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DAX Jul 19th, 2007 07:37 PM

So much political drama for an unwanted bridge. I suspect that there's more than just the ego/pride of the local CDU leaders. Perhaps this is part of a bigger struggle inside Dresden?

Ingo Jul 31st, 2007 11:13 AM

It *is* over. Construction works start on 13 August. <tears flowing>

For you guys who read German here is the link to the local newspaper article:

The date is remarkable. 13 August 1961 - the wall in Berlin was built by the communists. The prime minister of Saxony and most of his ministers are from the west ... and CDU members. Reminds me of a saying: "Political events always happen twice. First as a tragedy, the second time as a farce." Or so. I know how it goes in German.


swandav2000 Jul 31st, 2007 11:15 AM

I'm stunned. And saddened. What a terrible loss! I'm so sorry, Ingo!


PalenQ Jul 31st, 2007 11:19 AM

<Political events always happen twice. First as a tragedy, the second time as a farce.">

well the Wall was torn down - maybe this bridge someday will be as well.

Do you think UNESCO will follow thru on its threat?

DAX Jul 31st, 2007 09:02 PM

INGO: My condolence. It's incredible how quickly/easily things were finalized against the people of Dresden. I don't understand how the Saxon goverment leadership is so dominated by non Saxon CDU members. What were the Dresdner voters thinking then?

Ingo Aug 1st, 2007 09:21 AM

Thanks guys. I really don't know what to say right now.

Pal, yes, I am absolutely certain the UNESCO will remove Dresden from the Heritage list. And I can understand them. It's correct.

DAX, the current prime minister has been minister of finances under the previous prime minister (a guy from the west who did an excellent job, btw). Milbradt, the current PM, was quite good as Minister of Finances, but he is a total failure as PM. No visions, cuts the budget whereever possible.

After the wall came down we were overrun with so called 'experts' from the west who claimed to teach us capitalism. Some of them were good, some not. Unfortunately we believed them for many years. Problem is that they do not have a clue of local traditions and let economy rule everything. Culture, landscape, architecture etc. are just cost factors.

I am probably a bit overreacting here, but that's how I feel at the moment (and many other locals do, too).


audere_est_facere Aug 1st, 2007 09:26 AM

Sorry if this is a dense question - but how has Dresden got a "historic old town"? It was famously flattened and firebombed in the war. It's twinned with Coventry and Coventry certainly hasn't got a historic old town.

PalenQ Aug 1st, 2007 09:36 AM

That's the difference between UK and even old DDR

Coventry tastelessly and quickly rebuilt its town centre into the ghastly blah cement tower blocks after the war

Dresden saved the pieces, like with the Frauenkirche and famously reassembled it.

Not sure Coventry had much of a historic old town to save but Dresden, the Florence on the Elbe did and they have wondrously pieced it all back to together again.

Coventry today has Lady Godiva's statue and that's about it - one of Europe's very ugliest town centres.

Dresden has a lot of so-so cement tower blocks in its commercial area too - the so-called Socialist realism or whatever architecture, but even here they've managed to make it palpable.

england on the other hand has seen its town centres become blaher and blaher, with a very few exceptions.

UNESCO has made Dresden a site - it never would Coventry even in its pre-war form - unless car plants are a criteria

And it was the Brits that bombed Dresden needlessly - that old Mad Bomber guy in charge just to exact revenge for Coventry - the city was full of refugees and POWs like Vonnegut and apparently had very little military importance.

So Brits destroyed one of Europe's finest cities just for spite and to demoralize. Shame on Britain for that.

PalenQ Aug 1st, 2007 09:45 AM

Bombing of Dresden in World War II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFor these reasons the loss of life in Dresden was higher than many other bombing raids during World War II. For example Coventry, the English city which is ...

The WWII Dresden Holocaust - 'A Single Column Of Flame'The WWII Dresden Holocaust - 'A Single Column Of Flame' ... "Precision saturation bombing" had created the desired firestorm. ... -

Bombing of Dresden in World War II (1945) - Area bombing caused ...Bombing of Dresden at the end of World War II in 1945 - Area bombing caused great casualties amongst German civilians and refugees at the central railway ... -

World War II: German Film Recalls Dresden Bombing - International ...War crime, payback or a legitimate attack aimed at shortening World War II? The destruction of Dresden on February 13, 1945 is one of the most controversial ...,00.html

Putin criticizes Allies for Dresden bombing - Europe - Allied forces canít be absolved of blame for horrors during World War II, and he noted in particular the massive bombing of Dresden in the final months.

audere_est_facere Aug 1st, 2007 09:53 AM

Oh great - a yank pontificating about WWII. That always goes well.

Coventry pre war had Europe's finest medieval cityscape. Obviously there's none of that left as the Germans flattened it.

Dresden contained several important factories vital to the war effort, a quick read of any (non American) history book will soon put you straight.

So in effect Dresden is a Disneyland - a pretend old town? How is that a protected site? What are the criteria?

