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Germany marks 70th anniversary of destruction of Dresden


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Yes, Faster it most certainly is your personal affection for Germany and personal dislike for Britain that makes you post stuff like this!

I have to laugh at how apologists for the Nazis like you try to make out that the Nazis were some kind of alien species from outer space that invaded innocent Germany and forced the innocent Germans to do their bidding! Newsflash Faster!: The Nazis WERE Germans, quite often just ordinary Germans and until the latter stages of the war, when incidents like the Dresden bombing occurred, the vast majority of them were firmly behind Hitler!

I'm sure you think that the bombing of British cities was just a bit of fun (well it 'only' happened in Britain didn't it, a country you famously dislike?) and I'll put your theory to my mother who came within a whisker of being killed when the house next door to her was destroyed one night during that fun,'what's all the fuss about this little ol' blitz'? Her aunt and a close neighbour and friend were not so lucky!

Millions of Jews and innocent people in Europe perished because of the war begun by Germany and her legitimate government (the Nazis didn't come to power via an armed coup but through a power-sharing agreement with other German parties) and I'm sure they will all feel that the balance was fully redressed when 35,000 Germans were killed in Dresden one night!

My advice: get your biased, pro-German and anti-British hat off your head Faster and learn to look at things more realistically and objectively!

Your response is exactly why people cannot have a realistic conversation about World War II. It is still far to close, and far to personal. It is not being an apologist for Nazi crimes to also recognize that crimes were committed by the other side. And to understand and comprehend that Germany and Austria suffered greatly and many times unnecessarily at the hands of the Allies. We have films and TV shows that glorify war-crimes being committed by Allies (Saving Private Ryan, Fury, Band of Brothers) and no one even bothers to question the morality or ethics of it. Dresden was a war crime. Just because the victim of the crime also did horrendous things does not mean that you can just dismissively justify it by saying they started it, committed a crime first. I cannot wash that guilt so easily. Or not feel uneasy about the state of a world where we as 'Western' society had to violate basic ideals in the growth of democracy to win such a brutal and oppressive war.

Did the 100,000's of thousands of German women that were raped by advancing Soviet soldiers deserve their fate because of the actions of their government? Or the 100,000's that were massacred and summarily executed without trial? Does that make things better for the millions that were also killed? Does answering one crime with another really solve a problem? Descending to the level of a despicable enemy is not something to be proud of. Would you get what you deserved if an Iraqi that lost his family in their war shot you dead because you voted Labour?

We should be lamenting the lose of humanity that we suffered as a society, lament the actions we took, however necessary some of them were because of what it cost us. Britain did not deserve the Blitz, but neither did the people of Dresden deserve to have their city unnecessarily firebombed with no strategic of military significance. It was a cowardly act of revenge that reduced the Allies to being no better than many of their adversaries.

Germany has also done more to acknowledge the crimes they committed during the War, not the same can be said for France, Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, Italy or Russia among many others. Isn't it funny that the country that stood firmest against Nazi Germany's Jewish policy was also the country with the lowest percentage of Jews killed during the Holocaust? Instead of using all that firepower to destroy 35,000 German civilians they could have used it instead for destroying the rail-lines, gas chambers and ovens that the Polish government-in-exile had being begging the Allies to bomb for years.

You may be able to wash your hands of Britain's guilt and not question or seriously consider it, but I will not just pretend that the Allies were a bunch of heroes that came to the rescue of Europe while being all sunshine, rainbows and puppies.

And just some background. I am Jewish, I had family that served on both sides of the War, I had family that suffered in concentration camps not for the Jews in Nazi controlled Europe but by the Canadian government. My opinion is formed not just because I identify strongly with my German heritage but also from family history.

