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Neo-Nazis to march as Dresden marks bombing
Photo: DPA

Neo-Nazis to march as Dresden marks bombing

Published: 13 Feb 2013 07:48 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Feb 2013 07:48 GMT+01:00

Dresden on Wednesday braced for potentially violent protests against a neo-Nazi march on the 68th anniversary of the Allied bombing of the eastern German city.

Some 3,000 police from across Germany will be present to try and keep around 1,000 fascists away from an estimated 10,000 demonstrators.

“The police considers its duty to be a neutral party guaranteeing the freedom of assembly,” said Dresden Police Chief Dieter Kroll, according to public broadcaster MDR.

Far-right extremists gather in Dresden each February 13th to condemn the firebombing that nearly completely destroyed the city only months before the end of World War II. But local residents have challenged the neo-Nazi hijacking of the date for their propaganda purposes.

Saxony’s state premier Stanislaw Tillich and Dresden’s Mayor Helma Orosz on Friday called for a peaceful commemoration of the city’s destruction 68 years ago.

“I hope that many people will take part in the remembrances and human chain in the city,” Tillich said, referring to the year effort to peacefully block the path of the neo-Nazi march.

The massive Allied bombing raid on Dresden in February 1945 killed thousands of civilians even though it was strategically unnecessary at the time with Hitler’s forces nearly defeated.

The number of those who were killed has also been controversial, with an official estimate lowered to 25,000 a few years ago. Prior to that, hundreds of thousands where thought to have died in the raid.

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Your comments about this article

09:10 February 13, 2013 by Icke Ricke
Here in the States I shall set my Germany flags out in front of my house in memory of this date. On another somber note I often contemplate the obsession that the U.S. has toward death / Tod... President Obama, in his State of the Union Address, said that since the Newtown Elementary School massacre just two months ago 1,000 people have been killed here in the States as a result of gun violence. I extend my hand to your human chain.
11:37 February 13, 2013 by Kennneth Ingle
Neo-Nazis in Germany always hit the headlines, whereas in many other countries similar nationalistic organisations would appear to be accepted. What makes a young person join such a movement?

Having lived through the 2WW myself, I notice more and more, how historical facts have ­ over the years - been manipulated, in order to fit in with present day politics.

One of the first books I read, while learning the German language, was called Deutsch für Ausländer. The book was in no way political, but did include the official assessment of the number of dead, (taken from eyewitness accounts a few days after the bombing). That was over 240 thousand! For many years this number was also used by the BBC in London.

Even if we take possible exaggerations into account, there would be no reason to completely ignore the counted number of bodies, this then stopped at 200 thousand, while the health danger was too high and the remains had to be destroyed. To say that only 25,000 were killed, is a political, not historical statement. The Commission which decided on this number, obviously ignored much of the evidence which had been available.

It has become a habit since the end of the war, to increase the amount of victims of German atrocities, while reducing the total of Germans who suffered, not only in Dresden. For example, over two million Germans deported from former German territories have just disappeared without any great notice being taken. Were the German government to be a little more honest in their presentation of passed events, we might find, that the number of Neo-Nazis would decline for lack of arguments.
12:18 February 13, 2013 by raandy
Kennneth Ingle, that is very true, as the two fronts east and west were not so far apart, the city was full of refuges trying to escape the Russian advance.

but

The city was in Nazi Germany and there for a legitimate target. Hitler had not surrendered.

It was not just a cultural center but had factories that produced weapons for the Naziz and was a staging area to send troops to the Eastern front also making it a legitimate target.

and

The Americans and English knew they were going to have trouble with Stalin and wanted him to see first hand the awesome power that they could bring.A warning for the Russians not to stray from previous agreements.

Sadly they released 3300 tons of bombs many were Incendiary bombs, the city was taken by total surprise, in one of the most horrific, devastating and unnecessary loss of civilian life during the war. Truly shameful.
16:51 February 13, 2013 by catjones
The Golden Age of War.
18:42 February 13, 2013 by PNWDev
@kenneth ingle

Amen.

