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Published: September 20th 2009
view from palace
We had a 4 day break in Prague at the end of June. We had a great time. We loved it. We didn't do too much ... except to walk, and walk, and walk and walk -- actually we really overdid the walking, I estimate 20-30 kilometers a day -- was pretty exhausted at the end -- crawled back to our hotel every night, falling into bed, groaning in pain. Even took a bath, using those bath salts the hotels always give you and that I never use. I think it helped a bit. By the end of the 4 days, I was feeling better and just about ready to climb mountains. We also took a day trip to Dresden -- so got to recover a bit before our evening run up to the castle and back -- not really, but nearly. So here are some photos of the things we walked past.
We made a day trip to Dresden -- Micha's grandparents used to live there and his father visited them there before the war. His father went back a few years ago but the family home was long gone. Anyway, the Israeli guide told us this widely repeated
story about the allied bombing of Dresden at the end of the war. Widely repeated and widely believed -- but evidently not true. He said that at the end of the war, Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt got together and decided to carve up Europe between themselves and Roosevelt didn't want anything, except to go home, but they all wanted revenge so they decided to bomb Dresden into oblivion. All wanted revenge for the terrible destruction and loss of life caused by the Germans and Stalin, in particular, wanted revenge for the death of his son by the Germans when he was a POW. So they chose Dresden and the city was bombed into smithereens and at least 100,000 people were killed. Sounds plausible ... but this is what really happened (according to my friend, the Professor of Physics, whom, although not an historian, is probably the most knowledgeable person I know): Towards the end of the war, the allies were bombing Germany randomly, with the purpose of demoralizing the Germans but it was having virtually no effect. The allies were missing all their targets and anyway, if they actually hit anything, the Germans would just get up the next day
and continue on as if nothing had happened. Then they bombed Dresden, and as happened in all the air raids, the Germans went down into the bomb shelters, as they had been told to do, but this time something happened that had NEVER happened before -- the bombing set off huge fire balls that burned down the city and also the people taking protection in the building basements. And that was the end of the air raids and also, more or less, of the war -- but there was no meeting of Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt and it was not deliberate ... although I dare say, that many people were not sorry.
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