After the devastating air raid of 4 December 1944, the city centre of Heilbronn was reduced to rubble. The old town was completely razed to the ground.
In the aftermath of the air raid, reconstruction was only a distant dream. First of all, the debris and rubble had to be cleared away. Huge masses of wreckage were transported out of the city by hand and deposited in the port basin, an arm of the Neckar River or in vineyard caves. The “honorary service”, which all men capable of work had to join, played a significant role in clearing away the ruins.