Skip to comments.Dresden vs. Auschwitz (Germans, as victims of WW2)
Posted on 08/23/2007 12:54:32 PM PDT by lizol
Dresden vs. Auschwitz
By Aviva Lori
In February 2005, Dr. Gilad Margalit visited Dresden. The winter of 2005 was cold, but at the events marking the 60th anniversary of the Allied bombing of the city it was hot. Very hot. About 5,000 neo-Nazis descended on Dresden from all over Germany and from throughout Europe for the big demonstration on February 13, a Sunday.
It was a colorful, violent demonstration that sought to carve out territory in the streets and especially in the national consciousness. The massive physical presence of the demonstrators only heightened the growing recognition in Germany in recent years that the time has come to make it plain that the victims of World War II did not have a monopoly on suffering.
The questions of who suffered more and who is more to blame are not new questions in Germany, but they have been increasingly troubling the Germans. Responsibility and guilt feelings are no longer self-evident. Advertisement "It was a huge demonstration," Margalit recalls. "All the streams of this scene were there, from the wildest radicals - tattooed, skinhead thugs - to local members of parliament, well-dressed, pleasant-smelling people. They marched to commemorate the bombing raids on the city, which have come to symbolize the suffering of the entire German people. True, [the demonstrators] were a relatively small number out of a population of 74 million, but it took place in the light of day and with police protection. And they don't want to hear about the Holocaust."
(Excerpt) Read more at haaretz.com ...
When are they going to have marches in Coventry?
Any idiot that thinks Germans suffered as much as their victims is just that, an idiot.
Oh, cry me a FReepin’ river. You try to take over the World and exterminate all the Jews, bad things are going to happen to you. The NAZIs were as bad as it gets. Everything we did in Europe, and more, was easily justified.
Those that ignore history are condemned to repeat it!
And before I hear the - The German citizens deserved what they got answer - We just fought a war against Iraq. Can we fire bomb some cities there and kill a quarter of million people and just say they deserved it? If not - why? Saddam was just as evil as Hitler.
And Rotterdam, and Warsaw, and Guernica.....
Is it not possible that the Allies really did bomb a civilian population without restraint?”
I lived in Bavaria for four years and visited Dresden when it was still in the DDR. The Commie travel guides played up the allied bombing of Dresden, when made me very angry since the Soviets treated the Germans as bad as the Germans had treated Soviet citizens, and that was very badly. Germans were moving West to escape the Red Army, preferring the Western allies.
I have questioned the need for the bombing of Dresden, which was not an industrial city, and was full of refugees.
However, Hitler had indiscriminately bombed London, including the more recent V-1 and V-2 rockets. Did bombing Dresden hasten the end of the war against Germany like the A-Bomb did against Japan. I am not sure about that, but if it saved allied lives, it was probably justifiable.
Certainly, the Dresden bombing should not be spoken in the same breath with the Holocaust, or even the starving of the Dutch People after they rose up during Market-Garden, or the Katyn Forrest massacre by Stalin.
There is no moral comparison or equivalence. The former occurred because tyrants and those who supported them committed violence and agression against innocent peoples and nations. The latter happened as the allies committed violence against the perpetrators and those nations, cities, and peoples who provided material and moral support in the all out war that World War II was.
It was hell...but it was unleashed on the hellions and their peoples. In the end, the German people and Japanese people wanted NO MORE. They were made over into good Germans and good Japanese by the horrific events. I know this for sure...had Hitler and Tojo succeeded, the hell on earth that would have resulted would have been many orders of magnitude worse...world-wide...than what occurred at Dresden and Hiroshima and Nagasaki to put a stop to it.
We waged all out war to end what would have been a much more, continuing brutal reign of terror and killing world-wide had we not stopped it in the fashion that we did.
Yes, the Nazis were extremely restrained in their warfare.
The Poles are grateful for their mildness and the people of Stalingrad look back to those lovely days of the half-hearted Nazi siege of their city.
And if anyone thinks we owe Germany for Dresden, consider The Marshall Plan as “payment in full.”
So, are there degrees of evil? A little evil is acceptable but a lot of evil is a bad thing? Now, to compare the Nazi "Final Solution" to a thug like Saddam is just laughable. Saddam killed people out of some kind of blood lust or lust for power and control. What Hitler and the Third Reich did is something of a different magnitude and not comparable.
