Dresden Photos

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
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Ebusitanus
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Post by Ebusitanus » 26 Jul 2003 18:56

You are right David, surely the firebommbing of Warsaw, Rotterdam or Belgrade were not crimes either. Or were they? :?

Caldric
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Post by Caldric » 26 Jul 2003 19:09

Whisper wrote:
Caldric wrote:People often make the mistake of mixing up what they think should be a crime and what actually is.


Well, who, if not the people, decides what´s crime and whats not?


People who are given such a task by their government, treaties and aggreements. Do people in Germany just wake up and create laws? No of course they don't there is a process and you know this.

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Joao Alberto
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Post by Joao Alberto » 26 Jul 2003 19:19

David Thompson wrote:

For those who claim that bombing Dresden was a war crime, please give some authority (an international treaty, etc.) for your claim.


I think the Haia Conventions of 1907 were still vigorating during wwii.

Do you believe that just what are forbidden by law is wrong?

Joao Alberto.

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Ebusitanus
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Post by Ebusitanus » 26 Jul 2003 19:37

Caldric wrote:
Whisper wrote:
Caldric wrote:People often make the mistake of mixing up what they think should be a crime and what actually is.


Well, who, if not the people, decides what´s crime and whats not?


People who are given such a task by their government, treaties and aggreements. Do people in Germany just wake up and create laws? No of course they don't there is a process and you know this.


Mhhh...So Caldric, you do agree the on the old legal saying of "No punishment if there is no law" right?

Caldric
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Post by Caldric » 26 Jul 2003 20:01

Ebusitanus wrote:
Caldric wrote:
Whisper wrote:
Caldric wrote:People often make the mistake of mixing up what they think should be a crime and what actually is.


Well, who, if not the people, decides what´s crime and whats not?


People who are given such a task by their government, treaties and aggreements. Do people in Germany just wake up and create laws? No of course they don't there is a process and you know this.


Mhhh...So Caldric, you do agree the on the old legal saying of "No punishment if there is no law" right?


That is simplistic and that is not how laws are created or how they should be. If there is no law then there is no crime, thankfully law is blind not controlled by emotion. It could be a moral problem but there must be a law to cover it.

I am no international lawyer either so it would be best for you to seek out such a person and discuss it with them.

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Post by David Thompson » 26 Jul 2003 20:46

Ebusitanus -- You asked: "You are right David, surely the firebommbing of Warsaw, Rotterdam or Belgrade were not crimes either. Or were they?"

No one was charged with a crime and put on trial for the bombing of Warsaw in 1939 or the bombing of Rotterdam in 1940. Two German general officers were put on trial for the bombing of Belgrade, because the Yugoslav government had publicly declared it an "open city" before the bombing and the officers knew that. This bombing was prohibited by the 1907 Hague Convention (Hague IV), Article 25, and was consequently a war crime. That article reads:

"Art. 25. The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited." (emphasis added).

Note that the article does not prohibit the bombing of defended cities.

Warsaw was defended at the time it was bombed in 1939. Rotterdam's garrison had surrendered, but only shortly before the bombing. The news of the surrender had not reached the Luftwaffe commanders, and as a result, they did not call off the air strike. Generally, mistakes made in good faith are not considered war crimes.

I have not found any other officers of any country who were put on trial for war crimes arising out of strategic or tactical bombing in the European theater of operations, except for the two German general officers tried by the Yugoslavs.

Joao Alberto -- You asked: "I think the Haia Conventions of 1907 were still vigorating during wwii. Do you believe that just what are forbidden by law is wrong?"

I believe that what is forbidden by law is wrong. But the burden is on the person who says that a war crime has been committed, to show that there was an act forbidden by international law, and knowing that, the defendant committed the act anyway. So far, that hasn't happened in this thread. People have just labeled the bombings of one or another city as "war crimes" without bothering to reason the matter out.

If someone wants to prove that the bombing of Dresden was a war crime, they must start by showing which provision of international law was violated. You mentioned the 1907 Hague Conventions. There are about 14 different Hague Conventions entered into in 1907. The one usually discussed is Hague IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex. What is the specific provision of the 1907 Hague Conventions that you believe was violated by the Dresden bombings?
Last edited by David Thompson on 26 Jul 2003 20:58, edited 2 times in total.

Luca
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Post by Luca » 26 Jul 2003 20:52

Concern the number of civil enemies, sincerly i no remeber well but...
In the morning work a little Municipal office that have the hard work of count and, if is possible, iditentification of the bodyes.
What was possible do was count 30000 bodyes, or little less if i remeber well.
In the same time in the central square a very big fireS burn for combat the immediate risk of epidemies.
The count of the max number of perished arrive from the count of the registred citizens minus the count of the dead citiziens, the minus arrive from the little office list.
Cause the particular situation of the city in report of the front line and the war events i want say that 600point000 peoples that no was city citizens was present in the city in the time of the fact, or was only 400.000?, but a no very know(and approximate) estimate municipal study of the time exist,cause the very big problems that was in the city cause the incredible number of new presences.
In any case 1 or 2 civil victims,from any flags ,for my eyes, is the same.
Best Regards
Luca

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Whisper
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Post by Whisper » 27 Jul 2003 00:10

Entered into force: 26 Jan. 1910
Convention respecting the laws and customs of war on land

SECTION II
HOSTILITIES
CHAPTER I
Means of Injuring the Enemy,
Sieges, and bombardments

Art. 23.

In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden

To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering(!!!!)

To destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war

In sieges and bombardments all necessary steps must be taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to religion, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not being used at the time for military purposes.


Its thin i know, but there are some points that have been ignored by both sides. Maybe there are some more points to find, but that will take a while. Right now im still convinced it was a crime.

