With the emergence of states in the Middle Ages, new forms of violence emerged. On the one hand, the state protected its citizens from assault. On the other hand, it also exercised violence itself. This included, for example, torture and executions as part of the "administration of justice" or the systematic persecution of certain population groups, such as the Jews in the Middle Ages or in the Third Reich. Execution sites, torture instruments or prisoner shackles are just as eloquent archaeological evidence of this as concentration camps from the recent past.
Technological progress also makes itself felt in war. More and more people die, and the devastation caused by increasingly modern weapons leads to the destruction of entire cities and landscapes.
The worst wartime event for Hamburg was Operation Gomorrah in the summer of 1943; during the Second World War: many inhabitants and entire districts of Hamburg fell victim in just a few days to the heaviest bombardments in the history of air warfare up to that time.