The month of February in Germany has become a cause for renewed conflict between neo-Nazis groups and anti-Nazis groups as each attempts to outdo the other in bringing out crowds to remember the Allied bombing of Dresden on February 14-15 in 1945. Anti Nazis groups have fallen into the trap of the numbers game which compels them to claim “victory” or “defeat” based on the number of people who flock to the streets of Dresden. Neo-Nazis seek to claim the bombing is evidence that Allied forces were “just as brutal” as the Nazis since at least 25,000 people died in the bombing raid. Actually, at this point in time, the German education system does an outstanding job in educating children about World War II and the Holocaust so Germans do not have to excuse themselves for failing to recognize what happened in the war.
German planes initiated the bombing of cities by wiping out Warsaw and Amsterdam in 1939-1940 and then proceeded for months to bomb English cities which led to hundreds of thousands of deaths. Once anger is unleashed there is no stopping the murderous rage which can result and nations seek to inflict on the enemy what was done to their civilians. Is this justified? I don’t know. It is understandable. War stinks. However, to compare a bombing raid, as devastating as it was, with the Holocaust is insulting to the memory of those who died in death camps. British and American commanders wanted to inflict death, destruction and damage on Germany, but there was no plan to systematically kill every single German.