And … dire consequences bombing — is communist propaganda
Senior Fellow at the Center Libertad. Margaret Thatcher Institute for International Studies. Davis Foundation "Heritage" Ted Bromund reflects on the bombing of Dresden as mythology, falsifies history at the behest of the Nazi and Communist propaganda to the detriment of U.S. interests.
Reject the mythology of the bombing of Dresden
June 5, President Obama will visit the German city of Dresden. This visit will cause considerable controversy. Dresden is well known in connection with the Anglo-American bombing February 13, 1945 They have resulted in massive loss of life, but it was not anything unusual and unprecedented in the Second World War. Myths around these airstrikes appeared due to the Nazis, and their post-war Soviet propaganda actively disseminated.
In this context, Obama's decision to visit Dresden, is reckless. During the visit, he should categorically reject any identification of the Western Allies and the Nazis. Obama must avoid recognizing the validity of fabrications Nazi and Soviet propaganda about the bombing of Dresden. He has to take a strong stand in defense of the Anglo-American air war, which has served its purpose and led to the liberation of Western Europe from the Nazis in 1945, and, in the end, and Eastern Europe from the Soviet Union in 1989.
February 13, 1945 1,100 British and American bombers dropped on Dresden powerful high-explosive and incendiary bombs. They called a firestorm that destroyed the city center. The exact death toll will never be known, but when the Nazi authorities unofficially estimated their number at 25 thousand. According to British historian and F. Taylor, the loss amounted to 25-40 thousand people. In 2008, the authoritative commission of German historians called the number of probable losses on about 18 thousand people, but definitely not more than 25 thousand
The raid on Dresden was not unusual. In July 1943, a British air raid on Hamburg caused a similar firestorm that destroyed 56 percent of urban buildings and 40 thousand inhabitants. Both raid were part of the Anglo-American strategic bombing campaign, launched after a meeting of U.S. President Frank D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Casablanca in January 1943, it was carried out after German bombing of Warsaw in September 1939, and Rotterdam in May 1940, the Nazi air raids on London summer and fall of 1940, the destruction of German aircraft in Belgrade in 1940 and British bombing of Germany, which began in May 1940 and intensified in 1942.
The bombing of Dresden was held at the request of the Soviet Union, which required that the city railway junction was destroyed to prevent the concentration of German troops against the advancing Soviet forces. In Dresden, also had more than 100 factories working for the war. According to Taylor, "Dresden was among the leading military and industrial centers of the Third Reich." Of course, Dresden was widely known as a cultural center, but at the same time he had a great military importance, despite what the myths of the distributors at a later stage. "
Myths around Dresden
The Nazi regime, desperate to stop the Anglo-American offensive, trying to fend off his organization's propaganda campaign against the Western Allies. After the raid on Dresden propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels decided to exaggerate. He initiated the leak to the press falsified documents, which cited increased by the order of casualty figures: 25 million have turned to 250 thousand He also played on the reputation of Dresden, arguing that it is a city exclusively cultural values and treasures of art, not the military-industrial Center.
The general public believed the lie Goebbels. "The degree of large-scale and long-term echoes international outrage that followed the bombing of Dresden, is at least in part, the last dark masterpiece Goebbels" — concludes Taylor.
After the war, Dresden was part of the Soviet zone of occupation and later was part of the GDR. The Soviets and the GDR leadership used the Nazi myth of Dresden in their propaganda campaign, the era of "cold war" against the United States, Britain and Germany. In 1953, the participants of the mass protests in East Germany explained that the former commander of the allied forces of Dwight Eisenhower — by that time the president of the United States — is personally responsible for the bombing of the "Anglo-American air gangsters" (a term coined by Goebbels). In 1954, the losses from the bombing were officially declared the communist regime in the number of "hundreds of thousands".
This inspired the Nazis lie is widespread. Her repeated Kurt Vonnegut in his novel "Slaughterhouse number 5" (1969), which relied on the "Destruction of Dresden" David Irving (1963). At the trial for libel in 2000 in the UK judge described Irving as "a man, fiercely denied the Holocaust," which "by its own ideological reasons persistently and consistently distorted historical facts and manipulated." Interpretation of the bombing of Dresden Irving initiated an ideological attack on military ethics Western allies.
