Blitzed: Liverpool Lives exhibition explores memories of those caught up in the World War II blitz
A free new exhibition is revealing the devastation the Blitz brought to the lives and city of Liverpool through a collection of rare photographs and personal accounts.
Blitzed: Liverpool Lives at the Museum of Liverpool captures the devastation and resilience of local people during the Blitz in up to 60 photographs taken by Liverpool City Police from 1940-1941. The port of Liverpool and surrounding areas were key targets for German bombers. In Merseyside, 4,000 civilians were killed, 10,000 homes destroyed and 70,000 people made homeless by the bombings. Liverpool itself suffered the second highest number of civilian deaths in air raids in the country but, due to censorship, press reports often didn’t tell the whole story.
At the heart of the exhibition is the people of Liverpool; those affected by the Blitz – their memories, struggles with the aftermath and how they rebuilt their lives. The display features audio interviews and written memories of carrying on in the face of a terrible onslaught.
Kay Jones, curator of Urban Community History, said: ‘Seeing these striking images of desolation alongside the experiences of people who were there really brings home what this city and its people went through. They reveal many stories of personal tragedy but also the incredible resilience of local people.
‘The legacies of these bombings can still be seen and felt in the city today. They also remind us of ongoing conflict around the world and the continuing terrible human cost.’
The exhibition is divided into three key themes:
- City centre and shops
- Homes and neighbourhoods
- Industry, docks and transport
Visitors can share their own memories and reactions, with selected responses displayed alongside the photographs, while sensory elements include wartime aromas and tactile images.
Blitzed: Liverpool Lives is open at the Museum of Liverpool, Pier Head, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool L3 1DG, until summer 2021; website.
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