The Marshall Plan AND forty years of keeping the Russians out.
And the 31 US Servicemen who gave their lives during the Berlin Airlift.
Now and forever.
World War II Germany was a modern culture that acted worse than the lowest, creepiest bush tribe. ( No insult meant to primitive people). It wasn't a few bad apples acting on their own - it was the whole figgin culture.
Shame on them. Shame on all of them.
Let the Germans live with the guilt. It's the least they can do.
The reason there have been no more decisive victories since WWII is because we don’t fight “all out” any more.
And them some...
Also, IMHO, one of the things we did wrong in Iraq is not pacify, with extreme prejudice, those towns and cities that support the insurgents and terrorists. It has caused the fighting...again, IMHO...to last much longer and cost many more of our own than it otherwise might have.
I think of Fullujah as an example. No way did we need to go in there and lose 120+ of our boys fighting an urban war made to order for Jihadists and their perverted notion of martydom. We should have ringed the place with steel and offered 72 hours for everyone who wanted to get out to do so. Women and young kids one way, fighting aged men another...who would then be used to rebuild their city and to rebuild it in such a fashion that is not only much more modern and with better sanitation, but with wide avenues and clear fields of fire.
Then we should have waged an around the clock bombing campaign that reduced the entire place to rubble. Any innocents dieing in the exchange are on the heads of the terrorist and insurgents. A clear message would also have been sent. A 'demonstration" that I bet would not have had to be repeated too many more times before the Iraqis in those areas where insurgents were abetted...stoppoed abetting them.
...but that's why I will never be in charge of such operations.
“I ask you: Do you want total war? If necessary, do you want a war more total and radical than anything that we can even imagine today?” - Josef Goebbels
(Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it!)
“Let the Germans live with the guilt. It’s the least they can do.”
The thing is, that they probably don’t want it anymore.
I seem to recall that the Dresden bombing was done to placate Stalin. The Germans were on the ropes, it was the tail end of the war. Dresden was a city of refugees fleeing from the communists. They weren’t all Germans. Kurt Vonnegut was one of many POWs kept there. Coventry England was bombed, but the difference was the English knew it was coming. The Brit. Gov’t. chose not inform the populous for fear that the Germans would find out that their code was broken. By the time Dresden was bombed most of the German Cities were in total ruin and their army was surrending to us in droves. Well, Stalin appreciated it.
We don't discuss it.
After we took Baghdad, we needed to have thousands of hard-core Fedayeen disappear - but they didn't because the place was crawling with journalists.
And so it goes.
That's not to say they couldn't have concentrated on the railways and other targets without firebombing...
Dude - we bombed Dresden in February of 1945. The war lasted a scant two more months. The will of the German people was completely broken at that time. The German army was completely broken. Everyone knew the war was over and Germany had lost.
Hindsight is 20/20. As Clemenceau put it, “War is a series of calamaties that result in victory.”
It lasted a scant two more months precisely because we did bomb Dresden.
We punctuated what was happening to the NAzis and German people with Dresden. Just like with the Imperialists we punctuated what was happening with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Japan, we avoided a very costly invasion by so doing. I believe we avoided equal hardships amongst the German people and their leadership by doing the same type of thing with Dresden.
Horrible thing, horrific thing...but as I said, it was the end points made regarding any will or desire on their part to have any fight or last stands.
And Dresden, dude, was like, totally the place through which to route troops to try to hold back the Soviets for a second shot.
Amen...see my post 29.
Note to the Germans:
If you don’t start no crap, there won’t be no crap.
Remember that at the time there was a lot of concern that the Nazis would establish the National Redoubt in the mountains of Bavaria and fight a protracted guerilla war that could have gone on for years.
I guess those 100+ Soviet Divisions crossing the German/Polish border had nothing to do with it...
(repost from an FR thread done many moons ago)
Check out what the city of Dresden says (at the URLs below).
The written text below is my (VOA’s) commentary...
1945 wasn’t the first time Dresden took it on the chin during a war;
this URL used to have an old print of the earlier destruction of
Dresden...looked a lot like the WWII destruction.
Don’t let anyone tell you that Dresden was simply a place where
clocks, cameras and Baroque buildings were made.
