An American Tourist visits Gardelegen

St. Nicholas Church in Gardelegen is a bombed-out empty shell

On March 15, 1945, about one month before the infamous massacre at Gardelegen, the beautiful Romanesque St. Nicholas Church was partially destroyed by bombs in an Allied air raid on the town. The ruined church, which dates back at least to the year 1196, was boarded up and locked when I visited the town in May 2001. Part of the interior was saved and it has been incorporated into the Marian Church, also of Romanesque origin.

Interior of bombed church in Gardelegen

On my visit to Gardelegen in May 2002, I was appalled at the sight of the ruins of this beautiful Christian church that had been hit by American bombs for no apparent reason; you may be sure that this war crime was never reported in the news about Gardelegen.

As was customary in Communist East Germany, the bombed-out church was left as a ruin, and today it is enjoyed only by the birds. Needless to say, photographs of the wanton destruction of this 750-year-old church did not make it into Life Magazine in 1945.

Small sign to the left of the door says the ruined church is a Memorial

Bell tower of the bombed church was restored in 1991

On the side of the church is the Holtz Markt (timber market)




This page was last updated on March 29, 2007