Dresden, 1945

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
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Post by redcoat » 10 Jun 2005 23:25

David Thompson wrote:redcoat -- You said:
Just pointing out that you cannot call these acts 'atrocities' They need to be recognised war crimes before you can use the word.
The word "atrocity" or "atrocious" was used in the English language well before the concept of war crimes developed, in the sense of extreme or shocking brutality, wickedness or cruelty -- I have it in Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century dictionaries. The word "atrocity" itself has a Latin root, and its use in Latin predates modern English. For those reasons, I think the Wikipedia definition is somewhat hypertechnical, and ought not to be applied here.

OK, fair enough.

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Post by Panzermahn » 11 Jun 2005 07:13

And this very day Irving is back again on his web site with a 100,00 number!


To be found at: http://www.fpp.co.uk/books/Dresden/index.html

The figure 100,000 victims was quoted from Hillary St. George Saunders, official historian of the RAF

In 1950, when Churchill’s memory was fading—though he still had fifteen years to live—Hilary St George Saunders, the official historian of the Royal Air Force, asked him for his recollections of the air raid on Dresden. ‘In February 1945,’ he told the prime minister, ‘there was a bomber attack on Dresden. Not less than 100,000 persons were killed. It was the most serious single blow against Germany by Bomber Command.’ Churchill however professed not to recall anything about it. ‘I thought the Americans did it,’ he told the historian, and he advised: ‘Air Chief Marshal Harris would be the
person to contact.’15

Page 272

So, David Irving's final figure in his newest edition of Apocalypse 1945: Destruction at Dresden (2005) of 60,000 to 100,000 victims were an estimate from the sources he had:

a) West German government statistics (60,000)
b) Hans Voight's estimate (135,000)
c) Soviet Union's estimate (35,000)
d) Hillary St. George Saunders' estimate (100,000)

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Post by Panzermahn » 11 Jun 2005 07:18

By the way, Winston Spencer Churchill, even implied the bombing of Dresden (of all bombings in Germany by RAF) was an act of "terror and wanton destruction" which can be seen in the scan below (Churchill's telegram) which taken from David Irving's Apocalypse 1945: Destruction of Dresden (2005 edition), page 269. The underlined sentences are my emphasis.

Source: Public Record Office, CAB.120/303. Crown Copyright reserved,

So Goebbels wasn't exactly the only one who described the bombing of Dresden as an act of terror
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Post by Michael Kenny » 11 Jun 2005 12:40

Is this the same Irving who was shown in court to always use sources that agree with his theories and discard those facts that argue the contrary?

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Post by David Thompson » 11 Jun 2005 13:16

I think we've already covered this ground in the many other Dresden threads discussed in the H&WC section of the forum.

Dresden 1945
Dresden 1945
Bombing of Dresden
Destruction of Dresden
Dresden bombing & post-liberation Euro gas chambers
Dresden photos
USAF Historical Analysis of the 14-15 February 1945 Bombings of Dresden
Surface and subterranean petroleum, oil and lubricant facilities in the Dresden area
Churchill & Harris Terror Raids
Debate over UK WWII strategic bombing
Terror bombing -- The Nazis started it
US Strategic Bombing Survey (Europe) on bombing accuracy
Carpet-bombing towns and cities

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Post by walterkaschner » 11 Jun 2005 22:46

Michael Kenny wrote:Is this the same Irving who was shown in court to always use sources that agree with his theories and discard those facts that argue the contrary?

The very same! You can see the evidence laid out against him in all its sorry and devastating detail in the Expert Witness Report of Richard J. Evans entitled "David Irving, Hitler and Holocaust Denial" presented in Irving's law suit against Penguin Press and Deborah Lipstadt, which can be found in toto at the following web site:


Section 5 of Evan's Report deals with Irving's treatment of the Dresden air raid. Evans subsequently expanded on his trial testimony in his book Lying about Hitler: History,Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial (Basic Books, 2001), and uses the trial as an example of a much broader issue: what is the proper role of an historian and "how can we tell the difference between truth and lies in history?" I would suggest that any fair minded reading of Evan's Report, his book, and Judge Gray's decision in the case (contained in the above web site) would be compelled to agree with David Robson, writing in the Daily Express that Irving is "not, as he pretends to be, a controversial historian posing difficult questions that need to be addressed, but a propagandist and a liar, masquerading as a historian who needs, once and for all, to be exposed." (quoted by Evans in his Lying About Hitler, supra at 255.)

