On the night of September 19, 1941 the Red Army left Kiev, parts of the Wehrmacht entered the city. The Kiev defensive operation ended in complete defeat — more than 600 thousand Red Army soldiers were captured, died or disappeared. The Germans lost up to 128 thousand people.
Explosions boomed on the streets for another week. There is no consensus on who continued to destroy the city. The Germans claimed that they were Soviet saboteurs, the “Soviets” accused the Germans. There is a version that both were guilty.
Having gained a foothold in Kiev, the Germans first of all restored bridges, electrical communications and part of strategic enterprises for their own needs. But ordinary citizens for the next two years had to live among the ruins and under the strict supervision of German officers. To understand what kind of life it was, relicsww2 turned to the German Federal Archives for photos.
All these photos were taken by German soldiers, officers and war correspondents.
A walk through occupied Kiev 1941-1942 begins.
Wehrmacht tanks in Kiev, September 19, 1941. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-L20213 / Photo: Reindl
German watch post. In the background the Kiev Pechersk Lavra and the burning bridge over the Dnieper River, September 19, 1941. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-L20208 / photo: Schmidt
Kiev after the capture of the Wehrmacht. Before the retreat, the Bolsheviks set fire and blew up several houses. September 20, 1941. Source: Bild 183-H26737 / photo: o.Ang.
The Bolsheviks wanted to defend the capital of Ukraine, Kiev, to their last home. Everywhere on the streets, Wehrmacht soldiers found barricades. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-L20206 / photo: Reindl
The meaningless destruction of the streets of Kiev by the Bolsheviks, September 19, 1941. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-B13121 / Photo: Heinz Mittelstaedt
Before the retreat, the Bolsheviks set fire to the hall of the main railway station in Kiev, September 1941. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-B15466 / Photo: Heinz Mittelstaedt
Large-scale fire on the main street of Kiev. The reason is the demolition of buildings by the Bolsheviks. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-B12190 / Photo: Kraagranger [Kraayvanger]
The capture of Kiev by the Wehrmacht. German artillery took height, September 1941. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-L29208 / Photo: Schmidt
German soldiers cross the Dnieper. In the background is the Lavra Monastery. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-B11425 / Photo: Reind
German troops on the streets of Kiev, September 1941. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-B13438 / Photo: Reindl
This is what the railway station in Kiev looks like when it was taken by German troops, on October 16, 1941, Scherl (German newsreel). Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-2011-0617-501 / Photo: o.Ang.
What the Bolsheviks did with beautiful Kiev. Entire neighborhoods were destroyed on September 20, 1941. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-L20332 / Photo: Funck
After the capture of the city, the roads are guarded by German soldiers. The local population is watching with interest, September 1941. Source: Bundesarchive, Bild 183-B13179
Ostarbeiters are sent to Germany, Kiev, 1942. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-R70660 / Photo: o.Ang
Ruined by Soviets Assumption Cathedral in the Lavra, Kiev, 1942. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1985-093-29A / Photo: Kress
Fresh meat for daily supply to the police, Kiev, December 1942. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 121-1493 / Photo: Scherer
Assistants to the Commander of the Order Police in the Reich Commissariat make purchases in Kiev, 1942. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1993-022-29A / Photo: o.Ang.
Ukrainian policeman next to two Ukrainians in folk costumes, Kiev, December, 1942. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-2000-034-18 / Photo: Scherer