The vast amount of debris guaranteed that the clean up would not be completed quickly. In fact, clean up started long before the end of the war. Since the Nazi Regime refused to admit that it was losing the war, laborers were brought in to clean up rubble after bombing raids.8
The pictures to the right show citizens clearing debris under the supervision of U.S. troops, but complete rubble clearance would require heavy equipment. New town and city governments started to take on the responsibilities of clean-up over as soon as those new democratic governments could be established. Still though, debris clearance, reestablishing utilities, and rebuilding homes and businesses would take time. The street lamps in Munster, for example, did not start working until 1948.9 German cities also continually struggled with a lack of labor, equipment, and organization throughout the late 1940s.10

Cleaning up began as soon as possible after the war.  In this image, American soldiers supervise as debris is loaded, circa 1945.

The reconstruction process would stretch on for years and the German people found ways to continually go on with life, circa 1945.