In an earlier post Panzermahn applauded Irving for revisions made in the 2005 edition of his Dresden book:

I am using David Irving's newest edition which can be downloaded from his FPP website (Apocalypse 1945: Destruction of Dresden, 2005 edition) to compare his revision in the 2nd edition of the Destruction of Dresden 1995. This is exactly what i called as revisionism. Revise in the light of new evidences instead of believing blindly of a particular historical fact even when new evidences appear.

This is simply laughable. The bulk of the "new" evidence consisted of material from several different and reputable sources (including the International Red Cross) which Irving had received over thirty years before, which contested, refuted or disproved estimates and statements contained in the 1963 edition of his book. See Evans Lying About Hitler supra at 149-84. The evidence was "new" only to the public, as Irving had persisted in ignoring it in later editions of the book and it came to light only because Irving was forced to produce it at the trial; to the extent it is reflected in the 2005 edition (which I have not read and don't into to) it's obviously only because its disclosure by Evans compelled Irving to do so.

Were it not so lame I would also be amused by Panzermahn's furnishing Irving's description of the low level staffing of civilians in the 2005 edition of his Dresden book as testimony to Irving's integrity and credibility as a historian. There, Irving still recites as gospel and in lurid detail the strafing of civilians by American fighter planes but notes parenthetically that US Air Force historians point out that nothing in their records can be found to substantiate these claims. Of course not - there was no strafing by American fighter planes in Dresden as Helmut Schnatz conclusively demonstrated in his Tieffliegger über Dresden: Legende oder Wirklichkeit? (Köln, 2000) which Irving conveniently chooses to ignore, as does Panzermahn.

But as Andreas so cogently observed in an earlier post on this thread with regard to the historical perversions proclaimed by the likes of Irving and his faithful flock:

Don't expect this to stop anytime soon. As we all know, common sense is unfortunately not particularly common. People making these claims will never provide any evidence, they are strangely logic&fact-resistant, and if you think you have convinced them they will just go away for a while and come back later with their same tired old arguments. It is a very boring and frustrating case of lather, rinse, repeat.

Too true, all too true, and my patience with this topic is at an end.

Regards, Kaschner

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Re: Dresden, 1945

Post by Jagdgeschwader77 » 01 Jan 2009 22:40

I have a reply for a Mr. Axel Rodenberger. His post is to found at the bottom of page 1. If I'm not mistaken, you sir are the true author of the book "The Destruction of Dresden". I don't think there would be 2 people with that exact same name. You see, I have a copy of your original book which was printed by Landverlag GmbH Dortmund, Germany in 1951. The title of that book is the EXACT translation into German , namely "Der Tod von Dresden", of David Irving's book "The Destruction of Dresden", with the difference that your work preceeded Irving's by 12 years. All the photos of Dresden used by you in your 1951 edition are identical to the ones used by Irving in his 1963 first edition of his book. The only difference in the 2 books is that Irving included numerous RAF recon photos of Dresden, readily available to him in England since he himself served in the RAF, added comments and introductions by both former RAF and USAF members which amounted to nothing more than attempts to justify probably the worst war crime of WWII, and then downplay the actual number of people killed, a common tactic used by axis forces after the war to deminish the seriousness of the crime. On page 148 of your 1951 edition you wrote: "Die Zahl der schaetzungsweise bei den Angriffen ums Leben gekommenden Menschen wird mit 350 000 bis 400 000 geschaetzt. In Dresden gefand sich in dieser Nacht ueber eine million Menschen (1 130 000 inhabitants as quoted by you on page 14). Die urspruengliche Einwohnerzahl betrug etwa
670 000; ein Drittel aller Menschen, die in dieser Nacht in der Stadt waren, ist ums Leben gekommen." Translated, you basically state: " The estimated loss of life due to attacks is between 350 000 and 400 000. The inhabitants in Dresden on that night was over one million people (1 130 000). The original population was around 670 000; one third of all inhabitants, who were in the city that night, perished. One third of 1 130 000 is 376 666. That's a far cry from the
135 000 Irving claims perished in his version of your book. Maybe that's precisely what it was supposed to do. Now, more than 60 years later, they're attempting to drop it down even further to 25 000. Maybe in another 60 years they'll claim the raid never took place at all. Talk about holocaust deniers! Imagine the outcry had they all been Jewish. Downplaying the mortality rate is not only an insult to those who perished, but also to the survivors. It's like telling the Jewish community that only 60 000 died in camps vs 6 000 000. Or that only 300 died in the New York towers instead of 3000. I think you get the idea. So my question to you Mr. Axel Rodenberger is this: "Why are you letting David Irving take credit for a book you originally wrote? Were you told to shut up and just take a pay-off? Was your information so volatile to the US and UK that you were censored, just like this site does with anyone even questioning the true events concerning the Jewish holocaust. When we censor opinion or thought on whatever subject, and then have the audacity to make that a crime, aren't we then too just like WWII Nazi Germany? Who is today's REAL terrorist?

