The Augustinerkloster in Erfurt was an Augustinian monastery where Martin Luther lived while he studied at the university
for a few years after 1505. February 25, 1945 was one of the darkest days in the history of the building. Due to an air
raid, numerous townspeople sought refuge in the cellars of the monastery. However, two British planes dropped two
bombs on the building, causing it to completely collapsed. The 267 people huddled below for safety met their death, the
only survivor being a little girl pulled from the rubble who lost an arm in the blast. On April 12, 1945, Erfurt was taken by
units of the U.S. Third Army under General George Patton and occupied until July 3, when to the horror of the citizens,
American troops handed it over to the Soviet Red Army.
By April 1945, there were also 37,430 war refugees from the east who had lost their homes temporary encamped within
in the city of Erfurt. They would either escape farther west or be thrown into captivity for decades. Luther's land was in
peril. The Allied Operation Clarion was carried out with the goal of helping Stalin and erasing German cultural symbols
and objects of national pride. In the process, thousands of years of history were needlessly lost to the world. Many
historical buildings dating from the 15th to the 16th Century were destroyed completely by English bombardment.
Allied Bombing Of Erfurt: Luther's Land
Erfurt Rathaus 1800
and 1945
Augustinerkloster 1600
Augustinerkloster 1945
Erfurt in 1550
Erfurt in 1895
The strong pressure waves caused lhuge damage to the west wing of
the Augustinerkloster monastery, the Priory, the Augustinerkirche
and to the other buildings of the Renaissance yard. Protestant
Michaeliskirche, built in 1183, which later served as the official
church of Erfurt University was also mostly destroyed.