And for the record for the last f-ing time. I am not anti-f-ing British. Not being a particular fan of English football and sports, not thinking the sun shines out the the EPL's arse and wanting Paris to host 2012 instead of London does not make me f-ing anti-British. My jabs are Britain have always been a f-ing persona on here because of over a year of constant attacks by flag-waving Brits that attacked my opinion of anything London 2012 because I supported Paris and heaven f-ing forbid an Anglophone supported Paris.

You disappoint me.

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Dresden was really unnecessary, especially at that stage of the war. But 70 years on, what really angers me is that neo-fascist movements here use this for their own purposes, conveniently leaving ou

I agree that a line was crossed at Dresden in terms of what is and isn't acceptable. It seems perverse to draw up rules like the Geneva convention to govern the conduct of individuals and governments

I agree: Churchill was, in many ways, a flawed personality. His views on India and Indians (to name one instance) were, respectfully, quite repugnant - then again, so were those of many colonial admin

Canada's done pretty damn well in their World Wars too BR2028. World War I is a major turning point in Canadian history because it solidified our autonomy from Britain, War of 1812 we fended off the Americans and World War II we played a critical role in ending the war at Normandy and up through the Netherlands. The U.S. and Canada also benefited from leaving those wars without the expenses and damage of the European countries.

Right you are there

Well if you put it that way...New Zealand and Australia also walked away from the two great conficts with pride, even though it was done with great sacrifice. National pride and a final break from mother Great Britain also propped up by an amazing post war economic boom that only cooled in the late 70s and relit in the mid 90s and still going....

Good point too.

I think we should just call Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand The British Sisters. I mean when you look at it all four of those countries make out like bandits in most conflicts they are involved in.

The War of 1812 was American aggression and ended status quo ante bellum.

The War of 1812 was sparked by Britain trying to deny the US access to the seas. The US fought and while our aggression into Canada certainly was not the best idea the status quo antebellum didn't really end till after the Civil War when it was ended in the South.

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Your response is exactly why people cannot have a realistic conversation about World War II. It is still far to close, and far to personal. It is not being an apologist for Nazi crimes to also recognize that crimes were committed by the other side. And to understand and comprehend that Germany and Austria suffered greatly and many times unnecessarily at the hands of the Allies. We have films and TV shows that glorify war-crimes being committed by Allies (Saving Private Ryan, Fury, Band of Brothers) and no one even bothers to question the morality or ethics of it. Dresden was a war crime. Just because the victim of the crime also did horrendous things does not mean that you can just dismissively justify it by saying they started it, committed a crime first. I cannot wash that guilt so easily. Or not feel uneasy about the state of a world where we as 'Western' society had to violate basic ideals in the growth of democracy to win such a brutal and oppressive war.

Did the 100,000's of thousands of German women that were raped by advancing Soviet soldiers deserve their fate because of the actions of their government? Or the 100,000's that were massacred and summarily executed without trial? Does that make things better for the millions that were also killed? Does answering one crime with another really solve a problem? Descending to the level of a despicable enemy is not something to be proud of. Would you get what you deserved if an Iraqi that lost his family in their war shot you dead because you voted Labour?

We should be lamenting the lose of humanity that we suffered as a society, lament the actions we took, however necessary some of them were because of what it cost us. Britain did not deserve the Blitz, but neither did the people of Dresden deserve to have their city unnecessarily firebombed with no strategic of military significance. It was a cowardly act of revenge that reduced the Allies to being no better than many of their adversaries.

Germany has also done more to acknowledge the crimes they committed during the War, not the same can be said for France, Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, Italy or Russia among many others. Isn't it funny that the country that stood firmest against Nazi Germany's Jewish policy was also the country with the lowest percentage of Jews killed during the Holocaust? Instead of using all that firepower to destroy 35,000 German civilians they could have used it instead for destroying the rail-lines, gas chambers and ovens that the Polish government-in-exile had being begging the Allies to bomb for years.

You may be able to wash your hands of Britain's guilt and not question or seriously consider it, but I will not just pretend that the Allies were a bunch of heroes that came to the rescue of Europe while being all sunshine, rainbows and puppies.

