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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 97 (June 1947)

[Karlsruhe cleans up],   pp. [2]-[4] PDF (2.8 MB)

Page [3]

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arlsruhe stands at the head of all
KGerman cities in rubble clearance,
having found that the clean-up pro-
gram  has  an  important psycho-
logical influence on its citizens. The
effort to remove the scars of war has
been reflected in a more active effort
to rebuild the economy of the area
and the apathy which handicaps so
many German cities is not apparent
there. These are the views of Major
Clair S. Keena, in charge of .Military
Government for the city.
The Karlsruhe program is based on
the idea of ,,Ehrendienst" oor honor
work. Every: able-bodied male citizen
contributes a certain number of work-
ing hours to clearing away the debris
of bonming, without pay, "for the
honor of the city...
The program was started about a
year ago by Major William T. Neel,
who is now Chief of the housing
branch of the Office of Military Gov-
ernment for Wuerttemberg-Baden, but
who was then the energetic MG
chief of Karlsruhe. British-born Major
Neel, after an early post-war visit to
England, said; "I saw how success-
fully the British had cleaned up
Southampton and came back imbued
with the idea of getting Karlsruhe
cleaned up so rebuilding could :'be
It took him about six weeks to get
the. idea sold to the German city
officials; X he wanted the program to
be backed fully bythe local citizens,
with  MG   merely furnishing  the
impetus. He found the Chief Mayor,
Hermann Veit, now Minister of Econ-
The clean-up wask started on a Sat-
urday' afternon, and' the'mayor and
other city officials put on'> o-rveralls
and led the work. "This was very
effective," Major Neel explained, "be-
cause of the strong German feeling
toward the dignity which holding
public office confers on Ia iman."
Sixteen hundred men pitched in to
move rubble along with the officials,
and the program was off to a'good
The magnitude of the task which
confronted the citizens of this 'once-
lovely little town can be visualized
by these figures: In 1939 there were
35,911 buildings of all types available
in Karlsruie. Of these 7,790 were
totally destroyed during the ' war,
4,535 were 50 to 60 percent damaged,
5,218 were 30 to 50 percent damaged,
and 10,920 were damabed up 'to
30Wpercent. Only 21 percent, or 7,386
of the buildings which formerly stood
in the town, Iremained undamaged,
The quantity of rubble which needed
to be cleaned away was estimated
to be one and a half million cubic
The project has not, always gone
smoothly. Mayor Veit ran into an in-
itial hornet's nest over 'the issuance
(left) The shel of the castle of King
Louis hi Karlsruhe (photo by Rosen-
berg. (rght) The men who Inspired
Karlsruhe's clean-up program. At right
is Major William T. Neel Inspecting
plans with German leaders as Lt. Col.
Eugene P. Walters looks on. At left Is
Chief Mayor Hermann Veit (photo
front Karisruhe MG).

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