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July, 2004 - Nr. 7


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Dresden Frauenkirche cross symbolizes reconciliation

  TWIG - Over 30,000 people gathered in Dresden on June 22 to watch as a golden cross was lifted by a crane and placed atop Dresden’s Frauenkirche, which is nearing completion after a monumental 10-year reconstruction effort.

The crowning of the church’s cupola is one more milestone in the rebuilding of a church that had come to symbolize the devastation of post-World War II Germany. Today, the Frauenkirche still teems with symbolism, though the true-to-every-detail form it has assumed over the past decade speaks more of the act of reconciliation between peoples than of the devastation of war.

The new golden cross is part of that symbolism. It was forged by a silversmith from Coventry, England, the son of a British pilot who helped bomb the city at the end of the war. Coventry’s Duke of Kent, President of the Dresden Trust, was among the guests of honor at the ceremony this week honored for helping to amass part of the 155 million Eur ($188 million) needed for the reconstruction of the church.

Nearly 750,000 Eur ($910,000) came from Coventry alone to help rebuild the Frauenkirche’s cupola, a gesture of solidarity with the German people, who in turn had donated money to rebuild Coventry’s cathedral in the 1950’s.

Meanwhile, many Germans throughout the country sat glued to television station MRD, which broadcast a documentary on the church’s reconstruction and covered the music-filled celebrations.

Just two days after the intense bombing of Dresden ended on February 13, 1945, the more than 200-year old church collapsed and crumbled. The groups mounting the reconstruction effort hope not to eclipse the loss felt by the city in the aftermath of the bombing. The original golden cross that stood atop the Frauenkirche is just one artifact found in the rubble that will take up a position in an altar within the church as a testament to the war.

The church is set to be re-christened on Reformation Day, October 31, 2005.
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


Dresden Frauenkirche


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