The reconstruction of Braunschweig

Destruction and new growth

After World War II Braunschweig lay completely in ruins. 90 % of the city centre and 50 % of the manufacturing plants were destroyed. It took decades alone to remove all the debris.

Housing shortages influence the post-war period

During the first years of peace people lived in temporary buildings, cellars and other emergency dwellings. Very often numerous families had to share one flat. The situation was made worse by the 60.000 refugees who arrived in Braunschweig. They therefore pressed ahead with new housing construction. The construction company ‘Nibelungen’ for example purchased the Bebelhof district where they completed more than 1000 units in just under a year.

Braunschweig loses its old image

The new Braunschweig developed as a modern city according to the ideas of the town planners. Structures that had been developed over centuries were destroyed by newly built street network. Even buildings that were still intact and precious cultural assets were demolished.

Economy and science work closely together

The economy of the city experienced serious changes after 1945. Some trades like the tin or optical industries nearly disappeared completely whereas new ones like the car industry, traffic engineering and biotechnology came along. Research, teaching and sciences are also at home in Braunschweig and cooperate closely with local industries.

The idea of family changes

In the last decades a change in household- and family structures became apparent. There are far more single parents, married couples without children and single households and the average age of the population rises. This involves a change in requirements for housing that is being met today by modernisation and refurbishment of old buildings and the construction of new buildings with modern concepts.

Explanations and hints

Picture credits

  • Quelle: Stadtarchiv H XVI_A VII
  • Quelle: Nibelungen Wohnbau GmbH