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The following is a little shameless architectural "porn" in case you'd like to see something different from the usual drumbeat of gloom in the traditional media.

Built in the early 1700s, the Frauenkirche of Dresden was a masterpiece of Protestant baroque architecture...

This picture of the Frauenkirche was taken in 1880:

After 200 years as a backdrop to Europe's technological revolutions and Balance of Power conflicts, aerial warfare came to Dresden. In 1945, American and allied troops began the fire bombing of Dresden [truncated]

For two days the 200 year old church held up amidst the bombing, but the intense heat that was burning people alive outside pervaded the church's pillars, which glowed red hot.  The temperature in the church reached 1,000 degrees. The stones themselves exploded.

For 45 years after, survivors of Dresden trapped in Communist East Germany had no recourse other than to collect tiny pieces of the church and keep them. Stored in hope for tomorrow. And they prevented the government from turning the ruins into a car park.

(above: the Frauenkirche ruins)

After the reunification of Germany, enough blood, sweat and money came together for a reconstruction process to begin in the early 90s.

You can specifically thank Ludwig Güttler and the 13 other members of "The Society to Promote the Reconstruction of the Frauenkirche" and Günter Blobel, an American who donated his million dollar Nobel prize money to the reconstruction effort and for construction of a synagogue for East Germany's remaining Jews. The effort was international and ecumenical.

This effort is not without controversy. I think the main point to take away is that the "feel" of the original structure is the key in the reconstruction effort. That ultimately a beautiful church will be restored to its appearance, even if the destruction can never be undone.

And today...

We've stopped creating beautiful spaces, and as a result people flock to locations with the ancient and "nature" more than ever. In areas like Southern California, the increasingly luxurious malls are often the most beautiful thing that a local can access. And for good reason: the malls are now carefully designed to mimic the aesthetic role that beautiful churches and civic buildings once filled, the new central place for consumer life.

While now is not a time for frivolity there's also a need for mirth, grace and difference in troubled times. In a world of increasing sameness. This Frauenkirche is, in a sense, a new building. And we can make beautiful things anywhere, if only we demand, pay and work for them. It's better to have a little beauty in this world than miles of empty tract development.

Originally posted to Nulwee on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:42 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips, If Any (50+ / 0-)

    I'm not pretending this is the most important diary you will read, but it does address a sense of something lost in our culture... craftsmanship... pride in the way our public areas look... call it whatever you want.

    The Frauenkirche reminds me that we are capable of great things, and it is possible to bring people together to do it collectively. Which is an especially important reminder during times made hard by selfishness.

    Wall Street pirates loot this country, destroy people's lifelong work and their pensions. If you need to execute someone, shoot those motherfuckers.

    by Nulwee on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:45:10 AM PST

    •  No, this is a beautiful diary. Thank you. (10+ / 0-)

      I have relatives in Germany from my husband's side.  Once at Christmas time, family from the East sent a Christmas card which benefited the restoration efforts for the church.  I couldn't help but think they were sending a message as well, as we were probably the only Americans on their list.  I feel bad as an American as to what we did to Dresden.  It was mostly refugees there when the sidewalks melted.  But I also understand context is important, and those were incredible times.

      My kids now go to a German School where a sentiment of keeping German/American relations close is high.  The German speaker this past Saturday wanted to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Berlin airlift.  That tells us how far this relationship has traveled.

      A fitting tribute this holiday season.

    •  Thank you - it is great to see a beau- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Melanchthon

      tiful church restored.   I'm guess the dark stone on the exterior of the church is the part of the original church that survived?   The interior is incredibly beautiful.

      Restoring the "feel" of the church instead of an exact replica (which is hard to achieve) reminds me of a cathedral in France (I can't remember which one) whose stained glass windows were destroyed in WWII.  Instead of trying to recreate the 600 year old windows, they commissioned a modern artist to create new stained glass windows symbolizing rebirth after the war, hope and peace.

