Virginia Morris

Document Type

Honors Thesis


When the Second World War ended in 1945, Germany lay in ruins. Divided East and West, under Western and Soviet occupation, their country devastated, Germans began to rebuild their lives, homes, and country while searching for a way to process their role in the war, their defeat, and its meaning for themselves as a people. One way they began to reconstruct a sense of identity was to highlight historic German cultural creations. Germans, amidst the physical and political turmoil that surrounded them under military occupation, expended extraordinary efforts to preserve and rebuild two churches nearly obliterated by Allied bombing--the Frauenkirche of Dresden in East Germany and the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächniskirche of Berlin in West Germany. The struggle to preserve as much as possible the pre-war appearance of these universally recognized splendid architectural landmarks demonstrates how Germans, even in defeat, used links to past glory to help forge a new, postwar German identity.

Publication Date






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