Bw
Dennis

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Beppo Schmidt
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Post by Beppo Schmidt » 27 Jul 2003 02:56

Bombing Dresden, an ancient and magnificent city of no strategic value simply to terrorize the populace and break German morale was wrong. Before Caldric jumps all over me, the German bombing of Rotterdam, Stalingrad, etc. simply to terrorize the populace and break Dutch and Russian morale were also wrong. In this situation, the only heroes are the German, Dutch, and Russian civilians who were trapped in this war and had to go through such horrific things.

Tarpon27
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Post by Tarpon27 » 27 Jul 2003 03:55

As questions, without trying to get anyone particularly angry, do any of you consider:

1) The use of air power, after September, 1939 and the Battle of Britian (BOB), an example where Germany's innovative use of air power in its Blitzkrieg (a term and concept I find questionable) tactical and strategic moves, in contrast with post WW-I treaties on striking cities with bombing? This includes the Battle of Britian...

2) That the post-BOB environment, where England was saved invasion, but still on the defensive, and had started to develop better bombers, was anticipating post WWI treaties?

3) In Japan and the US, propenents of airborne naval strike forces, ie, carrier based avaiation, were trying to do battle with those who thought that battleships were still the ultimate power...which prior to Pearl Harbor for the US, Isoruko Yamamoto, in Japan, the strategist of a strike at Pearl Harbor, and Billy Mitchell in the US, an advocate of sea borne air power, both of whom thought was outdated doctorine;

4) In the only way to strike at Germany's heartland, the British Air Force with new technology, larger bombers started raiding Germany, while Europe was lost to them, they were losing in Northern Africa, and in Asia, whereas the US Eighth Army Air Force, tried "precision daylight bombing" over targets, once they got Fortresses to England.

In other words, this was all NEW in the WWII era.

I make no excuses for the horrific damage done to any city by any combantant in any theater, but for each and every one, aerial bombing was an EXPERIMENT during wartime conditions.

The losses for Allied crews over Europe were horrendous. So was the bombing of the cities of the Reich.

In the Pacific, late in the war, the new Boeing StratoFortress made killing even worse, but still with heavy casualities and risks.

Perhaps this should be in another section of the Third Reich, but when I hear "bombing" during WWII as a war crime, I think I know one thing: it was not a "business" that was as established as as a defoliade of armor, a positioning of ground troopsin an ambush, or zeroing in arty targets, let alone "crossing the "T" on naval ships, of which Jutland, of WWI is an example...it was all new, haphazord, and too often hit or miss.

Air power, as a strike option, probably made its most profound impact in the Pacific War, between the US and Japanese naval forces. Bombing cities did not work, according to pre-WWII thought. Or post.

Something that I think about...and not to minimize the destruction on any city, of any WWII combatant.

Mark

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Helly Angel
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Post by Helly Angel » 27 Jul 2003 04:17

Sorry Friend

I´m Lawyer but where We are talking about bombarded cities with children, women, old people inside I can´t think in laws.

best,

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Post by David Thompson » 27 Jul 2003 04:30

Helly -- I don't think anyone here is claiming the bombing of Dresden wasn't a horrible and tragic disaster.

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Joao Alberto
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Post by Joao Alberto » 27 Jul 2003 05:16

David Thompson wrote:

Joao Alberto -- You asked: "I think the Haia Conventions of 1907 were still vigorating during wwii. Do you believe that just what are forbidden by law is wrong?"

I believe that what is forbidden by law is wrong. But the burden is on the person who says that a war crime has been committed, to show that there was an act forbidden by international law, and knowing that, the defendant committed the act anyway. So far, that hasn't happened in this thread. People have just labeled the bombings of one or another city as "war crimes" without bothering to reason the matter out.

If someone wants to prove that the bombing of Dresden was a war crime, they must start by showing which provision of international law was violated. You mentioned the 1907 Hague Conventions. There are about 14 different Hague Conventions entered into in 1907. The one usually discussed is Hague IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex. What is the specific provision of the 1907 Hague Conventions that you believe was violated by the Dresden bombings?


David,

the allies violated by the Dresden bombigs article 23 of Hague Conventions IV.


SECTION II
HOSTILITIES
CHAPTER I
Means of Injuring the Enemy,
Sieges, and bombardments

Art. 22.
The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited.

Art. 23.

In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is specially forbidden -

...

To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering;

To destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;





It was a crime.

Joao Alberto.

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Post by David Thompson » 27 Jul 2003 05:30

Joao Alberto -- Repeating a proposition ("It was a crime") over and over doesn't make it true.

If you think that Article 23 of the Annex to Hague IV made the bombing of Dresden a war crime, you need to show that the allies used "arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering" (in other words, arms, projectiles or material that no one else was using because they caused unnecessary suffering), and that the bombing was not "imperatively demanded by the necessities of war," and in full awareness of those facts, made the decision to use the cruel and forbidden weapons to unnecessarily bomb the city anyway.

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Ebusitanus
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Post by Ebusitanus » 27 Jul 2003 08:15

So David you really buy into this "Vital transportation hub" or the "armaments factiories" (an Optic factory I believe)?
Using that line then everyone of the "crime" bombed cities and towns were fair game, just out of the "transportantion hub" reasoning.
I thought that Dresden had been declared an Open City, must be wrong there.
In any event, you do yourself a scant help by clamoring to the skies when Corporal Schultz shoots two teenagers in some remote Ukranian Village and then toss away any notion of crime at the totally wanton destruction of Dresden. Non withstanding the amount of "offical" excuses one can produce as to justify that bombing that was really not needed.

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