And just some background. I am Jewish, I had family that served on both sides of the War, I had family that suffered in concentration camps not for the Jews in Nazi controlled Europe but by the Canadian government. My opinion is formed not just because I identify strongly with my German heritage but also from family history.

You disappoint me.

And for the record for the last f-ing time. I am not anti-f-ing British. Not being a particular fan of English football and sports, not thinking the sun shines out the the EPL's arse and wanting Paris to host 2012 instead of London does not make me f-ing anti-British. My jabs are Britain have always been a f-ing persona on here because of over a year of constant attacks by flag-waving Brits that attacked my opinion of anything London 2012 because I supported Paris and heaven f-ing forbid an Anglophone supported Paris.

This kind of post makes me regret posting about the subject of Dresden in the first place. I knew it would provoke this kind of response and I guess I should have known better. I apologise for even raising this subject at all!

Nowhere in any of my posts on this subject have I tried to absolve the British from what happened in Dresden. As I already posted, Churchill himself was shocked by the action and it caused an almighty row between him and Air Bomber Command. What I have tried to make clear is that war brings out the worst in everybody and for that very reason should be avoided at all costs in the first place. Therefore I don't see any point in you rushing to condemn the British for what happened in Dresden without understanding the context for why it happened instead of sneering and trying to dismiss the experience of the Blitz as if it was nothing or rushing to exonerate the Germans for the appalling and unnecessary crimes they committed because of a brutal and unnecessary war begun by THEIR leader and THEIR government! No, the thousands of innocent German women raped by Soviet soldiers did not deserve their terrible fate but then neither did the thousands of Soviet women raped and killed in the first place by those very same countrymen of those German women!

As I said, the Nazis were not some alien species imposed on the Germans from outside. They were mostly ordinary Germans just like the rest of their countrymen and women (with the exception of Hitler himself, who was an Austrian immigrant) so trying to portray the Germans as 'noble victims' doesn't quite wash just because you have German ancestry and prefer that over anything else!

Frankly, given that you are a Jew, I cannot understand how you can be so complacent about it at all. It's good and noble to forgive the crimes committed against so many of your co-religionists but to exonerate their killers and make them out to be just as much victims, is frankly bizarre and perverse and an insult to your fellow Jews and other victims of the Nazis. Here, I feel that your natural affinity for Germany has indeed coloured your judgement!

I'm sorry that you got such a rough ride from silly and immature London 2012 supporters who should have known better. As you can imagine, most of them were almost certainly trolls and probably not still posting here today. I would have hoped you would take your cue from the much more mature and less jingoistic British posters on here (Rob, Arwebb, Lee, Ripley, myself etc.). We are more typical of our country than those types. Unfortunately, Olympic bidding, like war, tends to bring out the worst in some people.

Above all, you must never let your natural preference for certain countries over others blind you to the truth about them and cloud your judgement. I have noticed many anti-British references from you over the years and have been amused at most of them. I'm not saying that your feelings are wrong. You like whom you like and vice versa. That's your choice and nothing wrong with that. But when I see you weighing in on very serious issues like this and one-sidedly condemn the country that you don't like in order to completely exonerate the country that you do, then I'm sorry, it ceases to be a laughing matter and I have to draw the line!

I would advise you to read what CAF and other German posters here have said on this subject. They understand. I don't feel that you do!

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This kind of post makes me regret posting about the subject of Dresden in the first place. I knew it would provoke this kind of response and I guess I should have known better. I apologise for even raising this subject at all!

I don't think we are fully understanding each other. And like I said there is a lot of personal and emotional connection to World War II that makes discussion and nuanced analysis of the War much more complicated.

