Sunday, September 17, we started driving toward Kutna Hora, Czech Republic, with the intention of seeing the Bone Church, but decided to stop in Dresden to see what there was to see, and then decided to stay because there was enough of interest to warrant it. Dresden, as you know from reading your Kurt Vonnegut, was firebombed between 13 and 15 February, 1945, in retaliation for the German bombing of Coventry on 14 November, 1940. That was in response to the RAF having bombed Munich the previous Friday, 8 November, while Hitler was celebrating the 17th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch. So it goes.
Officially, the RAF was supporting the Russian advance toward Berlin by making it difficult for war workers to get to work which was of increasing effectiveness due to incendiary devices and the failure of WiFi to have been invented until half a century later, so they couldn’t work from home. The old town was mostly destroyed. When you look at pictures of bombed out cities, there always seem to be facades left standing. I don’t understand how the outsides of buildings can stand up when the insides have ceased to exist. I suppose some 9-11 conspirator can explain to me how the photos have all been faked.
After the raids, the medieval center of Dresden was mostly rubble. The Russians took away the factories on the outskirts of town as war compensation. I’m not sure what happened between 1945 and 1990, but the piles of rubble were saved and reassembled after reunification so that now Dresden’s old town is a mix of rebuilt medieval churches and palaces, buildings constructed more or less in the style of those palaces, a few communist block buildings, complete with hortatory murals, and buildings like the Ibis budget hotel where we got a room for the night, which look the same as they would in Pasadena or Shanghai.
A lady at the Kreuzchurch was handing out free tickets to a concert at 6 PM that night, in favor of Peace. We agreed to go to it. I don’t understand many German words, but I will take their word for it, that they are in favor of Peace. For some reason, they feel that mutual respect for the world’s religions will favor that cause, which I would debate, and further that this respect is best indicated by singing each other’s music. And a lot of talking — I was hoping for more music and less talking. The music was mostly played by the small town orchestra (well, Dresden has half a million) who were quite comfortable playing Mozart and did it well, but “Go Down Moses” sung by an Aryan church choir was of a type with the Seder ceremony in “Sleeper”. They found a Jew to sing a Jewish song, too, and some Arabians. All very Museum Of An Extinct Race.
Afterwards we went out and had horse roulade and beer.