,Following the tour of the VW plant, we had the opportunity for a very quick visit to Dresden. This ancient city was destroyed over two nights of massive bombing in mid-February, 1945, as the end of Word War II approached. Historians agree it had little military or industrial significance and debate rages about how many died in the firestorm created by the bombing with estimates ranging from 35,000 to 135,000.
Dresden in the Soviet-occupied East Germany was rebuilt to its original dimensions to a remarkable degree. This is how the ruins in central Dresden above look today, with older building blocks, blackened by fire, replaced in their original positions, supplemented by newer whiter blocks.