Between 6.9 million and 7.5 million Germans lost their lives during World War Two – around 8% of their population at the time. The allies leveled cities like Berlin and Dresden in air raids, and from 1945, occupied the country.
You would expect Germany’s people to take generations to recover, but that didn’t seem to be the case. From 1945 on, Germany made great strides to rebuild their cities and their culture. The Marshall Plan funneled billions of dollars into West Germany and the rest of Europe from 1948 onward, allowing them to quickly rebuild.
In this post-war transition of 1950s Germany, photographers like Josef Heinrich Darchinger traveled the country documenting.
You would think the photos would focus on the destruction, but instead, you see the average German’s strength as they attempt to move on through the darkest period of their history. People from all walks of life are captured in amazingly candid photos.