Girls carry Christmas tree on trail across bombing rubble in Frankfurt. News
photo, ca. 1946. "Parents strictly forbade their children to play on the
rubble heaps. They contained unexploded bombs. They were unstable and
continued to collapse. There were dead people buried in them. No matter:
kids played on the rubble, myself no exception. The rubble heaps were my
park, jungle gym, play house, treasure island, amusement park, Disneyland.
Soon weeds sprouted on the rubble, dandelions bloomed, cats and dogs moved
in to chase the rats, and were themselves chased by people for food, all
adding to the irresistible charm. In places, the only way to get from point
A to point B was across the rubble, and regular trails formed, as you can
see in this old news photo showing two girls carrying a Christmas tree
across the ruins in Frankfurt. To be sure, work was underway to clear the
debris and rebuild, but that took years." —Martin Nicolaus,
of Frankfurt (1945-1953).