Nowhere in any of my posts on this subject have I tried to absolve the British from what happened in Dresden. As I already posted, Churchill himself was shocked by the action and it caused an almighty row between him and Air Bomber Command. What I have tried to make clear is that war brings out the worst in everybody and for that very reason should be avoided at all costs in the first place. Therefore I don't see any point in you rushing to condemn the British for what happened in Dresden without understanding the context for why it happened instead of sneering and trying to dismiss the experience of the Blitz as if it was nothing or rushing to exonerate the Germans for the appalling and unnecessary crimes they committed because of a brutal and unnecessary war begun by THEIR leader and THEIR government! No, the thousands of innocent German women raped by Soviet soldiers did not deserve their terrible fate but then neither did the thousands of Soviet women raped and killed in the first place by those very same countrymen of those German women!

And nowhere have I said that Germany should be absolved of their crimes. Just that answering one crime with another is morally grey. If you look back to a post earlier in this thread I did say that much of what we now would consider War Crimes committed by the Allies was necessary to end the war.

One point I will strongly disagree with you is that an entire nation shouldn't be held accountable for the actions of their leaders. The leaders and perpetrators should be and were held accountable in instances like the Nuremberg Trials. Willfully killing civilians is not something that should be easily contemplated. That is what makes Dresden so different, it was a known refuge, it had no military significance and was something done out of a sheer desire for revenge.

As I said, the Nazis were not some alien species imposed on the Germans from outside. They were mostly ordinary Germans just like the rest of their countrymen and women (with the exception of Hitler himself, who was an Austrian immigrant) so trying to portray the Germans as 'noble victims' doesn't quite wash just because you have German ancestry and prefer that over anything else!

Noble victims, nowhere did I say that they were noble, just victims of circumstances and actions that were unthinkable at one time in the recent past. Not all Germans were victims, but many of the 1.1 million that died were. Having sympathy for those lives lost does not mean I have no sympathy for the 20+ million Soviets, 4+ million Poles and 10+ million other Europeans and Allies that died due to utter stupidity and blatant, unadulterated evil.

Frankly, given that you are a Jew, I cannot understand how you can be so complacent about it at all. It's good and noble to forgive the crimes committed against so many of your co-religionists but to exonerate their killers and make them out to be just as much victims, is frankly bizarre and perverse and an insult to your fellow Jews and other victims of the Nazis. Here, I feel that your natural affinity for Germany has indeed coloured your judgement!

‚ÄčI separate the Germans that actually committed the crimes from those that did not have the courage to stand up against such evil and fully believe that what people like Simon Wiesenthal did to bring Nazi War Crimes to justice was exactly what was needed and righteous. Holding all 60 million + Germans accountable, continuing to do so and believing them all guilty gets us nowhere but into a cycle of hate. Just blaming the Germans for the Holocaust is also not something that is particularly easy either. Since there was substantial collaboration in occupied countries and reluctance to actually do anything to try and stymie Nazi efforts from when the Polish government-in-exile first highlighted the issue to when some of the first camps were liberated. As a Canadian there is deep shame in what the government of the time did, including having a policy of one Jew is too many even when the full ramifications of the Holocaust were coming into focus. Germany shoulders almost all of guilt for all victims of World War II, including the needless slaughter of millions of their own for such heinous goals, but there is still enough guilt left over that all countries should think and try to comprehend the magnitude of what was done, on both sides and ask tough questions about what it means for society to have to violate such principles in documents like the Geneva Conventions to achieve an outcome. Was the cost in lives, in lose of humanity worth it? And how can understanding that help prevent such things again.

I'm sorry that you got such a rough ride from silly and immature London 2012 supporters who should have known better. As you can imagine, most of them were almost certainly trolls and probably not still posting here today. I would have hoped you would take your cue from the much more mature and less jingoistic British posters on here (Rob, Arwebb, Lee, Ripley, myself etc.). We are more typical of our country than those types. Unfortunately, Olympic bidding, like war, tends to bring out the worst in some people.

Not going to comment on this because of the irony of one particular section.

