The Only Book Self Knows That Weighs RUBBLE

The war had left about 500 million cubic metres of rubble behind. To help people visualize the amount, they undertook all kinds of calculations. The Nürnberger Nachrichten took the Zeppelin field at the Reich Party rally grounds as its benchmark. Piled up in that space, 300 metres by 300, the rubble would have produced a mountain, 4,000 metres high, topped with perpetual snow. Others imagined the Berlin ruins, calculated as having a volume of 55 million cubic metres, as a wall 30 metres wide and 5 metres high and stretching westwards, reaching all the way to Cologne. These were the sort of notions used to help people grasp the enormous quantities of debris that needed to be cleared away. No one who stood in cities such as Dresden, Berlin, Hamburg, Kiel, Duisburg or Frankfurt, whole districts of which had been completely destroyed, could possibly have imagined how the detritus could ever be removed, let alone the cities be reconstructed. There were 40 cubic metres of rubble for each surviving resident of Dresden.

Aftermath, Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich, 1945-1955, p. 13

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