Rare edition of the 1944 edition of “Bomber’s Baedeker” has been digitalised. The volumes from the Leibniz Institute of European History are now available through Gutenberg Capture, the online portal of the University Library at Mainz.
In 1943 the British Ministry of Economic Warfare published a “Guide to the Economic Importance of German Towns and Cities” listing bombing targets in Germany. An enlarged second edition came out in 1944. One of the very few copies is held by the library of the Leibniz Institute of European History. It has now been made available online as the original can no longer be used for reasons of preservation.
Open acess to digital edition https://visualcollections.ub.uni-mainz.de/urn/urn:nbn:de:hebis:77-vcol-20056
Bomber’s Baedeker lists German cities with an evaluation of their importance for the German war economy, the available infrastructure und transport facilities. The first edition focused on cities witth 15,000 or more inhabitants; the second edition included locations with less than 1,000 inhabitants if they appeared important for the war economy. Targets were asigned “priorities”.
A seminar on the digital copy and its potential for digital history will be held at the Leibniz Institute of European History on 15 October 2019 at 4 p.m.
Ines Grund (IEG): Einführung
UB Mainz Digitalisierungszentrum: Einblick in den Workflow Digitalisierung
Sven Kuttner, UB LMU München: Bomber’s Baedeker und die Folgen. Die Zerstörung der Universitätsbibliothek München im Zweiten Weltkrieg – ein kurzer Überblick
Stefan Schmunk (Hochschule Darmstadt) und Thorsten Wübbena (IEG): Bomber’s Baedeker aus der Perspektive der Geschichtswissenschaften und der Digital Humanities
The entry for Mainz, for example, refers to the harbours on the Rhine and the railway lines, the Gas and Electricity Works, the docks, M.A.N. in Gustavsburg, the chemical company in Budenheum, the Werner & Mertz A.G., the Rheinische Schellackbetriebe Ernst Kalkhor, and Degussa in Mombach. Most of these targets are classified category 3, i.e. of relatively minor importance for the German war effort.
Press release PM_Baedekers_Bomber_Guide