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March 18, 2023

Europe in the 1960s Through Amazing Color Photos

WWII devastated both the European economy and countryside. With the help of monetary aid from the United States and other countries, Western Europe was able to rebuild itself relatively quickly. In 1951, using the infrastructure that had been put in place to disburse the U.S. aid, six countries, West Germany, Luxembourg, France, Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy, formed the European Coal and Steel Community, or ECSC. The ECSC built stronger bonds between the six nations and pooled important industrial resources like steel and coal.

Later in the 1950s, these same six nations looked to integrate their economies more than just pooling resources, creating the European Economic Community and EURATOM in 1957. The European Economic Community (EEC) tried to begin the process of turning the economies of these six nations into one common market, trying to reduce tariffs, while also making it easier for people to cross the borders to live and work.

Ironically, these six countries were making it easier to cross each other’s borders just as the Soviet Union was making its own borders harder to cross. In 1961, in barely two weeks, the Soviet Union constructed the Berlin Wall to keep East Berliners from fleeing the communist East to the capitalist West. Tensions in the 1960s in Europe were high as incidents like the 16-hour standoff at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin and the Cuban Missile Crisis threatened to cause another global war - with Europe the most likely battlefield. In 1968, a student demonstration in Prague turned into a countrywide protest for democracy in Czechoslovakia. Within a few short weeks, the Soviet Union had quashed the uprising and reinstalled a hardline communist government.

These amazing photos from Dave's Old Slides that captured street scenes of Europe in the 1960s.

Zagreb, Croatia, Yugoslavia, 1960

Vlaška ulica, Zagreb, Croatia, Yugoslavia, 1960

At the Zagreb Trade Fair, Croatia, Yugoslavia, 1960

Balham, London, England, circa 1960s

Ban Jelačić Square, Zagreb, Croatia, Yugoslavia, 1960

Dubrovnik, Croatia, Yugoslavia, 1960

Exeter Cathedral Close, England, 1960

Justizpalast, Munich, Germany, 1960

Otočec Castle, Slovenia, Yugoslavia, 1960

Trafalgar Square, London, England, circa early 1960s

Copenhagen bus stop, Denmark, August 1963

Copenhagen, Denmark, 1963

Corner of Strøget (Frederiksberggade) and Rådhuspladsen, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 1963

Street scene in Ireland, 1963

Vesterbrogade, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1963

Coach at Martigny railway station, Switzerland, 1964

Madrid, Spain, 1964

Tourists in Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy, 1964

Viaducto de Segovia, Madrid, Spain, 1964

A tour group with their coach, Black Forest, Germany, 1965

Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, Germany, 1965

Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, Germany, 1965

Grand-Place, Brussels, Belgium, 1965

Greek Street, Soho, London, England, 1965

Market at Arnhem, Netherlands, 1965

Market Square, Bruges, Belgium, 1965

Outside Huddersfield Railway Station, England, 1965

Petersham, England, 1965

Piccadilly Art Market, Green Park, London, England, 1965

Rupert Street Market, Soho, London, England, 1965

Stockholm, Saturday afternoon, Sweden, 1965

Vaduz, Liechtenstein, 1965

Turkey, 1967

Lapad Beach, Dubrovnik, Croatia, Yugoslavia, 1968

Lapad Beach, Dubrovnik, Croatia, Yugoslavia, 1968

Petrovac, Montenegro, Yugoslavia, 1968

Wye Valley Hotel, Wales, 1968

At a café in Paris, France, 1969

Roadside picnic, Lincolnshire, UK, 1969

Stock-im-Eisen-Platz, Vienna, Austria, 1969


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