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October 2008

I first visited the place 30 years ago and thought, “So what? Who started it anyway?” Today however, I wrote in the Visitors’ Book in the church: “This should never have happened. I am sorry.”

The church is one of Europe’s finest gems of Baroque art. You walk in and feel you have arrived in Heaven. Gold, light blues and whites blaze in your face, warming your spirit.

It is just three years old. My own people reduced the original to rubble in 1945, killing 35,000 people in doing so. A final logical act of brutality in a brutal German war.

Dresden still looks shell-shocked today. Weeds and brambles grow over empty spaces razed by a firestorm deliberately created by the British Royal Air Force to terrorise and kill.

The citizens of Dresden only managed to rebuild their beloved Frauenkirche 60 years after it was shattered.

Perhaps it is right that it took so long. So that an Englishman such as I could look deeper into his conscience than 30 years ago, and find the minimum of decency to say “Sorry.”

Marcus Ferrar
Co-author Slovenia 1945

Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will –

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