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Re: Dresden, 1945

Post by David Thompson » 01 Jan 2009 23:06

Jagdgeschwader77 - You wrote:
So my question to you Mr. Axel Rodenberger is this: "Why are you letting David Irving take credit for a book you originally wrote? Were you told to shut up and just take a pay-off? Was your information so volatile to the US and UK that you were censored, just like this site does with anyone even questioning the true events concerning the Jewish holocaust. When we censor opinion or thought on whatever subject, and then have the audacity to make that a crime, aren't we then too just like WWII Nazi Germany? Who is today's REAL terrorist?
(1) Please avoid insulting personal remarks in posts.

2) The rules of this privately-owned and operated website were written to promote intelligent, fact-based discussions of historical issues. We run this forum as a public service for our readers, so posts which comply with those rules are always welcome. However, if you want to express fact-free and unsourced notions on what you see as "the true events concerning the Jewish holocaust" or some other subject, you can rent a billboard or stroll over to the nearest public park and let the passers-by know how you feel.

If you don't have something informative to offer, our readers have nothing to gain.

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Re: Dresden, 1945

Post by phylo_roadking » 01 Jan 2009 23:23

...added comments and introductions by both former RAF and USAF members which amounted to nothing more than attempts to justify probably the worst war crime of WWII, and then downplay the actual number of people killed, a common tactic used by axis forces after the war to deminish the seriousness of the crime.
Unfortuanately for that particualr opinion-set...it's not the "Allies" that are reducing the death toll in Dresden - it's GERMAN historians...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldne ... -show.html

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Re: Dresden, 1945

Post by Peter H » 16 Feb 2009 12:09

The Logic Behind the Destruction of Dresden

http://www.spiegel.de/international/ger ... 24,00.html

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Re: Dresden, 1945

Post by Grisu » 18 Feb 2009 22:23

Based on this quotation from a link (URL) provided in this thread -
Figures suggested have ranged from 35,000 through 100,000, and even up to half a million at the wilder fringes of speculation. [...] Drawing on archival sources, many never previously consulted, on burial records and scientific findings -- including street-by-street archaeological investigations -- plus hundreds of eye-witness reports, the “Dresden Commission of Historians for the Ascertainment of the Number of Victims of the Air Raids on the City of Dresden on 13/14 February 1945” has provisionally estimated the likely death-toll at around 18,000 and definitely no more than 25,000.
- and having read the allusion to Evans in a previous posting, I decided to go into this a little bit and re-read what this historian says on one aspect of estimating the number of the Dresden death toll. So I thought it might be interesting to some readers to see one example of the "evolution" of the total death toll number. The following is based on (and is basically an excerpt of) "The Bombing of Dresden" (pp.157-192), ch. 5 in Richard Evans, Telling Lies About Hitler. The Holocaust, History and the David Irving Trial, London and New York 2002. Basically, what Evans does is comparing the various editions of Irving’s writings and showing how the numbers Irving gives changed over time. Evans also investigates and evaluates sources Irving states:

Irving’s first source, Hans Voigt (local official in Dresden in 1945), based his estimation on records on missing/presumed dead his office kept after the attacks. This number amounted to 35,000-40,000. (A similar estimation in one of the first studies on Dresden by Georg Feydt concluded that approx. 39,800 had died.)

Irving interpreted Voigt’s number of approx. 35,000 dead as 135,000 (sic, 1966 edition). Why? Because he apparently lined with Voigt’s subjective estimation that the ‘real’ number of deaths must have been considerably higher than the one based on record of his own office. Irving’s argument for arbitrarily adding 100,000 victims (without any concrete evidence for this): “The Germans simply struck off the first digit to make the figure more acceptable to the Russians, who contended that Bomber Command was not a powerful weapon” (Irving qtd. in Evans, op. cit., p. 159). Irving repeated this argument in 1995. However, there was no evidence that ‘officials’ (esp. the Lord Mayor) had downplayed the number by 100,000.

Between the various editions (English) and translations (German) of Irving’s books from 1963 and 1967, Irving included a new source, namely the “Tagesbefehl Nr. 47, Luftangriff auf Dresden” (dated 22 March 1945), which put the final death toll at approx. 202,000 and estimated the final number at approx. 250,000. Irving featured this source in his 1966 English and 1967 German edition and printed it in the appendices. This was the basis for his later frequently maintained claim of “250,000 deaths in Dresden”. Irving had referred to a study of this source in one of his prior publications (in the 1963 edition), describing it as a forgery. By 1966, he had, however, changed his mind completely after having seen the document himself, now claiming that it was not a forgery, but authentic. What was the reason for Irving changing his mind so drastically?

