Thursday dawned atrociously hot again. We started the day with a quick cherub poll, before heading out to meet with another of A’s friends near the statue of Friedrich August der Starker (who we suspect fathered all those cherubs – he apparently fathered quite a few non-cherub people, and his statue is suspiciously gold, so it’s plausible.)
We had breakfast outside and in the shade, and talked rather too much about Australian politics and refugee policy, which apparently the German right likes to hold up as an example of what to do (ugh). Then we talked about German politics. Apparently, we had chosen a good time of the week to come to Dresden – Mondays are when the neo-nazis like to protest outside the Opera House. Lovely. The Opera House has struck back at this by putting up huge banners saying ‘Offnen Augen, Offnen Herzen, Offnen Grenzen’. So now every photo of the protesters is effectively surtitled with the slogan ‘open eyes, open hearts, open borders’. Nice one, Dresden Opera House.
A’s friend grew up in the DDR and used to be the principal flautist in one of their top orchestras. When A shared our conerns regarding the cherubs of Dresden, he immediately started coming up with theories about hidden cameras and microphones, which was both unsettling and illustrative of the kind of imagination living much of one’s life in the DDR endows one with…
It really was dreadfully hot and sticky, but we wanted to visit the rebuilt Frauenkirche. This was burned to the ground during the bombing of Dresden in World War II, and was only restored in the last decade or so.
They tried to replicate the old building as far as possible, and even used some of the bricks that survived, putting them back in their original locations on the building. You can see them quite easily, as they are burned black, while the new bricks are white. Continue reading