      And yes, the one day I was able to spend in Chartres cathedral was one of the best days of my life.

      By June our brook's run out of song and speed... Robert Frost

      by HylasBrook on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:37:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Architecture of Tedium (8+ / 0-)

    Why does so much contemporary architecture need to invoke tedium or even despair?

    Check out what Renzo Piano did to the exterior of the Morgan Library in Manhattan:

    http://www.arcspace.com/...

    It looks like the loading dock of a Wal-Mart in some drab suburb of Toledo.  Or would, if it had even that sort of utility.

    You can call me "Lord Bink Forester de Rothschild."

    by bink on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:48:45 AM PST

    •  Not all modern architecture is tedious, though (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annetteboardman, jlms qkw

      there are some great things New Urbanists are doing... but they're still as "chic" or frivolous, I guess you could say, but the people who made a quick buck building suburbs that no one could buy, or in Jorge Perez's case, quick and cheap condos where he got his payment upfront... before anyone ever brought the things (many never did, ergo South Florida real estate bust). But New Urbanists have hardly restricted themselves to homes for the upper class, they're doing work pretty much everywhere they can.

      Wall Street pirates loot this country, destroy people's lifelong work and their pensions. If you need to execute someone, shoot those motherfuckers.

      by Nulwee on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:52:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This Photo Does not do Morgan Library Justice (0+ / 0-)

      Have you been there or are you judging the renovation by this photo, which is not an accurate representation of what the visitor feels or sees upon arriving.

      I have been there several times and can tell you the glassed in space Renzo Piano created to connect these disparate buildings is delightful.  The historic facades were preserved but are now connected.  I will return.  It's like being in a courtyard, but not being exposed to the elements.  On a sunny day, the play of light is marvelous and spending time in the cafe for a light lunch is an experience I anticipate with pleasure.  The visitor is drawn in to the various exhibit spaces.

      We will definitely return.  Tedious it is most certainly not!!

  •  "among the darkest and most destructive moments (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fritzrth, Crookshanks, Jarhead 215, dabug

    of the war"

    No, I'd say that was rounding up the millions of Jews, Roma, homosexuals, communists and their sympathizers from Dresden and other cities and shoving them into ovens.

    The bombing of Dresden killed 25,000 people. The Holocaust killed well over 10 million.

    •  No one's disputing the (8+ / 0-)

      place of the Holocaust as the most horrifying. But since I've read the writings of people who've bombed Dresden or survived it (Kurt Vonnegut) I don't think what I've said is exactly new or audacious.

      Wall Street pirates loot this country, destroy people's lifelong work and their pensions. If you need to execute someone, shoot those motherfuckers.

      by Nulwee on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:53:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kurt Vonnegut was a POW (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crookshanks

        and the Germans let him see what they wanted him to see.

        •  Dude (12+ / 0-)

          I'm not sure why you're picking this fight. Civilians, innocent or not, were hiding in the crypt of this same church.

          Also, the Holocaust wasn't a "moment" since it was a years-long genocide, so you're faux-outrage is more than a little bizarre.

          Wall Street pirates loot this country, destroy people's lifelong work and their pensions. If you need to execute someone, shoot those motherfuckers.

          by Nulwee on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:58:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Most of those 'innocent civilians' (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Crookshanks

            were complicit in rounding up their neighbors to be killed. It was a war and the Germans were bent on destroying not just the parts of Europe resisting invasion, but the United States as well. The bombing of Dresden is NOTHING compared to what they did and planned to do. Nothing.

            •  But... I never said (7+ / 0-)

              it was worse than the Holocaust. I'm sorry you think I'm such a Nazi-sympathizer. It's not like I'd have any credibility on the matter of genocide.

              Wall Street pirates loot this country, destroy people's lifelong work and their pensions. If you need to execute someone, shoot those motherfuckers.

              by Nulwee on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:02:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I never said you were a Nazi sympathizer. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Crookshanks

                But suggesting bombing a Nazi city which was complicit in the rounding up, torture and execution of millions as one of the darkest moments of the war is ridiculous.

