On both of my trips to Europe, I have observed that there are more reminders of history about than one is apt to find in the States. And some of this history isn’t pretty.

In the streets of Frankfurt, Beverly and I came across these two seals embedded in the cobblestones.

#1, located in the midst of the Römerplatz

The original German reads:

“Das war ein Vorspiel nur, dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am ende auch Menschen.”
— 1820, H. Heine

An dieser Stelle verbrannten am 10.Mai 1933 Nationalsozialistische Studenten die Bücher von Schriftstellern Wissenschaftlern Publizisten und Philosophen.

My English translation:
“This was only a prelude, for where they burn books, they will also in the end burn men.”
— Heinrich Heine [from “Almansor”], 1820

On this spot on May 10, 1933, students of the National Socialist Party burned the books of writers, academics, journalists and philosophers.

#2, closer to the Dom (main cathedral)

The original German reads:

1939 zur Erinnerung 1945

Zwischen dem 4.Juni 1940 und dem 24.März 1945 wurde Frankfurt von 33 Luftangriffen, zahllosen Störflügen und Tieffliegerangriffen heimgesucht. Tausende Tonnen Spreng- und Brandbomben zerstörten oder beschädigten vier Fünftel aller Bauten. Am 22.März 1944 löschte ein Grossangriff den Altstadkern völlig aus. Bei Kriegsende bedeckten 17 Mio. CBM Trümmer die Stadt, die um 14701 Gefallene und 5559 Bombenopfer trauerte.

My English translation:

In Remembrance, 1939-1945

Between June 4, 1940 and March 24, 1945 Frankfurt was ravaged by 33 air raids, countless harrying flights and low flying offensives. Thousands of tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiaries destroyed or damaged four-fifths of the buildings. On March 22, 1944, a massive assault completely wiped out the core of the old city. By the end of the war the city was blanketed with 17 million cubic meters of rubble, and mourned its 14,701 dead and 5559 bombing victims.

About the author

Janice Dawley

Outdoorsy TV addict, artistic computer geek, loner who loves people.

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