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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

February 14, 2010

Neo-Nazis in Dresden – bad day for a trip!

Filed under Life in Europe

We try to pick dates to accommodate interested "Gute Nachrichten" readers who want to have a visit, but maybe I should have thought about this weekend a bit more before confirming the appointment!

Yesterday was the 65 anniversary of the firebombing of Dresden less than three months before World War II ended in Europe. Dresden The anniversary is marked each year with memorial in Dresden with church bells ringing at 10 p.m. – the time the bombing raid began. Some "Gute Nachrichten" subscribers who live about 75 minutes by car from Dresden wanted a visit, and this weekend was the only time I could make it. So I decided to travel after the church service in Hamburg today to Dresden, where I would meet Rainer and Margit Barth. Rainer would accompany me on today’s trip. I got to the train station in Hamburg after services with time to spare for my train to Dresden at 4:30 p.m. However, the train was delayed over an hour because train service to and from Dresden had been disrupted by a protest in Dresden of some 6000 neo-Nazis, who use the anniversary of the firebombing for a protest. Their presence at one of Dresden’s two railway stations disrupted traffic, so I arrived about an hour late yesterday evening, but still in time to hear the symbolic ringing of church bells as I arrived at my hotel for the night.

The first stop on today’s agenda was in Zwickau, Käthe Pistorius where Rainer and I visited Käthe Pistorius. Käthe was one of the early members of the Worldwide Church of God in what used to be East Germany. Käthe’s husband Heinz died on October 28, 2009, and this was my first opportunity to visit with her after the funeral. We had an enjoyable morning with her before Rainer and I traveled on to Plauen, where we met four people who came into contact with us via the internet and our "Gute Nachrichten" magazine. They already knew about several key teachings including our basic belief in Sabbath observance. After a visit lasting nearly four hours, it was time for me to head for the train station in Plauen for the six hour train ride back to Siegburg. Despite the inconvenience caused by the neo-Nazi protest in Dresden, it was a successful weekend.

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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