                At it's peak, Auschwitz-Birkenau was cremating 24,000 bodies PER DAY. That's one Dresden EVERY SINGLE DAY.

                •  I realize that singular (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Melanchthon, beachmom, fritzrth, pico, jayden

                  daily moments of genocide in the Holocaust were staggering... but like the fire-bombing of Tokyo and unlike London Dresden also wasn't committed by Nazis.

                  And if you're saying that it's somehow not very dark you haven't spent a lot of time around G.I. Generationers or Korea veterans. It wasn't simply witnessing autrocity on the others' side that fucked them up.

                  Wall Street pirates loot this country, destroy people's lifelong work and their pensions. If you need to execute someone, shoot those motherfuckers.

                  by Nulwee on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:07:39 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  That's not true. There were refugees there. (7+ / 0-)

              As many as 200,000 refugees.  Look, the Holocaust is considered one of the worst things in human history.  But that was perpetrated by the Germans.  This bombing was done by the British and Americans.  It does not seem to have served much of a strategic purpose, and was horrific.  That is all that is being suggested here.

              Yes, I am sure it took out a few Nazis and collaborators, but from what I have read, it mostly took out innocent civilians from a largely undefended city.  

              The Wiki is worth a read:

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              •  How right you are about the bombing of innocents! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                beachmom

                It does not serve us well to live with blinders on and perpetuate the myth of American exceptionalism.  The bombing of Dresden is a black mark on American and British conduct of the war.  The city was indeed filled with refugees and was NOT a strategic military target.  

                Let's be clear about this, we (the Amis and the Brits) dropped our excess bombs on Dresden for no other reason than not to carry them back and land with them.  We could have dropped them over open water, but we did not.  We knew Dresden was filled with refugees and we chose to firebomb it anyway.

                I was there in 1991 and happened to enter into conversation with a German teacher and an artist who was a child when the bombing occurred.  Trust me, it was not our finest moment.

                The wrongs that some Germans committed against Jews, gypsy's and "others" does not justify bombing known innocents (women and children).  We are culpable, too.

      •  Death toll from the Blitz- 43,000 in London (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annetteboardman, Crookshanks
      •  Nulwee, just ignore him. (5+ / 0-)

        This is the second time in a few days that he jumped into a diary that mentioned such-and-such a tragedy, and decided to crap all over it by dismissing it as "not as bad" as someone else's.  

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 05:02:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  How was the Holocause a "moment" when it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Melanchthon, fritzrth, pico

      took years?

      You can be a real jerk sometimes.

      You think Nulwee's out to diminish the Holocaust or something?

      Wall Street pirates loot this country, destroy people's lifelong work and their pensions. If you need to execute someone, shoot those motherfuckers.

      by Nulwee on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:00:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  All mass deaths are dark and destructive (11+ / 0-)

      And that is one of the few legitimate uses of the word "ALL".

      When people get into DEATH PISSING CONTESTS... it is just plain absurd. Shall we play statistical games next? Deaths per minute? deaths per second? Dresden's mega death rates statistically rival or exceed most with only Hiroshima and Nagasaki's deaths per minute or for a 24 hour period exceeding the rest.... not forgetting the firebombing of Tokyo which killed almost as many as the 2 nukes put together and which exceeded them in the statistic of deaths in 24 hours in one city.

      ...334 B-29s raided on the night of 9 March–10 March, dropping around 1,700 tons of bombs. Around 16 square miles (41 km²) of the city was destroyed and over 100,000 people are estimated to have died in the fire storm

      (100,000 immediate deaths for Tokyo vs combined immediate minimum deaths of 110,000 for the Nukes plus delayed deaths inthe weeks and months following of up to 90,000+ continuing up till now for a total of up to 220k) Sorry, but the cumulative deaths of ALL of the bombings of London is way down the list in deaths per second even if you just use duration of each raid from first bomb to last death. Does that diminish the suffering and loss of those Londoners? Are German citizens worth less than other people? Did they all deserve their deaths or only some... can we estimate a "deserve-to-die" rate based on age or a guess as to how many of them were directly or indirectly Nazi enablers?

