Hitler Passed This Way

Found this brilliant, poignant little book the other day

It contains before and after photos of areas bombed during the Second World War. Like these of Paternoster Row devastated by a bombing raid in December 1940.

The introduction states that the photos “present the aftermath of the new kind of war Hitler thrust upon mankind, the war in which non-combatants were to be killed off like insects, and their homes, hospitals, schools and churches were to be smashed to pieces.”

I’ll place it next to William Kent’s equally haunting Lost Treasures of London, Kent being a great guide to the city dutifully logging the artifacts, and relics, as well as buildings lost in the Blitz.

Thankfully I also have the wartime optimism of the County of London Plan (1943) to perk me up – a reminder that whilst the bombs rained down on London there were a group of people in a nissen hut somewhere planning new open spaces, hospitals, and fly-overs.

london

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