Holocaust – a sacrifice consumed by fire
Put simply, the firebombing of Dresden was an act of terrorism. There was no military justification, only perverted political ones. The number of dead will always remain in doubt due to great number of refugees that swarmed the city to escape the Soviets who were close by. Estimates go up to 500,000 killed. An argument can be made that more civilians died in one day at Dresden than the total number of jews who died during the entirety of the war. It seems to be that more died in Dresden than did in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.
By remembering what happened at Dresden we can create the idea of a chance that this type of terrorist holocaust can be prevented in the future. It is a hope we must maintain. The present Judeo-Anglo-American-NATO-Israel alliance remains a threat to humanity.
On the evening of February 13, 1945, an orgy of genocide and barbarism began against a defenceless German city, one of the greatest cultural centres of Europe. Within less than 14 hours, not only was this city reduced to flaming ruins but an estimated quarter of its inhabitants, possibly as many as a quarter of a million, had perished in what was one of the worst massacres of all time.
The author Kurt Vonnegut was a prisoner of war in Dresden during the allied bombing raids and was later forced to dig out bodies from the ruined city. In papers discovered by his son after his death, he provides a searing eyewitness account of the ‘obscene brutality’ that inspired his novel Slaughterhouse-Five
There was a three-hour pause between the first and second raids. The lull had been calculated to lure civilians from their shelters into the open again. To escape the flames, tens of thousands of civilians had crowded into the Grosser Garten, a magnificent park nearly one and a half miles square. The second raid came at 1:22 a.m., with no warning. Twice as many bombers returned, with a massive load of incendiary bombs. The second wave was designed to spread the raging firestorm into the Grosser Garten.
- If ever there was a war crime, then certainly the Dresden Holocaust ranks as one of the most sordid of all time.
Franz Kurowski in his book “Bombs over Dresden”:
“The notion that the actual number of people missing was actually much higher than the lists of missing people reported lies in the special role Dresden had: Between 500,000 – 600,000 refugees from other cities came here to seek shelter. Many of those refugees groups were completely destroyed, so that nobody was left to issue a report on who was missing. That is especially true for those refugees whom were given shelter by Dresden families and then burnt to ashes in their cellars. Who would be left to search for those refugees? Here we can apply what we can apply for all catastrophic events: Every survivor only searches for his/her missing relatives and friends.
And friends or relatives those refugees were not… “
Dresden was a hospital city for wounded soldiers. Not one military unit, not one anti-aircraft battery was deployed in the city. Together with the 600,000 refugees from Breslau, Dresden was filled with nearly 1.2 million people. Churchill had asked for “suggestions how to blaze 600,000 refugees”. He wasn’t interested how to target military installations 60 miles outside of Dresden. More than 700,000 phosphorus bombs were dropped on 1.2 million people. One bomb for every 2 people. The temperature in the centre of the city reached 1600o centigrade. More than 260,000 bodies and residues of bodies were counted. But those who perished in the centre of the city can’t be traced. Appr. 500,000 children, women, the elderly, wounded soldiers and the animals of the zoo were murdered in one night.
Dresden was considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe because of its midieval architecture. Most of Dresden’s beautiful Midieval architecture was destroyed completely.
Members of the RAF bombing crews became increasingly concerned about the morality of creating firestorms. Roy Akehurst was a wireless operator who took part in the raid on Dresden.
It struck me at the time, the thought of the women and children down there. We seemed to fly for hours over a sheet of fire – a terrific red glow with thin haze over it. I found myself making comments to the crew: “Oh God, those poor people.” It was completely uncalled for. You can’t justify it.
In 20 minutes of intense bombing, the city became an inferno. The second bombing raid came three hours after the first and was “intended to catch rescue workers, firefighters and fleeing inhabitants at their fullest exposure.”
My grandmother saw the remains of masses of people who had desperately tried to escape the incinerating firestorm by jumping head first into the lakes and ponds. The parts of their bodies that were submerged in the water were still intact, while the parts that protruded above water were charred beyond human recognition. What she witnessed was a hell beyond human imagination; a holocaust of destruction that defies description.
Some say the motive was to deliver the final blow to the German spirit — that the psychological impact of the utter destruction of the heart centre of German history and culture would bring Germany to its knees once and for all.
Some say it was to test new weapons of mass destruction, the phosphorous incendiary bomb technology. Undoubtedly the need for control and power was at the root. The insatiable need of the dominators to exert control and power over a captive and fearful humanity is what drives acts of mass murder like the Dresden firebombing and Hiroshima.
I think there was also an additional hidden and cynical motive which may be why full disclosure of the Dresden bombing has been suppressed. The Allies knew full well that hundreds of thousands of refugees had migrated to Dresden in the belief that this was a safe destination and the Red Cross had been assured Dresden was not a target. The end of the war was clearly in sight at that point in time and an enormous mass of displaced humanity would have to be dealt with. What to do with all these people once the war ended? What better solution than the final solution? Why not kill three birds with one stone? By incinerating the city, along with a large percentage of its residents and refugees, the effectiveness of their new firebombs was successfully demonstrated. Awe and terror was struck in the German people, thereby accelerating the end of the war. And finally, the Dresden firebombing ensured the substantial reduction of a massive sea of unwanted humanity, thereby greatly lessening the looming burden and problem of postwar resettlement and restructuring.
We may never know what was in the psyche of those in power or all the motives that unleashed such horrific destruction of civilian life – the mass murder of a defenseless humanity who constituted no military threat whatsoever and whose only crime was to try to find relief and shelter from the ravages of war. Without the existence of any military justification for such an onslaught on helpless people, the Dresden firebombing can only be viewed as a hideous crime against humanity, waiting silently and invisibly for justice, for resolution and for healing in the collective psyches of the victims and the perpetrators.