“Women of the ruins” from the German, die Trümmerfrauen – from Trümmer meaning “ruins” and Frauen “women”- refers to women who, after World War II, helped clear cities of the ruins of buildings that had been bombed. These women aged 15 to 50 had been ordered by the Allied occupying powers to participate in the reconstruction of the country by clearing the streets. Many of the men who lost their lives in the war in 1945 included among the women of the ruins widowed mothers forced to work. Companies responsible for clearing the streets of German cities listed these women in their register as Bauhilfsarbeiterin (“construction worker”), Trümmerarbeiterin (“ruin worker”) or Arbeiterin für Enträumungsarbeiten (“worker clearing”). The main work consisted of the demolition of damaged buildings that remained standing, most often using manual winches or pickaxes. After the demolition, the bricks that had not been damaged were salvaged and reused for repairs and the construction of new buildings. These bricks were carried to the road by human chains.
A pause, not a deferral.