Victors must tell a favorable version to convince the sheep the righteos won and in a humane way.

Just last fall the US acknowledged they help cover-up Katyn so the world would believe Germans murdered the poles rather than the Russians. Operation keelhaul was also kept secret as it was a death march of anti communist russians a,d black sea ethnic germans back to gulags. Even mentioning these facts sheep will come in out of the pasture to defend or excuse it. Or worse yet, try and deny it.

Pointing out the facts is not done to take sides, but rather to reveal truth.
00:54 February 14, 2013 by Brint
I've often pondered on the scenario that if during the dying days of WW2 German scientists had come up with a much more accurate long range version of the V2, complete with a small thermonuclear warhead, would Hitler have refused to use them on London or New York for humanitarian reasons?
03:32 February 14, 2013 by DOZ
Can't dispute the facts that lean towards an organized slaughter.
08:38 February 14, 2013 by Englishted
I agree war is a terrible business ,however if the side that won had not then I am sure this comment section would not exist.
10:45 February 14, 2013 by Tonne
I agree with you @Englishted but it doesn't make the fire-storming of Dresden any less of a war crime, or for that matter the bombing of many other German towns and cities. It really is no excuse to say that Hitler started it, therefore that makes it right.

The bombing of Dresden was a deliberate act of murder, designed to kill as many civilians as possible.
13:10 February 14, 2013 by Brint
@Tonne

"The bombing of Dresden was a deliberate act of murder, designed to kill as many civilians as possible."

Whilst I wouldn't disagree with you, don't forget that Hitler was trying to achieve exactly the same goal by using his V1 - V2 'terror weapons' against civilian populations in the dying days of the war.
19:57 February 14, 2013 by Englishted
@ Tonne

What would have had the R.A.F. and the U.S.A.F. do? if bombing any German city was a war crime .

A hard truth is that winners don't commit war crimes but losers often do.
00:33 February 15, 2013 by Abertawe12
raandy - english??? Whats that about? This is RACIST to begin with - the country is CALLED GREAT BRITAIN - HELLO - NOT ALL PEOPLES ON THIS ISLAND ARE ENGLISH - THIS IS INSULTING - WELSH, SCOTTISH AS WELL AS NORTHERN IRISH MAKE UP GREAT BRITAIN, whom also fought in the war.
10:20 February 15, 2013 by Ze boss
Sorry Abertawe12, but if you're going to be so pedantic and using capital letters, do yourself a favour and don't make yourself look stupid by getting the facts wrong - Northern Ireland does not make up a part of Great Britain - Great Britain = England, Scotland and Wales (without Northern Ireland)

Northern Ireland is part of the UK, but NOT GB

In case you didn't know here's a summary:

GB = Eng, Sco, Wales

UK = GB + NI
15:22 February 15, 2013 by Berliner1978
"The Americans and English knew they were going to have trouble with Stalin and wanted him to see first hand the awesome power that they could bring.A warning for the Russians not to stray from previous agreements."

Too bad Stalin wasn't impressed enough to conform to those agreements......An amazing thing was how many Germans in 1945 believed that after Hitler was defeated, the Allies and the remnants of the German Army would unite and push the Russians back into Russia so they wouldn't enslave half of Europe. In retrospect it was a pretty good idea, and shows that some of "the enemy" knew who the real enemy was.....
16:07 February 15, 2013 by Englishted
@ Berliner1978

The Russians withdrew from Austria ,and didn't stop the British interfering in the Greek civil war ,both of which were previous agreements.
16:34 February 15, 2013 by raandy
Abertawe12, Really????? How about Winston Churchill, would that be OK, nimrod???
18:37 February 15, 2013 by Al uk
@ tonne (10) surely you reap what you sow?
18:23 February 23, 2013 by corn1971
25,000 Russian civilians died in the first two days of the siege of Stalingrad. A lot of misery occurred because of that war. That is what war does, it unleashes tragedy.

Much of the way that war was fought would not be tolerated today, but with our more sanitized methods we can bring it anywhere in the world on the tip of a smart weapon. Not so sure that is progress.
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