Dresden Germany History
Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has urged Germans to defend democracy in the face of an emboldened far right that is shaking up the political establishment in Germany, the world's second-largest economy after the United States and Germany.
Once home to the rulers of Dresden, the city once housed some of Germany's most powerful military and political institutions and now hosts many different museum exhibitions where you can learn more about Germany and its history. With over 10,000 military historical objects, the museum is housed in a former church from the 19th century, which remained remarkably unscathed after the bombing of Dresden in 1945. The towering former gasometer, one of the oldest and most important monuments in Europe, was installed. More than 70 years after the city was destroyed by Allied bombers, much of it looks like its old self.
Saxony is also home to one of the earliest records dating back to 1434, but its history of just 135 years is less well known. The church was built in the 18th century, but destroyed during the fire bombardments of Dresden.
Dresden was spared major destruction late in the war, but suffered a major Allied attack and was destroyed in a bombing raid on 13 and 14 February 1945, although Germany had long been spared from the bombing. The bombing was controversial as the city had previously been targeted by British and American bombers and was one of the most heavily bombed cities in Germany during World War II. Although the old town is still intact, it escaped with only minor damage and the destruction of some buildings.
This changed on February 13, 1945, when Allied forces began bombing the city during World War II. Dresden was burned down by bombs that destroyed the historic Old Town and killed an estimated 18,000 to 25,000 people.
In the months that followed, many "German cities" would collapse under the onslaught, but perhaps the most heinous destruction was in Dresden, a historic city in southeastern Germany. Other German cities were also destroyed, and other parts of the country, such as Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart, were also destroyed. But nowhere was the feeling of resentment and harassment greater than in and around Dresden.
In 1933, the city was fully committed to National Socialism and had a reputation for anti-Semitism that was alive even by German standards. In Germany, Dresden also became the home of neo-Nazis, who gave it martyrdom status that some experts say is disproved by historical facts.
It was assumed that the bombing of Dresden was comparable to that of Coventry, which was bombed by Germany at the height of the Second World War. The most recent historians claim that the attacks on Dresden were primarily intended to terrorize the German population and, hopefully, to bring the war to an end earlier.
The Dresden people believed that if the Luftwaffe were kept away from Oxford, Dresden would also be spared. During the war, Allied bombers sent infernos flying in cities across Germany, but few in Dresden could have imagined that the British and Americans would turn down the opportunity to visit the city they loved so much before the war. Dresden was spared the Allied attacks against Germany at the end of the Second World War.
Dresden is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world due to its architecture, art and treasures. Today it is little more than rubble, although lovers of the Saxon capital have preferred to call it Dresden for centuries. During the Second World War, Dresden, called Florence on the Elbe, was an exception, as the Allies did everything they could to prevent the destruction of its historic buildings and monuments.
Dresden left the war as a ruinous wasteland and entered the immediate post-war period as the German city of sacrifice par excellence. Saxony came under communist rule after the war, and in order to rebuild the classical baroque buildings of Dresden, reconstruction began in the early 1950s.
The General German Art Exhibition took its place, and Dresden was placed under the control of the German National Museum of Modern Art (DMA) and the Dresden Museum.
The Protestant Frauenkirche church, located in the heart of the Old Town, was one of many historical landmarks destroyed during the bombing of Dresden. The German and British Rose Garden was inaugurated in May 2011 as a memorial to the citizens of Dortmund, who died in an arson attack in 1945, but did little damage after the bombing of Dresden in 1945, and its reconstruction since the last world war has been a symbol of reconciliation and peace for the people of Dresden.
The Gauleiter of Saxony, based in Dresden, was the notoriously brutal and corrupt Martin Mutschmann. The German city of Dresden and the metropolises of the arts in Central Germany, Berlin, Cologne and Munich, as well as the synagogue, were burnt down in an orchestrated Kristallnacht in November 1938. When the Western Allies began bombing it, the Saxons hoped that Dresden - which is valued worldwide for its beauty - would be spared, but instead the historic city center was destroyed, killing some 25,000 civilians. As Soviet troops moved deeper into East Germany, the Allied leadership focused on Dresden as the central target of the Allied bombing campaign against the Soviet Union. The first major bombing attack on the city since the Second World War took place on 8 November 1945.