29 September 1945: The first photo (a post card), depicts the undamaged tower of the cathedral in Stuttgart known as the "Stiftskirche;" the second, taken 29 August 1945, shows the effects on the structure of Allied bombing during the war. Throughout the duration of the conflict, Stuttgart was bombed 53 times by the Allies, destroying 57% of the city's structures and killing approximately 4,500 people. Although an important industrial and rail center, many non-military targets were also destroyed, including some purely cultural sites such as this.
Located in the Schiller Platz next to the Old Castle of the Dukes of Württemberg, the Stiftskirche is a Gothic cathedral in which high mass was first celebrated in 1495, just a few decades before its conversion to a Lutheran place of worship. As with so many great European cathedrals, the Stiftskirche is the burial place of many local nobles, including the Swabian Count Ulrich the Stifter ("the Donor"), for whom the cathedral (originally dubbed the "Kreuzkirche," or "Cross Church") was renamed in the 16th century.
Although it was originally slated to be occupied by the French, Stuttgart was occupied by the Century Division by order of General Eisenhower due to the many problems that accompanied the first days of the presence of French forces in the area.
Post card from the collection of Bob Tessmer, I/397th Infantry Regiment, who also took and contributed the photo.