clean-ups were open to women aged between 15 and 50.

Caldwell & Hanshew (2018) found that there was still a social gap in which women who belonged to wealthy families were not willing to take part in clean-up efforts.

It can be seen that there was still a social hierarchy in Germany even after World War II. This meant that rich women weren’t willing to take part in activities such as clean-up.

This was not all. The social inequality also showed the German nation’s feelings.

Nelson (2014) showed that there was a huge difference in the perceptions of the passion among women for their country.

In fact, rich women were self-centered while middle class and poor women had deep feelings about their pride and nation.

This drove them to assume the responsibility of cleaning up after the Second World War.

Zepp (2017) further pointed out that rubble women created a new generation of female labourers who were not present in previous times.

German society was conservative. This meant that women could not choose to work as much as they wanted.

However, Germany experienced a large death toll during World War II. The majority of those who died were men.

Al-Qaraghuli (Alsayed) and Almoghazy (2017, respectively).

The women were able to use this scenario to their strategic advantage. This was evident in 1946, when it was necessary to end the conservative tradition that kept the women citizens away from front-line labour.

This was the point of view of the rubble woman. It marked a new era of redemption and revolution in Germany for women.

Stone (2017) found that after the Second World War, German women were recruited randomly to fill the vacancies. At the time, there were seven millions more German women than males.

The private sector played an important role in this situation by employing large numbers of women workers to take out the ruins.

They used picks and hand-wives to stack the bricks and other relics out of the streets.

Germany: Role

Feigel (2016) argues that in the European theater of war, and especially in Germany, the bombing of carpets and aerial bombardment caused significant destruction to German buildings.

Williamson (2014) found that over one-half millions tons of high explosives had been dropped in German cities during World War II.

The “heroic” attack by the Allies Forces was not limited to the attack on the German cities, but also the outskirts.

German women were called upon to rebuild and clear the destroyed cities.

Many men died in the war, and were made prisoners. The women played a crucial role in helping to restore German hope (Bellofiore 2013).

Private enterprises provide the platform for women workers to take part in the clean-up.

The primary task was to demolish any buildings that survived the allied bombardment and were not safe or reconstructed.

To demolish these structures, heavy machinery was required.

Additionally, the rubble woman’s role was to clean up and properly stack the debris (Mackenbach 2013).

In fact, cleaning up was not all that rubble women did.

Kvasnicka, Braun and Bauer (2013) stated that wood and steel beams as well as toilets, wash basins and other household products were highly valued in Germany. The German economy had been devastated by the war and the rubble women began to collect these products.

Rosenow (2013) found that rubble women worked both as regular and volunteer workers.

Many of them chose the rubble job because of the poor economic conditions in Germany. They needed to earn enough money to survive.

Aside from the fact that there were no seasonal labourers, most of them were all experienced workers and had organised columns with between ten and twenty people.

On the basis of this understanding, we will discuss further the role and responsibilities of the rubble woman in relation to the regional variations of Germany.

Aachen was regarded as one of Germany’s most destroyed cities.

Nearly the entire city was destroyed by the allied bombardment.

The city was then very difficult to rehabilitate.

The role of the rubble woman was crucial in this context.

Even though there were male workers in Aachen, they weren’t enough. The authority wanted to add female workers so that the city could be established as quickly as possible (Donert 2013).

Because of this, the rubble women were forced to work long hours for one cup of soup every day.

Sederberg (2014) was established in Aachen as a memorial to the rubble woman for their generous contribution.

Due to the carpet bombings by the Allies, large cities such as Berlin were greatly damaged.

10% of the buildings in Berlin were destroyed beyond repair.

In the central area, 30% of the houses had been destroyed.

Berlin was in a terrible situation and needed to be dealt with quickly. Frank, 2018.

It became difficult for authorities to manage the debris due to the loss of able workers.

The war saw the most German able-bodied men go to warfront, and only a few came back (Hyvonen. et al. 2016).

The war trauma and postwar shock rendered them incapable of performing any jobs.

For the German authorities to clear up the pile of debris, they had no other options but to use the women.

Bremen was unique in that it included women. It had a different purpose than other German cities. Bremen created a women front which led to a new stage of development.

To show the power and strength of German women, the Bremen organisation organized a two-hour meeting on Mother’s Day (Mackenbach 2013).

Although those rubble women did not limit themselves to swiping remnants, they encouraged others to participate in the rumbling programs.

There were many activity groups that participated in the meetings, and the German youths pledged to create a better German society.

Chemnitz was a case in point. The role of rubble women was iconic because they were the only people responsible for the reconstruction of the area.

Due to heavy military and air attack, the city was ravaged and it was impossible to rebuild the damaged buildings.

To clear the city, the rubble ladies were employed. This made the city more attractive and allowed it to develop as it had before.

A carillon featuring 25 bells was built in honor of the contribution made by the rubble ladies in 2001 (Bellofiore 2013).

It can be said that German women played a major role in the restoration and revival of the country’s glory.