I am really beginning to wonder what they teach in American history lessons as I found out in a thread in the lounge that there are lots of Americans who don't believe the USA lost the war in Vietnam. Staggering.

PalenQ Aug 1st, 2007 10:06 AM

<lots of Americans who don't believe the USA lost the war in Vietnam>

what a complete bunch of rubbish - lots - i don't know anyone and anything that says that. It would be like finding a Brit besides Tony-Blair-Brown who would think that Brits pacified Basra and retreated recently because of their success.

<Coventry pre war had Europe's finest medieval cityscape.>

finest? come audere est farce - i'll have to do some research before i even begin to swallow that - THE finest? Not sure what they're teaching in English Public schools - but if it's that something's rotten in Coventry and i'm getting a good whiff of it over here.

The fact that Dresden was needlessly flattened for revenge is a war crime - doesn't matter what Yanks have done - two wrongs.... get off your high Lady Godiva horse!

In any case it now has perhaps the worst.

audere_est_facere Aug 1st, 2007 10:15 AM

Dresden wasn't flattened for revenge. It was flattened because it was a major enemy city - as were London, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Glasgow etc. It's only the CND nutters that have a problem with this - but they moan about everything any way.

And yes it's true; Coventry was lovely before 1940. Bloody awful now though.

PalenQ Aug 1st, 2007 10:39 AM

Dresden had nearly no military importance - zilch and the real crime was that the war was basically won - justify like you may but for society as a whole it was like losing a Florence, etc. Needlessly and shamefully.

And it was known that the city was full of ionnocent refugees - and that's where the war crime comes in. Coventry, with its car plants and lot of industry early in the war was a military target as well as trying to demoralize the English. No justification for that for sure either.

audere_est_facere Aug 1st, 2007 10:45 AM

Oh jesus tap-dancing christ! Look up the Baedeker Raids.

Then read "reasons for the raid" here:

It is becoming obvious that yank history books are about as reliable as a chocolate teapot.

PalenQ Aug 1st, 2007 10:50 AM

audere - for the last time show some respect - it's Yank with a capital Y - i wish you brits or english would learn that. Proper name needs capitalization!

I guess flanner is right about Public School education.

There is no need to re-fight WWII - each was a tragedy - enough said. But if Heil guy had gotten the bomb as he could have apparently then it'd be Sprecken de Deutsche in Coventry and Greenwich as well!

Yanks had to step in to save the British - that's in the history books, along with the Russians of course.

audere_est_facere Aug 1st, 2007 10:58 AM

For the last time - the European war was over and won by the time you lot could be arsed to turn up.

And if it wasn't for us you'd all be speaking French - remember that.

PalenQ Aug 1st, 2007 11:22 AM

In all seriousness audere - both were tragedies as was the war - for both sides regardless of who started what.

hoepfully modern Europe and EU will see the end of such needless bloodshed and destruction.

who was right and wrong matters little - it's always the common folk who suffer the most. Same as in Iraq today - the common bloke bears the burden of war started by US and UK needlessly.

That Dresden could partly piece itself back together - and in no way has the whole old town been re-created - the large shopping area still has expanses of rather blah tower blocks but several icons have been saved. A credit to local resolve.

the only lesson here is Patton's "War is Hell" and let's hope either UK or Germany or US or any country has to suffer more war.

audere_est_facere Aug 1st, 2007 11:29 AM

Here in the UK we actually ended a war yesterday:,00.html

That war affected me and my family greatly - so i for one am happy it's over.

Ingo Aug 2nd, 2007 01:52 AM

Just some thoughts. Dresden is not on the UNESCO heritage list because of its old town. Not exclusively at least. According to the official documents it is the "civilised landscape". That refers to the lovely river valley (26 km long) in which the city is located. A (in Europe) unique combination of nature and culture. That includes the lovely scenery with vineyards, natural preserves etc. and the man-made culture: beautiful castles, mansions, churches, but mostly the rich tradition of culture (music, literature, pieces of art like in the Green Vault or the Picture Galleries to find).

The old town was firebombed, yes, but it was enough left that partial reconstruction made sense. Some of the finest examples of European architecture like the Baroque Zwinger, the Neo-Renaissance Semper Opera house, the Baroque Catholic Cathedral, the Church of Our Lady stand here.

To learn more about the reconstruction of the Church of Our Lady and the (obviously just beginning) reconcilation between Germans and British you may contact the British Dresden Trust. You'll be surprised how many folks from Coventry joined that trust.

It is true that Dresden had war related industry and also a large garrison. The question is why these remained intact during the bombing. The bombs hit exclusively the residential areas and the city centre. That makes it very improbable that Dresden was bombed for military purposes. But that was war. I thought we're over it.

audere_est_facere Aug 2nd, 2007 02:18 AM

WWII bombing was quite ridiculously inaccurate. One american raid on Japan dropped 396 bombs, and only one hit it's target. That was pretty typical for all combatants.

There are great big holes all over London - in the most unlikely places.

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