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Politics | 1900 up to 1950 | Mecklenburg until 1945

Soviet military helmet

360° Ansicht
  • Steel plate
  • Rostock
  • 1940s

The helmet belongs to the standard equipment issued to soldiers of the Red Army. The 65th Army of the Belorussian Front takes the city of Rostock on 1 May 1945. The Nazi dictatorship and the war have ravaged the city. The population, now 69,000, is half of what it once was. 2,611 (24.7%) of the 10,535 residential homes are destroyed and 6,735 (60.5%) damaged. The theatre, post and telegraph office, the courts, the administrative building, two clinics, eight schools, St Peter's, St Jacob's and St Nicholas', as well as the Stone, St Peter's and Cow Gates are all in ruins, and the urban supply and transport systems have collapsed. The first measures taken by the Soviet front commander, billeted in the hotel 'Rostocker Hof', are to restore public order.

On 3 May, led by the communist Hans Mahnke, members of the banned communist party KPD and the social democratic party SPD make contact with the front commander and form a public order committee to prevent looting. The Nazi Party and its organisations are banned on 5 May and the old administrative systems disbanded. Public life is ruled by orders. Christoph Seitz becomes lord mayor on 9 May. The new administration is tasked with restoring normality to public life, clearing the city and dismantling its fortifications, organising food supply and public utilities, confiscating the property of fugitive Nazi Party members and caring for the refugees and homeless.

Text: S. St.

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The exhibit refers to:


Kulturhistorisches Museum Rostock

Kloster zum Heiligen Kreuz
Klosterhof 7
18055 Rostock