Dresden Trust Education Trustee, Paul Stocker (above with our Royal Patron HRH the Duke of Kent) was together with Chair Marcus Ferrar present for the 2020 commemorations of the bombing of Dresden .
As the chair reported: On the 13th February, we went from one function to another from 0930 to 2200. Speakers ranging from Bundespräsident Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Michael Kretschmer and Oberbürgermeister Dirk Hilbert spoke of the need to remember victims decently, but above all resist far right-wing attempts to exploit the event to whip up hatred and undermine democracy. The recent admission of the AfD to government in Thuringia was clearly in mind.
HRH the Duke of Kent was present from midday on 13th to the evening. He was prominent on platforms alongside others, and was frequently mentioned as representing The Dresden Trust. He took part in the evening in the Human Chain alongside Bundespräsident Frank-Walter Steinmeier in spitting rain and an icy wind.
Kretschmer was applauded when he said that “we” are the majority, not the protesters of Saturday and Monday (Pegida). On Saturday there was an authorised march by neo-Nazis, but they were fewer than expected and they were shepherded by police, while left-wingers staged a counter-demo.
Coventry was strongly represented. Its Lord Mayor Linda Bigham made quite an impact speaking of her confidence in young people not to be taken in by right-wing hysteria.Both the city and cathedral of Coventry devote considerable resources to their twinning with Dresden and the lessons to be drawn from the destruction. They have active programmes. Bishop Christopher Cocksworth of Coventry was also in attendance.
One of our trustees Angela Findlay has written a fascinating blog on the rise of the German far right, read it here