Another Bravo! today to an artist. Manaf Halbouni and his monument in Dresden.
Dresden. On of the most beautiful cities in Germany. With a horrible history. Bombed flat toward the end of WWII in a terrible fire storm caused by the allied forces in their attempt to stifle Germany’s resolve to keep on fighting for “Führer und Vaterland”.
But it is also the city, where the mob cites “Lügenpresse” (lying press) every Monday and right wing extremists, mainly from the AfD party, are cheered on, while shouting their abuse in hate speeches to the public. The city, where Angela Merkel was hatefully screamed at for her welcome policy to refugees. Where hundreds keep insisting every week “Wir sind das Volk!” (we are the people!)
Luckily, this is just part of Dresden. The other part holds against this. Including the governing Mayor of the town, Dirk Hilbert. Who, in preparation for remembrance day of the “Bombennacht” 72 years ago on February 13th, 1945 (night of the bombing of Dresden), approved another artwork to be erect on Neumarkt in front of Frauenkirche (marketplace at the center of town right in front of Frauenkirche).
The monument consists of three busses turned upright in the middle of the square, remembering Aleppo, where folks did the same to get some shelter from the constant bombing, sniper attacks and flying shrapnel.
32 year old artist Manaf Halbouni, half German, half Syrian, residing in Dresden, explains to Stern thus: “72 years ago, everything was destroyed here. The city has overcome this, but the process is still ongoing. Just like in Aleppo.” And Mayor Hilbert says: “It is important, to remember not only the victims of old, but also those of today. We want a recent time reference without forgetting the dead of February 13th.”
The monument was opened yesterday, but protests started on Monday, already. And yesterday, the mob gathered in protest again, scanting their hate at this impressive work of art. Calling it junk and hypocrisy.
How sad. And what a great piece of art – again: Bravo! to the artist and the Mayor. And all the Dresdeners standing up against this mob.