F: People sought refuge in cellars and in air-raid shelters; there were almost daily air-raid warnings – although Siegburg didn’t suffer as badly in the Second World War as most other German towns and cities.
M: But in 1944, even Siegburg experienced the ferocity of war to its fullest extent. On the 10th of September, a low-level strafing attack caused a bloodbath. The Allied planes opened fire on a crowded train at Aggerdeich. 45 people died, 89 more were injured.
The city centre and the abbey were bombed and largely destroyed. Again, there was great loss of life.
F: The aerial photograph in the display case was taken by the Allies in 1944 and shows the extent of the destruction in Siegburg and the surrounding area. You can see that even before the major attack, there were bomb craters within the urban area.
M: There was another major attack in 1945. Over a period of several weeks, Siegburg was right behind the front line and came under constant artillery fire.
F: At the back of the room, we have a defused bomb on display to symbolise those punishing attacks.
M: The installation on the other side includes items from a private air-raid shelter, a ventilation system and the door to the shelter. It’s a reference to the fact that private cellars – which were to be used as air-raid shelters – had to be equipped for war even during peacetime.
F: You can find out more about this topic in German at the media station. The start button is on the wall.
Foto: © Dagmar Trüpschuch