Moral bombing – The destruction of Dresden

At the Conference in Casablanca (1943), the Allies had agreed on ‘unconditional surrender’ as the final goal of the war. They decided to ‘prepare’ the Germans for accepting their conditions by the strategy of ‘moral bombing’ (which had been applied ‘successfully’ by England since the beginning of the war). The destruction of German cities (every city with more than 60 000 inhabitants) and the number of killed civilians (several millions) has no equal in human history. One of the most devastating attacks was carried out against the city of Dresden on February 13th, 1945 – when the war was almost over. This city did not have any relevant industry or military facilities but it was giving shelter to hundreds of thousands of refugees. The goal of the attack was obviously to kill as many people as possible. Thus, shortly after a first devastating strike, when people were leaving the cellars and air raid shelters, a second strike followed. People who managed to escape the flames and to get to the river were attacked by machine gun fire; the city burned for weeks. While the city’s authorities and international observers estimated 250 000 – 350 000 victims in 1945, an ‘independent commission’ in 2011 claimed the number to be 25 000.

Dresden after the attack

The city was full of corpses

The historic center in ruins

The Allies themselves documented the effects of ‘moral bombing’:

When ‘neo-nazis’ gather to commemorate this war crime each year, they are outnumbered by ‘anti-facists’ who claim that the allies ‘liberated’ Germany. Some of them display a degree of self-hate that probably is unique in the history of man: “Bomber Harris, do it again!”

The socialist leaders Müntefering and Thierse in 2009 on the side of the ‘anti-facists’

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