Em and I are currently in Europe for a short break to tie up some loose ends and legalities, attend a couple of weddings and see family before we hopefully (visa pending) head back to Australia for another two years. One of these weddings took us on a journey through Saxony's beautiful capital, Dresden.
One of the staff from YWAM Dresden showed us around the newly constructed 'Old City'
Upon arrival, I noticed that most old buildings were partly or fully black. Upon enquiry, I received an unexpected history lesson. During WW2, about 7100 tons of explosives were dropped over a few days by the allies, ~20 - 30 thousand people were killed and the city was levelled, what was black was what survived the firestorm. Dresden is still rebuilding 70yrs later as the city's restoration and development was restricted by the communist regime until it's fall in 89. Whether it is black due to fire or from the sandstone ageing I still don't know. They are, however, undertaking quite exquisite restorations!
'Dresdner Frauenkirche' or 'Church of our Lady' pictured above and below was rebuilt between 1994 and 2005.
The black stones above were salvaged from the original cathedral and reused in its rebuilding. A stunning, literal depiction of beauty from ashes.
Looking from the outside I noted something, if countries actually followed the biblical command, 'Love thy neighbour as thyself', things would have been different throughout all of Europe. Violations of this advice were made repeatedly by many nations decades before these events and others like it ever took place. Visiting Dresden was a stark and rather brutal example of why this command is so important, and why we, as humans individually and collectively, would do well to heed its wisdom.