Admin l Friday, March 31, 2023
HAMBURG – Britain’s King Charles III laid a wreath at the St. Nikolai memorial in Hamburg, together with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Mayor Peter Tschentscher.
The former Hamburg main church was destroyed during British and American air raids in World War II. Hamburg bishop Kirsten Fehrs intoned the “Coventry Litany of Reconciliation,” a prayer of reconciliation originated in 1959 in the English city that was heavily bombed by German air raids in November 1940.
The Hamburg Boys’ Choir then sang the hymn “If ye love me” by English composer Thomas Tallis (1505-1585) in a further symbol of reconciliation and hope.
The ruins of St. Nikolai on Hamburg’s Hopfenmarkt are dedicated as a memorial to the victims of war and tyranny between 1933 and 1945.
The surviving 147 meter high tower served as a target marker for US and British bombers during World War II and the church was badly damaged on July 25, 1943.
Hamburg was bombed in a series of attacks that in 1943 unleashed a firestorm killing around 35,000 people and injuring 120,000 more.
Later, Charles and Camilla were welcomed at Hamburg’s Rathausmarkt as people crowded in front of City Hall to catch a glimpse of the couple.
King Charles and Camilla took ample time to shake hands. They walked along the barrier and greeted those waiting, many of whom sought to take pictures of them.