|The Pillion, grinning and bearing it|
|Dresden on the Elbe|
As with many of the places we've been, I knew little of Dresden. In my narrow awareness, its name was always prefixed with the phrase 'The bombing of', and I was interested to learn more about this. I was a little surprised (aren't we all when our self-o-centric view of the world is overturned?) then, to find that the only event I knew of warranted one short sentence in the Museum of Dresden's timeline of the city; 'On 13th February 1945 the centre of the city was destroyed by bombing'. And that seemed to be that. They have a long history to address, 'my' event was just one of many.
It's been a major trading city, a centre for fishing, a shipbuilding hub (the latter two many miles from the sea but on a major river of Europe), and latterly, a major base for cigarette and optics manufacturing. Then there was WW1, then Nazism, then Communism and then reunification.
And history continues. As it happened, on the very day we were there, an election took place, with echoes of the past ringing around.
|AFD: not everyone's choice|
There's no self-pity, no shying away from the responsibility of the Germans - and Dresdeners specifically - for the role they played in bringing about the horrors of WW2. Full acknowledgement is made of the havoc wreaked upon Guernica, London, Coventry, Warsaw and Leningrad amongst others, placing the bombings 'here' fully in perspective. The focus was on how war kills and the deep sadness of this.
|The Panometer wall|
|The historical background|
And now we're at Hilde's, chillin'. We'll probably be here for a few days. I'm travelling to the backgammon in Nürnberg, Angelika will be reading, chatting in Bayerisch and drinking tea. But we'll be in touch.