The German women were motivated by their passion for the country and the efforts to re-establish the cities that had been destroyed.

In fact, the removal of the conservative draconian measures that impeded women empowerment is a fact.

This perspective made it imperative to examine the role of the German rubble women and evaluate their efforts at gaining power and prestige.

Impact of Their Activities


The political impact of the German rubble women was so powerful and profound that it had a deep impact on the national discourses.

Bellofiore (2013) says that rubble women are most popularized because of their efforts to clean up the nation.

They actually cleaned up and piled the remains of demolished buildings in order to make it easier to open roads and railway tracks for goods and passengers vehicles.

From a political perspective, however, this led to a woman empowerment that is still prevalent in Germany.

Mackenbach (2013) stated that women didn’t have much rights during Nazi times because they were limited to domestic tasks by the Nazi doctrine.

After the war, the participation of the women in clean-up seemed to have been an act to emancipate the German women who had hoped to join the army during World War II.

Rosenow (2013) stated that the German women’s efforts were meant to lead to the rebirth and political emergence of Germany.

Their daily activities helped ensure stability in Germany and peace of mind.

Their hard work and strict mentality earned them the title of national hero.

This had a profound effect on German politics and the government sought to rebuild the system, even though it was not atoned for.


The economic aspect of Germany’s recovery from the Second World War saw the role of the rubble woman.

Bauer, Braun, Kvasnicka (2013) show that West Germany’s economic boom of 1950 saw an increase in industrial production at 25 %.

In 1950s, a number of banks like the Central Bank and Bundesbank were created to demonstrate the country’s economic development.

Braun, Bauer and Kvasnicka (2013) said that the country’s economic growth was not justifiable.

There were many factors that contributed to this economic boom.

Voigtlander & Voth (2015) claim that before the 1961 Berlin Wall, there was still economic progress. In unified Germany, business development took place.

This led to a rise in employment from 13.8 millions in 1950 to 19.8 million by 1960.

The economic development of Germany was largely due to the contributions made by German women.

Paxton’s research (2017) shows that the rise of employment was largely caused by the involvement of rubble women, previously not considered the largest labour force.

The participation of German women made it a major shift in the German financial paradigm that prompted the Allies to enter the country and establish business activities.


In this way, the cultural effects of the rubble women were more evident.

Donert (2013) said that the Nazi government didn’t allow German women any freedom.

They were required to stay at home and perform only household chores.

Nazi doctrine was more about their male chauvinism that it attempted to promote gender equality.

German women were deprived of their interest, and they did not have the chance to show their love for Germany.

The Denazification Program was launched after the War ended. It encouraged German women and gave them the opportunity to take on the responsibility of improving the country. (Sederberg (2014)

The fact is that German women sought such opportunities and cleaned up the cities provided the perfect platform for them to display their skills.

Frank (2018) believed that Germany’s transformation after the Second World War resulted in women being able to improve their status and rights.

Germany was first to see a female-dominated workforce.

It changed Germany’s cultural landscape and integrated German women into the productivity process.

The result was a shift of culture in Germany’s working culture. German women were now considered potential workers and played an integral part in the nation’s development.


The cultural impact and the social impact of the rubble woman were also linked to their impact.

It can be said that the clean up program provided equal opportunities for rubble women to participate with their male counterparts in order to have a positive social impact.

Social change can also occur due to the high death rate in Germany during the Second World War.

After the War, the number of German male citizens fell at a rapid rate. The social cohesion was also affected as the men were unable to perform the tasks required (Hyvonen and al., 2016).

In order to complete the daily work that had been done by their father, brothers or sons, it was necessary for women to take a major role.

Rosenow (2013), on the other hand, stated that German society was divided based upon gender before 1945. This meant that the male citizens had to do the outside work and the female citizens had only to handle the household chores.

But the Second World War’s fatal effects made it possible for women to take the lead and share the responsibility with their male counterparts.

This had a profound impact on the social order.

German women were able to enjoy greater social privileges and recognition after the fall Nazism and the notable performance of the rubble ladies.


It can be seen that the entire report places a strong focus on rubble women and their effect on Germany.

The discussion aims to give background information about the rubble ladies and to help understand the origins of rubble women in Germany.

This context shows that the devastating effects of World War II and their devastation caused not only many deaths but also damage to buildings and monuments throughout the world.

Germany, which was part of the Axis force, saw the majority of the destruction.

Germany was left the most devastated and ravaged country after the war.

As a result, the rubble woman rose to prominence and took responsibility for the development of the country.

It also includes the description of the rubble woman and their distinctive features, which will allow you to have a better understanding of these women.

A perception of the various activities of rubble women in Germany is essential.

The report accurately portrays the various attributes of rubble woman in Germany. They are also discussed on the basis cultural, political and social dynamics.

The report clearly identifies the role of the rubble woman in Germany’s postwar history and can thus conclude that they played a crucial role in saving Germany from destruction.


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