The North Star Project, 2013-2014 Report Number Seventeen — Dresden, Germany, by Megan Hennen
In the northeastern state of Saxony, Germany, you can find the city of Dresden. This once soviet-occupied used to be nothing more to me than the setting for Kurt Vonnegut’s anti-war novel, Slaughterhouse-Five. And then, I was there. Standing in the middle of Dresden’s Altstadt (old city), looking up and admiring at all of the blackened facades. There’s a kind of beauty about the charred buildings, but there’s also no denying that it has a haunting quality, too. In the middle of February 1945, WWII had been inching closer to its end, when the Allied forces released their disastrous cargo, which would not only leave Dresden in ruins, but also killing thousands of civilians. These scorched structures serve as a reminder of this event, a sort of memorial for the lost lives of the fire raids. In a way, it had reminded my of the United States’ Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty had once been copper, like a penny, which is hard to imagine considering I’ve only ever known her as being green, similarly, there’s a difficulty in picturing Dresden’s Altstadt without its burns.
[Photo of the Zwinger Palace Glockenspiel]
For all of the North Star Project 2013-2014 Reports, see https://mgjnorthstarproject.wordpress.com/
For all of the North Star Project 2013 Summer Reports, see http://www2.css.edu/app/depts/HIS/historyjournal/index.cfm?cat=10
The North Star Project: Collaboration between The Middle Ground Journal Student Interns, The College of St. Scholastica, and North Star Academy 8th Grade Global Studies Classes, 2013-2014 School Year Reports.
Under the leadership of our North Star host teachers and student interns, The North Star Project has flourished for two years. For a brief summary, please see a recent article in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:
Having re-tooled and re-designed the collaborative program, we are drawing on the experience of our veteran student interns, ideas from our host teachers, and new projects provided by our incoming student interns. This school year The Middle Ground Journal will share brief dispatches from our North Star Project student interns, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. As of the time of this report we have confirmed student interns who will be reporting from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, northeastern China, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, England, Finland, Russia, and Haiti. We also have students developing presentations on theatrical representations of historical trauma, historical memory, the price individuals pay during tragic global conflicts, and different perceptions of current events from around the world. We will post their brief dispatches here, and report on their interactions with the North Star students and teachers throughout the school year.
Hong-Ming Liang, Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA, 2013-2014 School Year
(c) 2013 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 7, Fall, 2013. See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.