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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Cologne after the Liberation

Nathanael has a really good post about Cologne after it fell to Allied forces in WWII.

Six years ago I took my first trip to Europe. I was in Cologne, sitting in the municipal archive day after day. I was elated. I was lost.

Everywhere I went I saw posters of the cathedral. Not surprising, since its easy for a large gothic building to be the center of public life. Moreover, the image of the cathedral had been used for more than a century to comment on the state of Germany.

But the posters that I saw were not simply of the cathedral. They were taken in the days and weeks that followed the liberation of Cologne in March 1945. The city was leveled. The fact that the cathedral was still standing was considered a miracle. Perhaps it was the only miracle.

Go read the rest.

|| RPH || 5:58 PM || |