While visiting the Old Town of Düsseldorf, the guide told us that this district (now one of the most expensive places in Germany) was saved from WW2 bombings by a Jewish man who used to live there. He had escaped from Hitler's Germany to America and joined the US Army, then he became some kind of commander and was able to order that part of town not to be bombed. I couldn't find anything online about this story. Is it documented anywhere?

1 Answer 1


I really doubt this is more than an urban legend for a few reasons:

  1. Bomber Command. The RAF had an explicit night-time area bombing strategy, targeting Dusseldorf multiple times (for example in September 1942 and July 1943). Unless the Old Town was very lucky it would have been flattened.
  2. Precision Bombing Isn't. In contrast to the RAF, the USAAF had a daylight "precision bombing" strategy. Unfortunately, under combat and weather conditions prevailing achieved precision was significantly less than what could be achieved during training (though arguably better than what the RAF achieved in their night raids). If any kind of factories engaged in war production were in/near the old town it likely would have been attacked and the surrounding area would have become collateral damage.

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