When I see this picture I think of the evolution of cities over time because I got to visit several cities and see a great number of ancient constructions.
When I travel, I am always bewildered by these edifices that are sometimes neglected but, to me, remain magnificient despite the passage of time thus, I still have in mind the Alyscamps in Arles : this is a ancient cemetery dating back from romain times this place was so quiet, it suprised me as much as it seared me, we were confronted to the issue of death .
Even if I grow up, I remain a little contemplive and dreaming girl with stars in her eyes.
Eva,Clarisse et Marina
I looked at this photo and I saw a desolated land and I imagined how that boy should feel that day when he came up the hill where he usually admired a marvellous view from the town …
… while I was playing outside with my students, my mom called me and she told me to come back home. Soon after we heard an explosion and the alarm bell and we ran away.
We took refuge in the cellar and we went out after two days. All around us there was only death and destruction. We joined the place and we started looking for my grand-parents who didn’t succeed in joining us to the cellar. At a certain moment I saw my parents crying uninterruptedly. My grandparents died.
Just a few façades of some houses, banks and schools were safe because of the bombs.
Nowadays the town was built again, but I never forget what I saw that day from the hill!
I see a city where there are no people, all the buildings in the picture are destroyed. I don’t know how this could have happened, it could have been a bomb or an earthquake. I see a sad and uninhabited town. This picture gives me a feeling of sadness because everything is destroyed. It looks like a sunny day, but in spite of the bright sunlight, I am sure that all the families are sad because they don’t have a home anymore.
WAKING UP ON THE DOM
It´s dark. I hear soft music playing. I feel a little tired. I´m drifting... Suddenly loud banging! All around me...
Where am I? Who am I? I´m Jeannie May, born in Frankfurt. Basically all my family is from this town. Okay...I can get this right! Now I feel better again. Hey, it´s bright now. I can feel a little wind and I´m getting cold. I open my eyes and see the sky above me. There´s a reddish-brown brick wall in front of me. I´m leaning against that kind of stone too. All of a sudden the friendly face of a young woman appears right next to me. Behind her there are three more people. The young people are all smiling and holding the tipical “Apfelwein (cidre) glases“ in their hands.
The woman asks if I´m alright and I nod. She looks kind of familiar but I can´t remember having met her before. She tells me that she and her friends are having one of their special little parties up here with their friend, the guard of the tower of the Dom (the cathedral in Frankfurt). She points to one of the young men.
Up here? Dom? I get up and try to catch my breath: I´m 66m high up on the huge cathedral! I´ve been here before...but: it looks so different! Oh my god: everything is destroyed, not many houses left at all, piles of bricks and stone everywhere! Only parts of our Town Hall „the Römer“ and the beautiful church St. Nikolai are still uprightAnd where are all the skyscrapers?
The view reminds me of one of the black and white pictures I saw in one of the museums I went to visit with my school class not long ago.
The woman stands right next to me, sighing. „It´s a big shame, isn´t it? Everything is destroyed. What fun did we have playing and strolling in the old streets down there. But what can you do? The most important thing is that we got finally rid of that idiot Hitler, that we are alive and that we´ll have peace! And look: everyone is helping to clean up and surely one day it will be all rebuild. Wouldn´t that be wonderful? I think you should go back down to your family now. We don´t want them worrying, do we?“ She points to a small door and the stairs leading downstairs. I nod and say good bye.
On my way down, I keep thinking I heard someone mention beeing friends with the tower guard before...Was it my granny while telling me stories about the old times? Did she tell me about my great-grandmother meeting friends on the tower of the Dom...? If I could just remember... Soon I master the last stairs of the 328 and here I am: I feel again like standing in one of these old pictures, showing Frankfurt´s Römerberg shortly after the big bombing on the 22nd of March in the year 1944.The people, mostly women are dressed differently too...really old fashioned and quite poorly.
Suddenly a girl touches my arm. She`s smiling at me. She´s about my age and asks if I would like to play hipscotch. I see the little squares with numbers drawn on the ground behind her.
Why not? After a while of playing and jumping, she asks me if I would like to accompany her to the „Schuhmann Theatre“ where her grandfather was working. She wants to bring him his lunch, as every day.
„Schuhmann Theatre“...? The name of that place sounds familiar again...didn`t my granny mention that her parents met there while dancing, shortly after the war..? I agree coming along and we start walking through what is left of downtown Frankfurt. When we pass the remains of the old Opera House, the girl tells me about the horrible day when the bombs fell
on the beautiful old building everybody liked so much. Hundreds of „Frankfurters“ were standing there after the alarm was off, holding hands, crying, sadly watching another part of their hometown going up in flames.
After a short walk we reach the theatre, a wonderful old building facing the Main Station. We go to the ticket booth where the girl´s granddad is working, selling tickets. She hands him his lunch box and the friendly old man thanks us happily. We go back direction Dom when I realize that it´s getting dark already. When we reach the Römerberg I am surprised to see a big Christmas Tree standing in front of the ruins of the Town Hall.
There are also some food stands and a merry-go-round for the children. The girl takes my hand and tells me that she is so happy that the people of Frankfurt achieved to organize a small version of their famous Christmas Market so shortly after all the many horrors of the war “Doesn´t this make you happy and gives you hope for the future?“, she asks me. After that she has to go and we´re saying good bye. start walking towards the river Main. I sit down on a stone after a while I´m getting tired. I close my Music...I hear soft tunes again... Suddenly somebody shakes my shoulder..Lights turn on...I open my eyes and see friend Hanna
smiling and laughing at me for falling asleep in the cinema,watching the new 3D movie about the reconstruction of the old part of Frankfurt located between Dom and Römerberg.
Jeannie May Jedzini