Frankfurt/Main Aerial and Historical Views - Photo #3 - Frankfurt/Main aerial views and maps 1944-2022


Our part of Frankfurt in 1945 looking south towards downtown and the Main River. Not shown here was bomb damage in nearby Grüneburg Park (lower right), where the ornate Schloß Grüneburg was damaged beyond repair. In fact most of the city, especially the Altstadt, was leveled, as you can see if you enlarge the photo (in which Altstadt is just below the river at the far left and the Hauptbahnhof is at far fight, also below the river); in fact almost every building between the Farben Building and the River was damaged or destroyed. General Eisenhower had ordered the Farben building be spared by the bombers for use as postwar American headquarters. When the war ended Eisenhower himself moved in to first-floor Conference Room 130 as US Military Governor and Supreme Commander of US Forces European Theater.

The Farben building was erected 1929-31 on the former site of "Schloß Bedlam", a mental hospital directed by Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann, better known as the author of the most famous of all German children's books, Struwwelpeter. Dr. Hoffman's hospital was perhaps the first modern mental instution, where patients were treated with dignity for their illnesses rather than merely imprisoned (and usually mistreated). Today Frankfurt is home to a Struwwelpeter Museum. Since 1995 the Farben building is a campus of Goethe University.


  • When General Eisenhower had just moved into the Farben Building and was planning the occupation of Germany with Generals Montgomery and Zhukov, at one point he decided they needed a break and he invited Alberta Hunter and several other African-American acts who were touring with the USO to come and perform; all three generals wound up swinging and jiving into the wee hours, with Ike singing along to tunes like GI Jive and Straighten Up and Fly Right. —Cheryl Mullenbach, Double Victory, Chicago Review Press (2017), pp.210-211.

  • Memorial Campus Westend, Goethe University, for histories of the Farben building, its role in the War, and various memorials.