Monday, February 13, 2012
67 years ago today a massive bombing raid by the allied forces flattened the city of Dresden. It was one of the last untouched major cities in Germany, and the seat of a good deal of Nazi power. An unknown (but certainly great) number of civilians were killed. Palaces, museums, churches, stores, and homes were destroyed. The number of people who were there are dwindling with time, but Dresdners continue to remember.
Every year on the 13th of February, Dresden's Altstadt plays host to a Nazi protest and a white-rose counter-protest. It's ugly. My Caribbean classmate's German husband left work and drove an hour to pick her up so she wouldn't have to go out to get to the train. The three middle-eastern students in my class stayed home. People are being stopped on the Strassenbahn and the streets to show identification and proof of residence. In short, not a day to be outside.
My house is right between a bank of government offices and a major military landmark. Not exactly the place to be on a day like today. I'll be out in the Neustadt, away from the action, having an afternoon-long coffee.
(Check the Wikipedia article on the Dresden Bombing for the original photo at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Dresden_in_World_War_II)