      In World War II, strategic aerial bombardment claimed the lives of over 160,000 Allied airmen in the European theatre,[9] 60,595 British civilians and between 305,000 and 600,000 German civilians, [10][11] while American precision bombing, fire bombing and atomic bombing in Japan killed between 330,000 and 500,000 Japanese civilians.[12]

      So maybe half a million German civilians died from the aerial raids. Lets say all 60,000 plus Brits were innocent... and lets say that 50% of the German civilians were "Innocent".... 250,000 innocents to avenge 60,000. Ah ok let's leave that and go to the really important deaths. The Holocaust deaths, deathcamp, slave labor and POW camp deaths = 10 million with 5.7 million of them Jews. Total German deaths = 7.2 million. Does that balance out? most of the German deaths were military death with "only 1.7 million civilian deaths. And how does that compare with world-wide total deaths? All World War 2 related deaths  including China, Japan and the rest of Asia = 72 million. Note China and Soviet Russia lost the lion's share, 20 million and 23 million. And worldwide the civilian share of the 72 million was 41.8 million. I can't see any reason for special victim bragging rights for any subset of those civilians, "innocent" or not. They are ALL tragic regardless of how or why they died. Which group had the biggest body count is meaningless. The death of a German Child or one from a Ghetto or from China or Japan or Britain or any other country is just as wrong and tragic. They all died unjustly and are all equally worthy of our regret and sadness. And the same hold true for all the victims of any age.

      So is it really ok to say:
      Groups A, B & C suffered worse morally speaking using special weighted definitions of suffering and death? ... therefore any suffering by other people who can be grouped due to guilt by association with a subsection Group D who directly caused the suffering of A, B & C should be punished in a group guilt manner. Hurrah It's open season on all group D'ers. We can excuse, overlook, minimize or even perpetrate any barbarity or inhumanity suffered by group D  and justify it in an off-hand way as some sort of karmic Eye for an Eye style justice. A big get out of empathy card if you want it.

      Then you are free to at least coldly look away from some things and maybe even celebrate them.

      We saw terrible things: cremated adults shrunk to the size of small children, pieces of arms and legs, dead people, whole families burnt to death, burning people ran to and fro, burnt coaches filled with civilian refugees, dead rescuers and soldiers, many were calling and looking for their children and families, and fire everywhere, everywhere fire, and all the time the hot wind of the firestorm threw people back into the burning houses they were trying to escape from.

      August Schreitmüller's sculpture "Güte" ("Goodness") overlooking the ruins of Dresden.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

      And what about Hamburg? The Dresden numbers which some used to claim was as high as 100,000 have been reduced to a more historically accurate number of 25,000... it is dwarfed by the number who died in the worst of many on Hamburg.

      The night of 27/28 July 1943: large raid by 787 aircraft guided in by Pathfinders using H2S. Bombing about 2 miles east of city centre. Because of the unseasonally dry conditions, a firestorm was created in the built-up working-class districts of Hammerbrook, Hamm, Borgfelde and Rothenburgsort. The bombing was more concentrated than the RAF was usually able to manage at this stage of the war. In just over half an hour it is estimated that 550-600 bomb loads fell into an area measuring only 2 miles by 1 mile and this gradually spread the fire eastwards. The firestorm lasted for about three hours, consuming approximately 16,000 multi-storyed apartment buildings and killing an estimated 40,000 people, most of them by carbon monoxide poisoning when all the air was drawn out of their basement shelters. Fearing further raids, two-thirds of Hamburg's population, approximately 1,200,000 people, fled the city in the aftermath.

