The Frauenkirche seats 20,000 and the pews were crammed. Crowds were also pouring into three other large churches we passed. Bavaria is a very Catholic region, which is why my very Protestant ancestors emigrated in the 1700s.
Of the Cardinal Archbishop's sermon John and I with our four words of German understood very little. The only part we're both sure of is that he stressed that the Spirit came for all people. Not just a few, "not just for our nation," not only "fur uns, aber fur alle mensch."
And of course I sat there as the German words echoed through that vast interior, imagining the sermons preached from this pulpit in the 1930s and '40s. Picturing the swastika draped from the altar.
My only defense against the pain this place evokes is to know how Hitler would hate his favorite city today. The population around our hotel is about 50% near-Eastern -- some of the women in full purdah -- and 30% black, speaking a cacophony of African languages. Cripples abound. None of these people were to exist in his racially pure "thousand-year empire."
Going into the Frauenkirche we saw a poster for some charity featuring two girls smiling at each other: one has Down's Syndrome. She wasn't to exist either.
There's a new synagogue here now, and it's Pentecost, and with the Spirit's coming all things are possible.