The source in Irving’s hands was, in fact, “a carbon copy of a typed copy of a handwritten transcript of an extract from an unknown document, unauthenticated by any distinguishing marks such as a signature or an official stamp of any description” (Evans, op. cit., p. 162f., on the development of this argument, see the preceding page). And Irving presumably knew that this was not the brilliant source he claimed it was, but a rather weak one indeed. Nonetheless the source was prominently featured as authentic, and Irving asked his publishers (England, Germany, Italy) to emphasize it in the next editions. The authenticity was constructed in the following way: “The figures originate with the then deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Max Funfack.” (Irving’s publisher Dieter Struss qtd. in Evans, op. cit., p. 163). This man, Max Funfack, however, after several weeks of marketing of Irving’s new edition, stressed in a letter to Irving that “I have only ever heard the numbers third-hand: from city commandants with whom I was friends, from the civilian air-raid protection etc. But the numbers always differed greatly. […] Likewise I was never Dresden’s Chief Medical Officer or even deputy Chief Medical Officer; rather I always worked as a specialist urologist in a hospital. […] Therefore I can give no firm information about the figure of the dead […]” (qtd. in Evans, op. cit., pp. 163f.). Still, even after this letter by Funfack, Irving and his publisher respectively sustained the claim that “Mr Irving found the doctor who had calculated the figures and reached the conclusion that the figure of 202,040 dead was not propaganda, but is authentic” (Struss qtd. in Evans, op. cit., p. 164). And: “The document’s pedigree is certainly impressive. […] Funfack, […] was in 1945 Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dresden District; as such, he was responsible for supervising the disposal and cremation of all the city’s air-raid victims during the three months of the attacks” (Irving qtd. ibid and p. 165). Nota bene – this claim was made even after this “doctor” had made unmistakably clear to Irving in writing that he did not have any sound information on the death toll.

Anyway, the 200,000-number originated in Goebbel’s Propaganda Ministry and was spread in newspapers after the attacks. Any researcher examining the source and finding out about its origin would have certainly a hard time accepting Goebbel’s propaganda figures at face value.

Nowhere in his 1966 edition, Irving compared his own two figures of 135,000 (the Voigt source) and 250,000 (the Funfack source). He had two figures in two editions, he gave both figures in his writing, but failed to establish which one was the ‘correct’ one according to his view.

In 1965, Irving received a letter from the Red Cross, confirming that the Red Cross had one official in the Dresden region at the time of the attack, responsible for writing about PoW camps, but the letter states that “there were no PoW camps in Dresden itself, consequently [the official’s] reports did not even allude to the air raids on the town” (qtd. in Evans, op. cit., p. 171). In his 1966 edition, i.e., after having received this letter from the Red Cross, Irving stated that a Red Cross delegation gave the number of 140,000 deaths after the Dresden bombing. Again, the claim Irving made is not backed by the organization he quotes, in this case the Red Cross.

Even in his 1995 edition, Irving writes that there was a Red Cross report from Dresden, although he had known - since the Red Cross letter from 1965 - that no such report existed according to the Red Cross itself. In the 1995 edition Irving also repeated the ‘Funfack’-number of 250,000, saying that Funfack “did not […] take the opportunity to repudiate the figures” (Irving qtd. in Evans, op. cit., p. 172). This clearly was against Funfack’s own letter, making clear that he had only heard the numbers third-hand, and that he could give “no firm information about the figure of the dead” (see above).

In 1965, Irving received two letters by a former Dresden Clearing Staff official who had held a key position in keeping the records of the death tolls. He explained to Irving in detail why the claims Irving puts forward in his writing cannot be correct (mathematical, logistic, administrative, etc. arguments). Basically, this official concluded that any number exceeding 50,000 victims was extremely unlikely and not logically sustainable.

Also in 1965, the “Final Report” on the Dresden deaths, given by the Dresden police, was made available to Walter Weidauer, author of “Inferno Dresden” (2nd ed. 1966). It is the very document the “Tagesbefehl” claimed to be an extract of. And unlike the “Tagesbefehl”, it bore dictation initials, a signature, a “secret” stamp and a NSDAP reference – which all made it ever so more like to be authentic. The key passage: “Until early 10.3.1945 established: 18,375 fallen, 2,212 badly wounded, 13,718 slightly wounded, 350,000 homeless and long-term re-quartered” (qtd. in Evans, op. cit., p. 175). Irving was notified of this new find by Dresden City archivist, but replied to rely on his copy of a copy of a copy of the “Tagesbefehl” rather than on the original (cf. ibid.). Another archivist told Irving of another document proving the authenticity of the “Final Report” and also made it very probable that the “Tagesbefehl” used by Irving was a forgery. After that, Irving notified his editors of necessary alterations in further editions in the light of the new discoveries.