      If we can mourn victims of the holocaust and all other similar injustice why leave out others because they are members of a certain nationality or group branded by some with an open-ended status as moral pariahs? Grouping the innocent with the guilty because they share geography or a language or a skin color is unjust. Blanket judgment or condemnation of all people in a national or ethnic group for any reason is just plain wrong. People who do that are no better than the Nazis or other intolerant people who generalize, pass blanket judgment on whole populations and have no problems with abusing the word "All" as it applies to people.

      "All Southerners are...."
      "All African Americans...."
      "Americans are all...."
      "Mexicans are all..."
      "All Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, should be...."
      All....(fill in any inappropriate minority hate word there)
      "All" Germans....  

      But in an exception to this misuse of the word "All", we should mourn all victims. There were and there always have been legions of innocent victims on all sides who suffered and died unjustly and regardless of where they lived or who they were, we owe them all the respect of acknowledging that.

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie

      by IreGyre on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 04:02:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's a little bit like saying (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Melanchthon, alizard, MT Spaces

      "Saddam Hussein is evil and he's been guilty of genocide and attacking neighboring countries, so it's not really a big deal if we bomb the shit out of iraq", no?

  •  War is Hell (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arken, jlms qkw, Crookshanks

    -- General Sherman

    Anybody have photos of the reconstructed synagogue?

    The bottom line is the Nazis started WWII and a lot of innocent people on BOTH sides suffered.

  •  I think this is fantastic (8+ / 0-)

    It's like a rebirth of the past. People of all faiths and backgrounds care about this beautiful building.

    (And yes, the Dresden firebombing is, and for years has been thought by historians to be, one of the worst moments done by the Allies.

    One doesn't compare the mistakes of the Allies with the horrors of the Nazis. It was one of the worst things we did, mostly because it was unnecessary and target only civilians. Dresden had no heavy industry and was the most beautiful city in Germany. It was almost like firebombing Paris.)

    May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care!

    by Fonsia on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:12:03 AM PST

  •  That's a beautiful building (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, jlms qkw, Fonsia

    I think that was your point.

    Avoiding Theocracy at Home and Neo Cons Abroad

    by UniC on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:18:26 AM PST

  •  Cologne Cathedral (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    melo, Nulwee, jayden, jlms qkw

    The Frauenkirche of Dresden is magnificent, but my favorite is still the "Koelner Dom", which was also bombed. I studied for a year at the University in Cologne and got to pass by the Dom each day. No matter what the weather was - and it rains every day there - it always lifted my spirits.

    Dialog macht Sinn / Dialogue makes sense

    by DowneastDem on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:22:48 AM PST

  •  The Frauenkirche is quite remarkable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matthias, Nulwee

    but I'm not sure I would call it beautiful. Baroque architecture (unlike baroque music) is certainly not to my taste. A Gothic cathedral is far more moving than the over-decorated baroque style.

    •  I'm sorry it's not to your taste.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      memiller, Nulwee, jayden

      That's what makes architectural styles go around!!

      Baroque was a natural extension/result of the Renaissance movement.  If you look at the development of the Roman architecture, you can see the parallels.  See Petra as an example of Roman Baroque Style.

      •  Very true (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matthias, Nulwee, nchristine, dabug

        and I agree with what you say.

        I also meant to say, thanks for the wonderful diary on an unusual topic.

        Years ago I did a 'cathedral tour' of Europe, and while it is as silly to rank cathedrals as it is to pick the 'best' musical compositions, I found myself most moved/inspired by Aachen, Reims, Notre Dame, Chartres, the restored Roman basilica in Trier, and for some reason St. David's in Wales.

        I also think of what these structures often meant to the people in their regions - crushing taxes or forced labor imposed on peasants already at the edge of subsistence. Yet I am unable to regret their having been built, and certainly not just because I am able to appreciate them. They seem to be among the strongest expressions of the human spirit, as well as the human yearning after God.

