Air Raids on Frankfurt

The Second World War changed the cityscape forever

Bombing of Frankfurt during the Second World War

Like many other German cities, Frankfurt was badly damaged by numerous air raids during World War II. But Frankfurt was particularly hard hit.

According to official statistics, a total of 5,559 people were killed in Frankfurt in the aerial warfare of the Second World War, including 4,822 residents, but also prisoners of war and forced laborers. In the firestorm of the March attacks in 1944, almost all the important cultural monuments and the entire medieval Old Town and the New Town with their more than 1,800 half-timbered houses burned down. Other parts of the city such as Bockenheim, Rödelheim, Ostend, and Oberrad were destroyed to over 70%. In total, around 90,000 of the 177,600 apartments in the city as well as almost all public buildings, schools, churches and hospitals were destroyed.

A total of around 75 air raids were carried out on Frankfurt during World War II. The attacks on Nazi Germany were flown by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from June 1940 and also carried out by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) from October 1943 until March 1945. Over 26,000 tons of bombs fell on the city area. Several attacks from October 1943, especially two so-called thousand-bomber attacks on March 18 and 22, 1944, changed the face of the city forever.

At the end of the war in 1945, Frankfurt’s population had fallen from over 553,000 (1939) to around 230,000, half of whom were homeless. About 17 million cubic meters of rubble covered the city.

Frankfurt city center was wiped out by WW2 bombings
Frankfurt in June 1945 - destruction everywhere

According to the Daily Express newspaper, Frankfurt was the most bombed city in the world at the time.

Frankfurt was the most bombed city during the 2nd world war - Daily Express

It was not until the Second World War that Frankfurt became a high-rise city. This also included the destruction of the inner city and the complete loss of its urban identity.