Here's amazing colour footage of Berlin from just after the Nazis were defeated

For nearly a month from April to May 1945, Berlin was the site of the last major offensive in the European theatre of World War II. The Battle of Berlin, which was fought between Soviet and Nazi forces, decimated large portions of the German capital.

The scale of the destruction in the center of Europe is difficult to imagine in the present day, especially now that Berlin is the capital of one of the most stable and prosperous countries in the world. But colorized archival footage from a still-devastated city shot in July 1945 gives a glimpse of what life was like there not long after the fall of the Third Reich. 

A colour video of Berlin from July 1945, just months after Nazi Germany’s defeat in World War II, has been making the rounds online. The footage was originally produced by Kronos Media. 

The final capture of Berlin by the Soviets in 1945 led to widespread destruction throughout the city. 

In the total war that preceded the city’s capture, residential and government areas of the city were hit. 

Symbols of Berlin, such as the Brandenburg Gate, were damaged in the battle. 

The Reichstag was also thoroughly damaged. 

The Soviets occupied Berlin immediately after the city fell. Ultimately, Berlin would be divided between a Soviet-allied communist regime and West Germany until 1990, when the country was finally reunified.

Still, life continued for Berliners … 

Children helped with the reconstruction effort, repaving portions of streets by hand. 

With the city’s water systems badly damaged, citizens formed long lines to transport buckets of water from communal pumps. 

The total scope of the destruction is easier to see from the air. 

You can watch the entire video below: 

NOW WATCH: Here’s what happens when you get bitten by a black widow

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.