Europe

Silent Reminders in Köln, Germany


Thursday, June 17th, 2004: Köln, Germany

The Dom, Köln’s cathedral is the major building on the skyline and it dominates everything else. One of the largest Gothic buildings ever constructed anywhere, it was mercifully spared during the night blitzes of WWII – the stained glass windows, which are magnificent, were all removed during the war, and thus also survived.

Much of the rest of Köln, unfortunately, was not spared and everywhere you go you see modern, rebuilt buildings interspersed with occasional, original buildings. Based on those few original buildings, we think Köln must have been a lovely city before the war.

Square, Brass Plaques

We also see, as we walk the streets, silent reminders of another aspect of WWII – square brass plaques inset in the concrete sidewalks, giving the name of someone who once lived in a home that stood nearby, with the date this person was deported to the camps.

Greg has slept well – over 12 hours; I have also slept well, but don’t have his capacity for sleep. Out of this I experience an unexpected benefit of staying in a B&B – there is more space available than just the room. So while Greg sleeps, I sit at the kitchen table, making and drinking copious quantities of coffee, looking out the big window at the home and garden next door, reading.

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