35mm. D.: 22’. Bn.
[Köln nach einem Bombenangriff 1944] is an assemblage of newsreel footage from Cologne. We see a church erected during the 14th and 15th century (as a sign says) that is now destroyed, ruined restaurants (including Die Bastei, an architectural landmark), as well as the bombed-out offices of eau de cologne company 4711 on the Glockengasse. Nuns wander among the rubble; corpses lie by the wayside. In a chalk scribble on a wall someone wonders about the fate of another – who knows what became of these people? If this is your hometown, these scattered impressions add up to a highly condensed, symbolic narrative.
[Berlin nach einem bombenangriff 1944] is even more of a patchwork, but with several revealing moments and surreal sights from Berlin. One shows a church with a sign promising “reopening soon”, another people carrying a piano among the rubble. One ruin is identified as the former seat of the “Presse-Abteilung der Reichsregierung im Reichsministerium fur Volksaufklärung und Propaganda. Abteilung Ausland”; following this, posters advertising 1943 releases such as …und die Musik spielt dazu. Saison in Salzburg (Carl Boese) or Ein glücklicher Mensch (Paul Verhoeven) look even more unreal. Pity the dead animals in a bombed-out zoo; wonder at Göring contemplating the capital’s devastation.