DRESDEN, Germany, June 4 (UPI) -- President Obama's Germany trip includes visits to a city destroyed by Allied bombing, a concentration camp freed by the U.S. army and a U.S. military base.
Barack Obama is due to arrive Thursday in Dresden after stops in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where the president spoke in a bid to mend ties with the Arab world.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will greet Obama Friday in Dresden, once a Baroque jewel that was flattened by Allied firebombing in the final months of World War II.
Today, Dresden's historic city center has undergone extensive restoration since Germany's reunification, thanks in part to U.S. donors, who have helped rebuild the magnificent Church of our Lady.
Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, will tour the city with Obama before both leaders sit down to discuss bilateral issues.
Obama is due to arrive Thursday in Buchenwald, a former concentration camp liberated by U.S. troops in 1945. There, the president will likely stress the horrors of the Holocaust and underline the Allied role in fighting Nazi Germany. Charles Payne, Obama's great-uncle, was part of a U.S. infantry division that in April 1945 liberated Ohrdruf, a satellite camp to Buchenwald.
The president will finish off his visit to Germany by touring Ramstein Air Base and meeting with wounded U.S. troops at the Landstuhl military hospital.
His next stop in Europe will take him to France, where Obama is due to take part in celebrations commemorating the 65th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied landing in Normandy.