        •  I also like the cathedrals you've mentioned. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nulwee

          I also like Amiens Cathedral.  I think it's a decorated cake to Reims being a plain cake.  If you get my meaning!!  I've been in Notra Dame, St Peters, Cathedral of Florence (including the dome - which was way too cool!!).  

          I'm not so sure about the forced labor to construct them.  I know for sure that many of the windows were donated by various guilds and this was an expression of the guilds wealth, prominance (sp??), advertisement, one upsmanship over another guild (or same guild in different parish), etc.  I think that it's similar to what's being found with the building of the Great Pyramids.  That's not to say that the various Bishops, Cardinals, Princes, etc didn't do some questionable acts to get them built.

    •  I have visited a few Baroque churches in Germany (0+ / 0-)

      and always found them breathtakingly beautiful and amazingly stunning architecture.

      Through all your faults and all my complaints, I still love you.

      by jayden on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:59:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dachau and Dresden (12+ / 0-)

    I visited both on my last two visits to Germany.  I have a personal connection to the Dachau camp.  And I visited Dresden and the Frauenkirche while on a work trip to the area.

    I was moved, troubled, horrified, and inspired in both places.  At Dachau I found a powerful peace in the sober act of remembering and honoring the victims.  I began to understand there, at a much deeper level, the profound burden of holocaust history. At Dresden, I found a powerful symbol of reconciliation -- in particular, how they used the remaining pieces of the detroyed original cathedral in the reconstruction. The walls are embedded with those fragments.  Here's a passage from a report at the time of the rededication (link here):

    After the reunification of Germany in 1990, the rebuilding of the church became a cause and a metaphor for reconciliation.

    The reconstruction project cost about 180 million euros ($217m). Funds were raised all over the world and most of the money came from private donations.

    "The city was on fire. There was an inferno. I could not see anything, I could only hear the cries of women and children," said Hildegard Willna, who was 21 when the Allied bombers struck Dresden.

    "The fires were so powerful that people were thrown into the River Elbe. But I have mixed feelings about the re-consecration of the Frauenkirche as I think the Church should have been left in a heap of rubble as a monument to the past."

    'So much love'

    But her views are not shared by the majority of people in Dresden, who are very proud of their remarkable achievement.

    "I am so grateful to everyone who supported the reconstruction project," said Irene Runge, smiling as we both heard the choral music from the consecration ceremony inside the Frauenkirche.

    "I was lucky and I managed to go into the church earlier today. What a spectacular building! The architects and engineers have paid careful attention to every detail and there is so much love here."

    Stepping inside the Church of Our Lady is indeed an unforgettable experience. Frescoes of biblical scenes adorn the walls, meticulously repainted and faithful to the original designs.

    The building includes thousands of stones from the old church.

    Hundreds of people remained until late evening, walking around the Frauenkirche. Some were standing still, holding a cup of mulled wine and in the cold night air they gazed upwards.

    High above the dome one could see the golden replica orb and cross which was made by Alan Smith, the son of one of the British pilots who took part in the bombing raids.

    Strolling around the Church of Our Lady one last time, I remembered the front page of a newspaper that I had seen in a café, with the headline "The Miracle of Dresden".

    Here is more:

    In October this year (2006) the Duke of Kent dedicated a British German Friendship Garden in Britain’s National Memorial Arboretum, in honour of all who died in World War II raids. A plaque states, ‘Just as the city of Dresden has risen from the ashes of the firestorm which engulfed it, so has the respect that traditionally characterised British German relations been reborn. Henceforth may all difficulties between the two countries be resolved with patience and understanding, may their sorrows be shared and their joys celebrated together. In the beauty of nature as in the presence of God, we are all one.’

