• Germany's news in English

Neo-Nazis to march as Dresden marks bombing

The Local · 13 Feb 2013, 07:48

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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.

Story continues below…

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.

The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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.


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.


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


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

"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.
Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd