The unsung heroines
of the post-WWII
Trümmerfau would literally be translated as "ruins woman". After the end of the war, many cities were in shambles.
Also, most men capable of work were either dead or prisoners of war. The work to clear the cities of all the rubble, to save bricks to be reused - it was the Trümmerfrau who did it. From young girls to old ladies, they put in hour after hour of very low-paid community work, with slightly better ration cards thrown in.
Not an easy job - in 1946, 22 women lost their life in the ruins.
No machines were employed - still, those women not only cleared huge areas of the cities but also built houses.