    In a remarkable way Dresden is, through honesty, apology and compassion, becoming in this way a focal point of reconciliation between the two countries. The bombing had always been an embarrassment to the British, as the London Times pointed out in February 1995 on the 50th anniversary of the raids, but added that ‘it was being transmogrified into friendship and reconciliation and revitalized understanding of an older, worthier and culturally rich Germany.’

    This whole piece is worth reading for further detail.  It tells the story of the establishment of the Trust for Dresden in Britain, and the fabricating of the pinnacle's orb and cross in Britain, coincidentally under the direction of a son of one of the British airmen who bombed Dresden.

  •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, jayden

    I truely appreciate the reconstrution incorporating the surviving portions of the original structure.  It is indeed a beautiful thing to see.  May it help heal old wounds.

    I have recently found that parts of my family come from the Magdenburg area, which is pretty close to Dresden.

  •  Nulwee, I posted a link to this on eurotrib (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    melo, ceebs, alizard, fran1, Nulwee, jayden

    I thought the folk at the European Tribune would be interested in this diary, so I posted a link to it in a comment there (near the bottom at that link, above). Just thought I'd let you know. Tipped and rec'd.

    We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

    by dconrad on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 01:48:46 PM PST

  •  It's beautiful, but Europeans aren't big church (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee

    goers anymore.  Perhaps the Germans go more than the French but only about 10% of the population are regular church attenders.

    •  Supposedly, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden

      over 60% of Germans are Christian. Still, the people of Dresden went out of their way to preserve this and other historical buildings. Some of the funders/rebuilders were from other faiths, or other nations.

      One area of particular interest is the dome, which rivals Michelangelo's in Italy.

      Wall Street pirates loot this country, destroy people's lifelong work and their pensions. If you need to execute someone, shoot those motherfuckers.

      by Nulwee on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:20:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Christian values didn't take the same plunge. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee

      ...at least those from the New Testament. Germans aren't that much into the Old Testament.

      Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -- Philip K. Dick

      by RandomGuyFromGermany on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 12:12:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow. A wonderful diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, hulagirl

    I have always considered Slaughterhouse Five to be the most important novel of the 20th century.

    It is, I think, the book that most changed me.

  •  What a fabulous building. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, jayden

    You can see that the people's love for this beautiful church is manifest in its loving restoration.  

    Mahalo for this uplifting (no pun intended) diary.

  •  You'd be welcome (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fran1, Nulwee

    over at European Tribune with this or any diaries like it, Nulwee.

  •  Thanks for a superb diary, Nulwee! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee

    I visited Desden before the reunification of Germany. It was a very sad city. The Frauenkirche is a symbol of reconciliation and the continuity of civilisation.

  •  Saving the pieces (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Melanchthon, Nulwee

    I've seen it, and it's remarkable -- it dominates the skyline of the Dresdner Altstadt.  Very striking.

    I would add that a few of the British and American airmen who participated in the raid helped raise the money to finish the restoration.  Also, the difference in color one sees in the bricks is due to the fact that the darker ones are original to the church.  They were meticulously put back into their original places.

    As beautiful as Dresden is today, I saw a model when I was there of the Altstadt in 1945 compared to today.  It's a fraction of what it was.

    results trump orthodoxy

    by ravedave on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 02:32:19 AM PST

    •  That was a nice touch... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Melanchthon

      the dark pieces are an obvious reminder to any citizen of Dresden of the bombing... but they're only tucked in and about the outside of the structure.

      Wall Street pirates loot this country, destroy people's lifelong work and their pensions. If you need to execute someone, shoot those motherfuckers.

      by Nulwee on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 09:27:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  my father donated a little to this church (0+ / 0-)

      restoration every year until it was finished. He was a young boy in Germany during the way. He went to it's dedication. I think it was healing for him and those who both destroyed and survived. My dad is the kind of guy who also helped build an orphanage when he was stationed in Korea and donates to it's upkeep still. War is hell and those who survive owe something to relieve the suffering merely because they lived through it and have a story to tell. I think there are no sides for survivors.

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