Dresden, 1945

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walterkaschner
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Post by walterkaschner » 08 Jun 2005 19:50

Thanks to Andreas for the update on the interim findings of the commission of historians appointed to ascertain the number of casualties resulting from the bombing of Dresden 60 years ago.

I'm not surprised at the commission's tentative conclusion that the number of dead did not greatly exceed an order of magnitude of 25,000, as I had thought that Frederick Taylor's recent book ( Dresden, Harper Collins 2004) had conclusively laid to rest the grossly inflated casualty claims promulgated by Goebbels, Axel Rodenberger, David Irving, Alexander McKee, and their like. But I am somewhat bemused at the commission's call for information from all those who claim to have been in Dresden at the time. I would hope that it has the means to verify that those responding were truly eye witnesses and to sort out bogus responses, and that it will not place too much credence on the 60 year old stale memories of those legitimate witnesses who are still alive.

Andeas wrote:

This is politically a hot potato because of the embarassing presence in the state parliament of Saxonia of a group of elected neo-nazi representatives from the NPD, who are equating the bombings of Dresden and the Holocaust.

While one would hope that the commission will lay to rest the phantastic claims that have been made regarding the number of casualties, I think that is a forlorn hope, since those making these claims are usually beyond the reach of rational debate.


Probably forlorn indeed, as evidenced by so many of the postings concerning the Dresden raids which have surfaced on this very web-site. But as Pope observed: "Hope springs eternal in the human breast...."

Regards, Kaschner

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Post by Andreas » 08 Jun 2005 20:25

walterkaschner wrote:But I am somewhat bemused at the commission's call for information from all those who claim to have been in Dresden at the time. I would hope that it has the means to verify that those responding were truly eye witnesses and to sort out bogus responses, and that it will not place too much credence on the 60 year old stale memories of those legitimate witnesses who are still alive.


Walter

No problem about posting the info. I would not be concerned about the request for witnesses. It is quite fashionable in Germany at the moment to ask for Zeitzeugen. The historians are of the serious persuasion, they will not expect to hear anything earth-shattering from these witnesses, but it will make their report stronger to have listened to them, and taken their views on board.

I think it is the right thing to do to allow them their say, and I do not think that implies that their statements will be given more value than they deserve in the analysis.

All the best

Andreas

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HaEn
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victims

Post by HaEn » 09 Jun 2005 00:39

"25,000" ???? my foot.
There were at the time many more people present in the city, many of them forced labor from other countries, (one of them a family member) that were not even counted as inhabitants, furthermore there were because of the collapse of the fronts massive troop gatherings in and around the City, as well as throngs of regugees fleeing the Soviet onslaught.
But it is not polite to question the victors is it now ? So many of the reaeachers(sic) will bravely parrot the accepted number that falls within 'normal" casualty probability.
However the thing to consider is that there was no need for the criminal bormbardment; Germany already had lost, everyone knew it.
Mr. Harris should have stood trial next to the Germans at Nurnberg.
Just the feelings of an old man.
HN.

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Post by Panzermahn » 09 Jun 2005 04:36

I'm not surprised at the commission's tentative conclusion that the number of dead did not greatly exceed an order of magnitude of 25,000, as I had thought that Frederick Taylor's recent book ( Dresden, Harper Collins 2004) had conclusively laid to rest the grossly inflated casualty claims promulgated by Goebbels, Axel Rodenberger, David Irving, Alexander McKee, and their like. But I am somewhat bemused at the commission's call for information from all those who claim to have been in Dresden at the time. I would hope that it has the means to verify that those responding were truly eye witnesses and to sort out bogus responses, and that it will not place too much credence on the 60 year old stale memories of those legitimate witnesses who are still alive.


Irving revised the figure of Dresden's bombing victims in his 1995 edition of Destruction of Dresden (Apocalypse: Destruction of Dresden). By the way, the figure of 300,000 victims that Allied apologists attributed to Irving's mention in his 1963 book, was actually a hearsay from other sources which Irving gave the lowest and the highest estimate in it.

In his 1995 book, Irving stated that the most possible number of victims in Dresden was 35,000 after reexamining other sources (which what exactly revisionism is) compare to the static dogmatic mentality of the Allied apologianism. (Only sources from Allied archives are considered the real thing. Other sources are just plain Nazi apologia)

"25,000" ???? my foot.
There were at the time many more people present in the city, many of them forced labor from other countries, (one of them a family member) that were not even counted as inhabitants, furthermore there were because of the collapse of the fronts massive troop gatherings in and around the City, as well as throngs of regugees fleeing the Soviet onslaught.
But it is not polite to question the victors is it now ? So many of the reaeachers(sic) will bravely parrot the accepted number that falls within 'normal" casualty probability.
However the thing to consider is that there was no need for the criminal bormbardment; Germany already had lost, everyone knew it.
Mr. Harris should have stood trial next to the Germans at Nurnberg.
Just the feelings of an old man.
HN.