In both his 1967 German and 1971 English edition, however, Irving did not revise the 130,000 number despite the new material. The 1971 edition had the “Tagesbefehl” again printed as appendix and the number in the text given as 100,000 – clearly against the number he knew to be most probably correct at that time, i.e., the 18,300 dead from the “Final Report”.

In 1977, the “Tagesbefehl” was eventually proven as forgery by Götz Berganeder. The original “Tagesbefehl” gives 25,000 dead. The number Irving’s copy of a copy of a copy version gives was, as stated above, 250,000 – simply having added a “0” at the end of the original number, or, in other words, having multiplied the death toll by ten. So Irving’s version was clearly a forgery, deviating greatly from the original. It was not until 1995 that Irving took the effort to communicate this new figure unmistakably to his readers. He claimed, however, that he had “revised” and “independently” “researched” his numbers (Irving qtd. in Evans, op. cit., p. 179), thus negating that he was repeatedly told by numerous people that he was wrong but pretending that this change of mind was based on his “own research”.

Still, in 1985, Irving wrote in a newspaper that the number is the “Final Report” was likely to be a forgery itself, having been reduced due to political motivation. He failed, however, to provide prove for this claim.

In 1995, Irving claimed that the number of the “Final Report” must be considered “interim” and emphasized that there was a “massive influx of refugees from the East, Allied and russion prisoners of war, and thousands of forced labourers” (Irving qtd. in Evans, op. cit., p. 180). Irving gives the number of “hundreds of thousands of refugees” and “one or two million refugees” (Irving qtd. ibid.) in Dresden. Again, no sources stated by Irving for these postulations. Directly contradiction Irving’s 1995 refugee claims is a statement by a former Dresden city civil defence engineer dating back to 1953. His task was to help refugees find shelter in the city and he stated that virtually no refugees had to live on the streets. Based on source material, Götz Bergander calculated the number of refugees in Dresden at the time of the bombing to approx. 100,000 and doubled this number to include anyone who might have found a place to stay without using the official service and thus not leaving a trace in the sources. Still, this number is very far from Irving’s “one or two million refugees” (see above).

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Re: Dresden, 1945

Post by David Thompson » 20 Feb 2009 21:24

Two opinion posts from mellenthin, which added nothing of factual interest to the discussion, were deleted by this moderator pursuant to numerous prior warnings -- DT.

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Re: Dresden, 1945

Post by WalterS » 21 Feb 2009 03:00

David Irving was proven to be a liar and a fraud. No credence should be given to anything he wrote about Dreseden.

Frederick Taylor's book on Dresden gives an approximation of 35,000 casualties and debunks many of the myths surrounding the dresden bombing.

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Dresden, 1945

Post by mellenthin » 21 Feb 2009 07:20

It is a matter of fact that anybody trying to downsize the number of deaths caused by germany will face criminal prosecution in some countries.Revisionism concerning dresden or any other allied bombing raid will not be prosecuted.
It is ironic when you see how a man like Taylor tries to justify the raid on dresden.If he would write the same book with the same argumentation concerning the german bombing of any city,he would be in serious trouble.
His justifications for the raid on dresden are not convincing.If it had not been a pure terror attack,a daylight precision attack would have been sufficient.

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Post by mellenthin » 21 Feb 2009 07:49

Panzermahn wrote:Bottomline is, the undisputed facts of the savage bombing of Dresden in 1945 by Anglo-American air forces are;

a) German civilians and refugees died in the bombing and the resultant fire-storm.

b) Men, women, children, old people and even animals died in the bombing

c) Nobody, not even Irving nor Taylor, can give an exact figure of the number of victims killed in the bombing of Dresden. However, they give their own estimate based of historical and contemporary documents, eyewitnesses testimonies and other primary as well as secondary sources.

c) It is unreliable, conflicting, to based the number of victims of the bombing of Dresden just on bodycounts or missing people count

d) Whether the bombing of Dresden was a violation or not of international laws where Britain and Germany were signatories, the undisputed fact it is an atrocity that killed thousands of innocent civilians where most of them had nothing to do with the war.
Correct.The way the bombing was conducted made it a terrorattack.Authors like taylor try to keep the number of deaths as low as possible which is something you do on your own peril concerning german airraids.

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