|St Lawrence Church|
I ask him how long he’s lived here. “My whole life,” he says. “I grew up here during the war, living with my grandmother. If you look carefully, you can see buildings that were built before the war, they form ornate sandstone slivers between newer buildings, and there aren’t many of them.’
I’d known that the Allies had bombed Nuremberg but apparently 90% of the old walled city was razed, in January 1945, by RAF bombing, leaving only rubble; within that month, 6,000 residents died.
|Nuremberg 1945 - Picture by Ray D'Dadarrio|
It was hard to hear – my own father had come home to UK from a German POW camp in the spring of 1945.
|Time for a Beer|
Then it was time to walk around the old city, nestled within its medieval wall. Not knowing the city before WWII it was hard to tell that so much had been lost. We entered the major churches; all rebuilt and restored over many years. Nuremberg was a free imperial city under the Holy Roman Empire and through the Reformation, when it emerged as primarily Lutheran (Protestant). Eventually, it was incorporated within Bavaria, a Catholic region, under Munich – “we call them ‘lederhosen',” Tomas says, laughing.
|St Egidien, former Baroque church|
|St Sebaldus Reliquary|
But we each manage a nod and a warm ‘Gute Nacht’ as we leave.