Coventry and Dresden after 1940/45

Photo of bombed Coventry

The project explores the cultural history of two cities in the aftermath of total devastation in the Second World War. Much of Coventry and Dresden were wiped out or 'coventrated' by aerial bombardment in November 1940 and February 1945 respectively. These events inflicted death and destruction upon historic cities in a manner disproportionate to military objectives and their story has been recalled through social rituals and monuments time and again since 1940/45. The rise of Coventry and Dresden to commemorative sites of international stature contrasts with the relative insignificance of London and (East) Berlin. Both capital cities have lacked major monumental demonstrations and commemorative networks and they provide a foil to Coventry and Dresden throughout this study.


Stefan Goebel, ‘Coventry nach der “Coventrierung”: Der Bombenkrieg im europäischen Gedächtnis’, in Heinz-Dietrich Löwe (ed), Vorstellung und Erinnerung in der Wahrnehmung der europäischen Stadt (Heidelberg, Universitätsverlag C. Winter, 2005), 15 pp.; Stefan Goebel, 'Commemorative Cosmopolis: Transnational Networks of Remembrance in Post-War Coventry', in S. Goebel and D. Keene (eds), Cities into Battlefields: Metropolitan Scenarios, Experiences and Commemorations of Total War (Ashgate, 2012), pp. 163-184.


CMH Annual Reports 2002-3, 2003-4

Project details

Researcher: Stefan Goebel, M.Phil., Ph.D. (Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellow 1 October 2002-1 September 2004)