The city of Nuremberg became a major bombing target for the Allied forces in late 1944 during World War II. Adolf Hitler had used the city as a center for Nazi rallies and military production since 1927, and the city also housed a subcamp of Flossenburg concentration camp. For these reasons, the British and American Air Forces organized massive-scale bombings on the city, the worst of which happened in January 1945. About 90% of the old city center was destroyed. Nuremberg had the most rubble-per-resident of any city in Germany at the end of the war.
Fleming tried to capture both the destruction and the humanity of bombed-out Germany. Some photos show miles of desolated buildings. Other pictures show how survivors found ways to live among the ruins. Around 50% of Nuremberg was homeless, and most remaining dwellings were damaged, so people did all their daily tasks out in the street. Fleming especially included children in his photographs. The images here include a girl helping her mother with washing clothes, and a woman observing her baby as it learns to climb the stairs of an air-raid shelter where they currently live. Although Nazi Germany was the United States’ enemy in the war, Fleming chose to show Germans as being like any other sort of person who was affected by the violence of World War II.
Ruins of Nurnberg Activity Guide