Then the Bombs Fell

Then the Bombs Fell

Danuta Bartkowiak describes an air raid on a forced labour camp in Grenzstraße.

Grenzstraße after the Air Raid

20 young Poles died here in an AEG camp in 1944.

Belated Remembrance …

… of 20 young Poles who died here during an air raid

Blessing of the Graves, 2004

The graves were rediscovered through an initiative of former Polish forced labourers.

As the Reich capital and military centre, Berlin was a major target of Allied air raids. For forced labourers, the air raids meant not only danger, but also the possibility of liberation.

At the beginning of September, 1943, Allied planes attacked the Berlin electrical industry. During the attack, a house at Grenzstraße 16 was hit, which housed female Polish forced labourers. The women worked as unskilled workers at the factory on Ackerstraße. 20 young Polish women were killed. It was not until 60 years later that they finally received gravestones and a memorial plaque.


Grenzstraße 16
13355 Berlin


S Humboldthain


“Then the Bombs Fell”: Testimony of Danuta Bartkowiak, 1997, and private photo, Collection of the Berliner Geschichtswerkstatt

“Grenzstraße after the Air-Raid”: Landesarchiv Berlin

“Belated Remembrance”: Private archive Irmer

“Blessing of the Graves”: Memories and remembrance Berlin, Lodz. Documentary of a meeting, Berlin 2004, Private archive Irmer