Saturday was our fourth and final program-sponsored trip. Dresden, Germany. If it sounds a little weird to you that we took a day trip to Germany, it should, because it was a little weird. Prague is about 2 1/2 hours from Dresden, so we only had a few hours there. That being said, I am glad that I got a chance to spend a little time there. For those of you who don’t know much about Dresden (it’s ok, I didn’t either prior to reading Slaughterhouse-Five last week), it is a city which should be talked about more. At the end of World War II, Dresden was a place of refuge for about 1.2 million people. In February of 1945, the Americans, in what is still a controversial move, bombed Dresden, killing thousands and flattening the city.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect of Dresden. It has been 67 years, so I guess that would be enough time to rebuild a city, right? The answer to that is yes, it was enough time for Dresden to be rebuilt. In fact, had no one ever told me that Dresden was bombed, I am actually not sure that I ever could have known just from looking at the city. I am not sure if that was just because we were mostly in the middle of the city, but it was actually pretty alarming. I mean, should a city in which thousands of people were bombed and in which hundreds of buildings fell down have some sort of recognition or reference to these events other than a piece of the original church? But on the other hand, does that leave a city too stuck in the past?
Whether the city is stuck or not stuck enough in the past, it is beautiful now. We walked around a little bit before going through the museum which has a surprisingly large collection of great works.