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May 200
3 - Nr. 5


The Editor
Meiner Mutter
Ich weiss es noch
Mother's Day
Dear Mothers
KW and Beyond
Mayday at Concordia
Herwig Wandschneider
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
City of Glass
New Bells Consecrated
Rostock Olympic Bid
Elizabeth Kuehn
Opera York at Maxim's
Michael Schade's Solo
The New COC
10 Years Forget-me-nots
150 Year Duneden

New Bells for Dresden’s Frauenkirche Consecrated

  TWIG - Seven church bells - one bearing a depiction of the collapsed World Trade Center towers - were rung for the first time during a consecration service in Dresden Sunday (May 4). The bells, all carrying Biblical names such as Isaiah and Hannah, are to be hung in the city’s Frauenkirche, a baroque cathedral that was destroyed during World War II and is now being reconstructed.

About 25,000 people attended the consecration service, during which the bells rang out both together and separately. Lutheran bishop Volker Kress, who survived the Allied bombing of Dresden in 1945, opened the service as the enormous bells were presented aboard a decorated flatbed truck, saying with a smile, "That they are here again is wonderful." Several older residents in the crowd had tears in their eyes as the sound of the bells rang out through downtown Dresden and across the Elbe River.

Weighing between 641 pounds and 1.8 tons, the bells are smaller than their original counterparts, which were melted down for military uses in the run-up to World War II. Each of the bells is inscribed with a verse of scripture and is embossed with a picture or motif reflecting the bells’ names. The largest bell, Isaiah, known as the peace bell, bears a picture of the World Trade Center towers as they collapsed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and a verse from Isaiah 2:4: "They will beat their swords into plowshares." An original eighth bell, named Maria, that escaped damage because it was removed before the beginning of World War II, will also be returned to the church’s belfry.

The rebuilding of the Frauenkirche is an emotional one for Dresden residents, who feel their city has never been the same since they lost the elegant bell-shaped dome of the 18th-century landmark. In former East Germany, many of Dresden’s cultural treasures, including the Zwinger Palace and the Semper Opera, were rebuilt, but the Frauenkirche remained in rubble. Still, it never lost its significance as a symbol of peace and tolerance. It was beside the jagged remnants of the cathedral’s walls that tens of thousands of East Germans would gather for demonstrations calling for the Berlin Wall to come down. When that finally happened in 1989, people began to talk about restoring the Frauenkirche. The project is expected to be finished by fall 2005.


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