Günter Grass described the death of city in "Blechtrommel" in following words:
"Rechtstadt (Main Town), Altstadt (Old Town), Pfefferstadt (Spicy Town), Vorstadt (Suburb), Jungstadt (Young Town), Neustadt (New Town) and Niederstadt (Lower Town), built together over seven hundred years, burnt down in three days. It was not the first fire of Danzig. Pommeranians, Brandenburgian, Teutonic Knights, Polish, Swedes and again Swedes, Frenchmen, Prussians and Russians, also Saxons already before, creating history, every couple decades acknowledged, that it is necessary to burn down this city - and now Russians, Polish, Germans and English together burnt the bricks of gothic buildings hundred time and they did not obtain the biscuits this way. The streets burnt, Häckergasse burnt, Langgasse, Breitgasse, Große and Kleine Wollwebergasse, Hundegasse burnt, Tobiasgasse, Vorstädischer Graben, Altstädischer Graben, Wallgasse and Lange Brücke burnt. Crane was built of trees and burnt especially beautiful. At Kleinen Hossenähergasse(Trousemakers street) fire took measure for many pairs of glaring red trousers. St Mary Church burnt from the inside and through ogival windows showed solemn light. The bells of St Katharinen, St Johann, St Brigitten, Barbara, Elisabeth, Peter and Paul, of Trinitatis and Corpus-Christi churches, that were not evacuated, melted in belfries and dropped down without murmur. In Great Mill the fire milled red wheat. At Fleischergasse (Butchers street) you could smell burnt Sunday roast. The world premiere of "Dreams of incendiary" - ambiguous one-act play was played in City Theatre. At town hall the authorities decided to increase after fire, with backwards validity, salaries of firemen. Street Heilige Geist Gasse (Saint Spirit) burnt in name of Saint Spirit, cloister of Franciscans merrily burnt in name Saint Francisco, who after all, loved and resounded the fire. Frauengasse burnt in the name of Father and Son. This is simply intelligible that Holzmarkt (Wooden Market), Kohlenmarkt (Coal Market), Heumarkt (Hay Market) burnt down. At Brotbänkergasse breads would not go out from the stove. At Milchkannengasse milk boiled in vats. Only the building of Westprussian Fire Insurances Company, from clearly symbolical regards, did not want to burn down. "
During the 2nd WW the destruction in Danzig was comparatively small, few allied air raids, did not bring large losses. In March 1945, Danzig was "liberated" by Red Army and Polish Army. Already during artillery fire many precious monuments were destroyed, and street fights brought the destruction for the other buildings.
See the unique, colour pictures taken in January 1946.
Danzig after the war, pictures were taken between 1945 and 1948:
Pictures on this page come from collections of Roland and the author