The successes of the air war
Air raids on Dresden was part of a broader Anglo-American strategic bombing campaign. This campaign has decided five vital tasks that had the key to the victory over Nazi Germany.
First, it showed that the UK from 1940 to 1942. had enough will to resist. It was vital to its relations with the United States, and after June 1941 — and the Soviet Union.
Secondly, as the eminent historian R. Evans, "the bombing of Dresden did a lot more than the defeat of the Nazis at Stalingrad and in North Africa, for distribution among the German population of frustration in the Nazi Party."
Third, the air war has caused enormous damage to the German military production. In January 1945, the Germans estimated that the bombing resulted in a reduction in their production of tanks by 25 percent.
Fourth, these bombings have forced Germany to spend significant resources to the creation of the air defense system. These resources could go on fighting against the Western and Soviet troops. It also made Hitler's focus on developing missiles "V-1" and "V-2". Both were a great technological achievement, but from a military point of view, were useless. However, they left the meager resources of the Reich.
And the last. The air war has diverted the German Air Force from the Eastern Front, thereby contributing to the offensive of the Soviet Army, and ultimately contributed to the defeat of the Germans on the Western Front. Without an overwhelming advantage in the air landing of Allied troops in Normandy would be impossible. It is thanks to this operation freed Western Europe from the Nazis. Have formed the basis of freedom, which led to the fall in 1989 of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe.
The symbolism of Dresden and Obama's visit
For many critics of the bombing of Dresden came to symbolize the evil of the whole Anglo-American air war against Nazi Germany. For them, the bombing of Dresden was only the most egregious example of this military campaign and a war crime.
Thus, the myth of Dresden — is a kind of moral focus efforts on the identification of the Western Allies against Nazi Germany. And if you look wider — and then attempts to discredit and criminalize the American and British foreign policy in those cases — as it was in 2003 against the war in Iraq — when she chooses a direction that does not like critics.
These efforts began with the communist propaganda after 1945. Lasted until the "cold war", they were not successful, but with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reunification of their popularity began to grow. By 2002, after the publication of the book by Jorg Friedrich's "Fire", in which he subtly equates bombing war against Germany, the Holocaust, the campaign reached bestseller.
The symbolism of Dresden, even if it is poorly supported by historical facts — this is the reality: it is placed into the mythology of alleged war crimes committed by the Americans and the British in their war against the Nazis, and, by implication, the alleged crimes after 1945. Dresden choosing from all the cities of Germany, President Obama will continue to feel the myth as a political backdrop. It is a pity that he was not advised against travel there.
The decision of the U.S. President to visit the town of concern is the fact that it can take advantage of this opportunity to apologize for the bombing. Due to the fact that these air strikes were intended to symbolize the evil of all of the air war, an apology for Dresden may have very broad implications for Ethics of the Second World War as a whole.
Particularly unfortunate that one day Obama will visit Dresden and the Buchenwald concentration camp. The fact that both Buchenwald and Dresden are considered worthy of the presidential visit, can be seen as a moral equivalence between the two. This is what the revisionists are trying to achieve.
What should Obama do
The President of the United States should not be held hostage to the myths about Dresden, inspired by the Nazis and the Communists, for example, the number of people killed by the bombing, or the significance of military production in the city. It also should not believe any attempt to equate the Western Allies and the Nazis, or the bombing war and the Holocaust. Obama must make a clear statement that the bombing of Dresden was part of a large-scale Anglo-American air war against the Nazi regime and was vital to the defeat of the Nazis and the West's victory in 1945.
Finally, it needs to go further, saying that the lessons of the Second World War in the wrong, never to be no war, and that pacifism — a moral choice. The lessons of the war in that evil — it is a reality that the policy of appeasement — is not a virtue, and that no war — even for such a purpose, as the defeat of Nazi Germany — can not be won without a difficult but necessary choice.
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