Station 10: War & Peace


#deinsauerland / Outdooractive POIs / Station 10: War & Peace

Information point:

- Wimereux Street

08. April 1945: Amerikanischer Soldat mit deutschen Kriegsgefangenen.

Propagandamarsch des Jungvolks in Schmallenberg, 20.08.1933.

Feier in dekoriertem Saal in Schmallenberg etwa 1936.

Amerikanische Panzer stoßen aus Sorpetal Richtung Holthausen vor.

Vormarsch amerikanischer Infanterie von Niedersorpe nach Holthausen.

Schmallenberg am 7. April 1945.

Amerikanische Panzer in Fredeburg.

Hungernde Städter kehren vollbepackt nach einer Hamsterfahrt ins Sauerland heim, um 1945.


Station 10: War & Peace


57392 Schmallenberg



Again and again wars

Founded as a fortified town, Schmallenberg has repeatedly faced attacks and battles throughout its history, despite - or perhaps because of - its mountainous lag. In the 14th century, the town participated in numerous land peace alliances and concluded agreements with the surrounding towns of Hallenberg, Medebach and Winterberg for mutual protection (1300, 1370, 1451). The four towns also joined the great Westphalian land peace alliances. At the time of the Soest feud around 1444, the surrounding villages were repeatedly plundered: The inhabitants sought shelter behind the walls of the town; quite a few villages became desolate during this time.During the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), Schmallenberg was spared from major destruction because Kaspar von Dorlar called Decker, who was a Swedish war commissioner, stood up for Schmallenberg: his family has been attested in Schmallenberg since 1349, repeatedly provided mayors and owned a house in the southeast of the town (in Deckers Gässchen). A century later, during the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), in which the Bishop of Cologne supported France against Hesse and Prussia, the town, on the other hand, suffered from frequent quarterings of French, Hessian and Prussian soldiers as well as oppressive taxes. The Coalition Wars in the course of the French Revolution also influenced life in Schmallenberg from 1794 onwards; in the following years, the town had to repeatedly provide food, clothing and accommodation to troops passing through. In May 1795, 300 Austrian soldiers arrived in the town. In the autumn of 1797 and in the summer of 1798 French infantry and cavalry took up quarters. In 1813 and 14 Russian, Prussian and Saxon troops passed through Schmallenberg and had to be accommodated and fed. Again there was peace for more than 100 years. The two world wars also claimed many victims among the people of Schmallenberg and especially during the Second World War many forced laborers were used in the local industry and agriculture. All Jewish residents, who had been well integrated into everyday life in Schmallenberg until the Nazis came to power in 1933, disappeared from the town; the majority were deported and murdered in concentration camps, while some managed to emigrate. However, Schmallenberg was hardly affected by the direct events of the First and Second World Wars until April 1945. It was not until the very last days of the Second World War that heavy fighting took place in Schmallenberg, because the area around Schmallenberg served as a last retreat for various troop detachments. On April 7, 1945, during the Allied invasion of the Ruhr, Schmallenberg was attacked by the American 7th Armored Division with air support, after the villages of Gleidorf and Grafschaft, and occupied on the same day. 72 German soldiers and 11 civilians fell, 350 soldiers were captured, 37 houses burned and 151 were damaged. The attack on Schmallenberg was captured on 32-millimeter film.In the summer of 1945, the stream of refugees from the east also came to Schmallenberg and, given the housing shortage, the lack of food and the evacuees from bombed cities during the war, several hundred people, meant a great burden for the local population.

Cultivating peace through town twinning

In the last decades the idea of peace has been cultivated and strengthened by the town twinning of Schmallenberg with Wimereux (since 1972) and Burgess Hill (since 1988). Mutual visits and student exchanges take place regularly.

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