Above all, you must never let your natural preference for certain countries over others blind you to the truth about them and cloud your judgement. I have noticed many anti-British references from you over the years and have been amused at most of them. I'm not saying that your feelings are wrong. You like whom you like and vice versa. That's your choice and nothing wrong with that. But when I see you weighing in on very serious issues like this and one-sidedly condemn the country that you don't like in order to completely exonerate the country that you do, then I'm sorry, it ceases to be a laughing matter and I have to draw the line!

I am sorry if you feel I harshly condemned Britain in my general attitude that World War II brought out the worst on all sides and that things were done, decisions were taken and actions took that violated some deeply held principles to achieve needed victory. And how uncomfortable this makes me. Again as I think that you cannot condemn all Germans, it would be hypocritical to condemn all of Britain for the actions of a few.

I don't dislike Britain, just a lack of fondness for English sport. And London's velodrome. Most if not all anti-British comments have been generally tongue-in-cheek.

‚ÄčOne of the great causes of conflict is that people cannot understand the legitimate narrative of others. How I worded the comparison between the Blitz and what the Allies did was not as thoughtful it should have been. But you have to understand that as you have family history of Nazi Germany crimes, I have family history of Soviet crimes. The only time I ever heard my Great Uncle (not actually Great Uncle, but related to my Grandmother and it was just what the family called him) speak of his time in WWII in the Wehrmacht was of deep regret and sadness of what was done in the name of Germany and of Germans. Something like that deeply shapes ones understanding of the other side and humanizes those millions of soldiers that were fighting on the front and not in the SS, or death camps. Who would rather be back at home in their old jobs, in their old lives not fighting people that in a more connected world could have been their friends or colleagues. He didn't have a home to go back to, Breslau was stripped of all things German and expelled into years of wandering, finally making it to Canada with the one sister he knew was still alive.

I would advise you to read what CAF and other German posters here have said on this subject. They understand. I don't feel that you do!

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The War of 1812 was sparked by Britain trying to deny the US access to the seas. The US fought and while our aggression into Canada certainly was not the best idea the status quo antebellum didn't really end till after the Civil War when it was ended in the South.

You misundertand what status quo ante bellum means. It is Latin, meaning the state existing before the war. The state of affairs between Britain and the USA was the same in 1812 as it was in 1814. No territory changed hands and nothing of consequence was achieved. The changing dynamics of the Napoleonic Wars in 1814 meant the war was generally unnecessary. The term has nothing to do with the Antebellum South, nor that period of history.

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I agree that a line was crossed at Dresden in terms of what is and isn't acceptable. It seems perverse to draw up rules like the Geneva convention to govern the conduct of individuals and governments at war, but that is the world we live in. In the context of the wider war I don't regard what the allies did to Dresden as a crime. It was the continuation of a wider bombing strategy that lost its effectiveness and purpose towards the end (no doubt). I guess my British view on it is coloured by the narrative we get taught which is that Britain stood up to the Nazis when the US wouldn't and the Soviet Union was making deals with Hitler - this independence and historic moral compass is important to our sense of ourselves, although less so as time and generations move on. When the Germans bombed British cities for the first time in WW2, Bomber Harris famously said, "..and they have sowed the wind, and now they will reap the whirlwind", whereas Churchill said "are we beasts?". So even at the time there was a political debate in Britain about the morality of bombing civilians - but when total war is being waged on you, there's not much space and time to contemplate some moral questions...especially when the other side is merciless and not bound by any kind of moral code. In the end individuals are the victims and humanity loses. Today I regard Germany as one of the most peace loving, civilised and humane countries on Earth - they paid a high price to get there. At the political level its easy to justify Dresden set in its wider context, on the individual level it was a huge tragedy that is a deep source of regret. I guess if you're going to point fingers and apportion guilt then it largely depends what perspective your looking at these events from (individual or social /political).

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We need to stop apologizing for Dresden, considering what it took Germany to get there, all in all it was their fault.

Still the attack on the city is a blight on Bomber Command.

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