Wetzlar, Germany is located south of Frankfurt. The city is known for its medieval town and cathedral. Notable architectural features include the Eisenmarkt and the steep grades and claustrophobic street layout. The sandstone cathedral of St. Mary was begun in the 12th century as a Romanesque building. In the later Middle Ages the construction was continued under a masterplan in Gothic style. The church was never finished, as one steeple still is uncompleted. The cathedral suffered heavy damage in the Second World War by aerial bombing, but was restored in the 1950s. On the outskirts of town exist the ruins of several masonry towers arranged along the river.
The Ernst Leitz Company, Leica, began in the late 1800s in Wetzlar, and at its peak employed over 7,000 employers. Leica cameras quickly became well known and respected for their excellent quality.
Medical personnel evacuate severe cases of prisoners of war in Wetzlar
In the Second World War, the town, being an industrial stonghold, also became the target of heavy bombings, which destroyed much of the railway station neighborhood. The historic Old Town, however, was mostly spared the air raids.
Towards the end of the war, on a "sweep" looking for isolated enemy hangouts, the 393rd Inf Regt discovered a trainload of abandoned American prisoners of war. Nearly 300 of them had been deserted by their retreating captors on a railroad siding after a desperate attempt to move them from their confinement in Limburg, Germany as the liberating American columns swept eastward.