It was also an industrial center
Yes, the 1945 bombing raids didn’t need to be as extensive in
light of the military situation...but when the USA loses two generations
of men in two World Wars, it will be interesting to see how the
end is “punctuated”.
It’s been a few years since I’ve been at the site, but they’ve sure
skinnied down their admission of Dresden having plenty of
industry in the WWII time-frame.
At least they are wise enough not to say “Vee vere not involved”.
The Nazis were begging for a Dresden and got exactly what they deserved.
If all the ~1500 V-2s launched into England had reached their targets accurately, they would have killed more than a quarter million British civilians.
The Nazis deserved 10 Dresdens.
“About 5,000 neo-Nazis descended on Dresden . . .”
New Nazis?! I’m thinking, wow, those guys are fags too—we
should like totally bomb those Nazi dudes again, fer sure!
Sure, if you love B.O.
This whole article is so ridiculous it's hard to know where to begin. Are you sure it didn't come from The Onion? I mean, it's just like reading that Pol Pot wants people to understand that he suffered, too.
Who owe their large pensions to Wernher von Braun."
- Tom Lehrer
The Soviet offensive had stalled mostly due to the troops being routed through Dresden.
One of the reasons why Zhukov held off on taking Berlin was because the Soviets were taking so many casualties on the southern part of the front they'd opened that he wanted to hold troops in reserve.
Dresden and its rail systems were a lifeline for the Nazis and delayed the fall of berlin.
for reference by the forum:
“The Dreden Legend”
by Rebecca Grant
in “The Air Force Magazine”, October 2004, Vol. 87, No. 10
(in pdf format):
As it was, the time line went like this:
Dec. 16, 1944 through 25 January 1945: Battle of the Bulge. The costliest battle for American forces of the entire war in terms of the numbers of soldiers killed over the space of time. 19,000 in five weeks.
13-16 February 1945: Dresden is bombed. Dresden was a recognized center for communications and transportation for the entire southern eastern front. Many of the refugees were soldiers who were reprovisioning there. It was also the largest German city left entirely intact throughout the war. It was bombed on night by 800 British bombers and then two days by 500+ American aircraft. 35,000+ people died...some estimates are much higher, nearly 70,000. At the time, clear reports indicated that German moral, both militarily and civically was crushed by the report, both near and far.
8 May, 1945 V-E Day. Almost 3 months after Dresden.
Do not get me wrong. I have great affinity for the German people as a whole. I have many relatives from there and many friends. I talked to many people during the two years I spent there in the mid-1970's, living on the economy. The vast majority I spoke with admitted at the time that as a people, they had been mesmerized and led, willingly, down the primrose path by Hitler and his cronies. They recognized that it led to their abject and total defeat...and the destruction that was wrought upon them.
At that time, they did not blame us in the least. They recognized that theblame lay with the tyrants who came to pwoer, and to them for not seeing it, despite Hitelrs own writings. They also knew that if they had not lost...the entire world would have experienced a decent ito probably the darkest hours of its entire history.
As with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Dresden was an awful necessity of war that punctuated the allies' will in total defeat of the NAzis. That point was made and taken...and, IMHO, it also worked.
Well, wideawake, let us see.
The Battle of the Bulge was essentially over by January 1st, 1945 (ie all German offensive operations had failed and were over)
The bombing of Dresden was essentially over by the end of February, 1945.
That is about 9 weeks.
In those 9 weeks:
The Soviets capture Warsaw.
The Soviets capture most of Eastern Europe (up to the Danube River)
Over 1 million Soviet troops approach the Polish/German border
The US Army (with Allies) captures all of the low countries and enters Germany.
Yep - it sure makes sense to fire-bomb a military insignificant German city packed with refugees...like those crazy Germans were on a fricken roll.
Hey - the Nazi also performed medical experimentation on children. Can we do the same on German children and Iraqi children?
Chuck Yeager said as much in his autobiography. The fighter group he was assigned to were given a strafing mission towards the end of the war. No one was thrilled about it, but they did it.
War is a grim business. If you fight, you do it totally. Hoping that war will never happen again.
Because of Dresden, the Germans were spared a Hiroshima.
War sucks. It sucks more for the losers.
I am totally on board with that thinking.
More people need to understand this.
It wouldn't matter if they did, there is an essential moral difference between aggression and defense.