The former East Prussian port of Swinemünde was, at the end of the war, a magnet for the millions of refugees who were forced to flee the Red Army. It is estimated that nearly two million refugees were embarked in the German ports in the east, and then sailed in safety to the west or to Denmark.
Early in 1943 the Germans built a navy protective bunker T750 in the harbour. The bunker was used as headquarters for a fast attack craft flotilla and is today used by the Polish Navy.
Because of the many refugees and wounded soldiers the population of Swinemünde in spring 1945 increased significantly. On 12 March 1945 the city was bombed by over 650 U.S. bombers. It is estimated that between 8,000 and 23,000 people died in the attack. German historians later called the night "Das inferno von Swinemünde".
On 5 May Swinemünde was captured by the Soviets and has today the Polish name Swinoujscie.
© Picture by Ty Masz