Post-War Germany - Rubble Women
Germany after 1945.
Trümmerfrau (rubble woman) German for women who, in the aftermath of World War II, helped clear and reconstruct the bombed cities of Germany and Austria.
With hundreds of cities having suffered bombing and firestorm damage and many men either killed or prisoners of war, the task of clearing rubble fell to a large degree on women.
Between 1945 and 1946, the Allied powers, in both West Germany and East Germany, ordered all women between 15 and 50 years of age to participate in the postwar cleanup. For this purpose, previous restrictive measures protecting women in the labor force were removed in July 1946.
Trümmerfrauen, worked in all weather, their main tools were sledge-hammers. picks, buckets and hand-winches. After tearing down the ruins, the remnants had to be further demolished, down to single bricks that could later be used in rebuilding.