Well spoken....and i had to agreed with you. Bomber Harris is the best example of Allied double standards in WW2

Here is a scan about the feelings of bombing Germany by Lieutenant Colonel Jim Goodson, who particpated the Schweinfurt Raids in 1943 and was shot down and taken prisoner. Published in Images of War magazine number 26. (A Marshal Cavendish publication is association with Imperial War Museum)

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Post by Panzermahn » 09 Jun 2005 04:50

sorry, here is it
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Post by Karl » 09 Jun 2005 05:03

David Thompson wrote:futter -- The subject of this thread is Dresden. Please stay on it. It you want to discuss other bombing casualties, check for a pre-existing thread, and if there isn't one, start a new thread.


I suppose what both futter and kudi (w/ his Warsaw pics) are suggesting is that Dresden was an allied tit-for-tat.

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Re: victims

Post by Andreas » 09 Jun 2005 06:04

HaEn wrote:"25,000" ???? my foot.
There were at the time many more people present in the city, many of them forced labor from other countries, (one of them a family member) that were not even counted as inhabitants,


Their registration has precisely zero to do with the casualty count, since that is based on recovered bodies.

Since Germany had already lost, should the Allies have stopped fighting? What about the civilian victims in places like Berlin or Rethem? According to this logic they are also the victims of criminal allies who did not want to stop fighting although Germany had already lost.

I do not think your argument makes any sense whatsoever. Clearly the blame for these victims lies squarely with the Nazi regime who continued to fight although it had already lost.

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Post by David Thompson » 09 Jun 2005 12:24

An unsourced, off-topic agitprop post by Panzermahn was deleted by the moderator. A reply post by Andreas, made unnecessary by the deletion of the Panzermahn post, was also deleted.

Panzermahn -- If you want to try to make propaganda points without documenting them or showing some relevance to the discussion, rent a billboard. You've been warned scores of times about the H&WC section rules. If you can't or won't comply with the rules, take your act somewhere else.

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Post by David Thompson » 09 Jun 2005 13:01

Panzermahn -- You said:
By the way, the figure of 300,000 victims that Allied apologists attributed to Irving's mention in his 1963 book, was actually a hearsay from other sources which Irving gave the lowest and the highest estimate in it.

For statements like this, the section rules require that you name the "Allied apologists" and source your claim. Furthermore, no one in this discussion has attributed a 300,000 death toll statement to Irving, so the point is just a "straw man." Here's what Irving did say about the Dresden death toll -- this scan is from the paperback edition of his 1963 book. As you can see, the "conservative" figures (Irving's words) he gives are five times greater than the current government estimates.

You also said:
In his 1995 book, Irving stated that the most possible number of victims in Dresden was 35,000 after reexamining other sources (which what exactly revisionism is) compare to the static dogmatic mentality of the Allied apologianism. (Only sources from Allied archives are considered the real thing. Other sources are just plain Nazi apologia)

If you think you can combine an unsourced statement with an undocumented propaganda claim and get away with it here, I suggest you review the section rules at viewtopic.php?t=53962 and rethink your premise. This is a research section of the forum, not a "blog" or a place to rehearse advertising slogans. If you can't prove an assertion is factual when you write the post, don't bother to send it. Noncomplying posts will be deleted without further warning.
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Re: victims

Post by HaEn » 09 Jun 2005 20:04

Andreas wrote:
HaEn wrote:"25,000" ???? my foot.
There were at the time many more people present in the city, many of them forced labor from other countries, (one of them a family member) that were not even counted as inhabitants,


Their registration has precisely zero to do with the casualty count, since that is based on recovered bodies.

Since Germany had already lost, should the Allies have stopped fighting? What about the civilian victims in places like Berlin or Rethem? According to this logic they are also the victims of criminal allies who did not want to stop fighting although Germany had already lost.

I do not think your argument makes any sense whatsoever. Clearly the blame for these victims lies squarely with the Nazi regime who continued to fight although it had already lost.


O.K. Andreas.
"The number was based on recovered bodies" .
Ever been in a bombardment ? Or sometimes the resulting 'firestorm"" ?
There just are no bodies to be recovered; just ashes mixed in with the rubble of the buildings.
And "should the Allies not have terrorized the civilians of Berlin and Rthern"? Bingo, you got it.
Berlin kept being shelled and bombed, when the "resistance" of the Army rag tag units was just about nil.
Had Germany won, many more lives would have been lost, although many more OTHER lives would not have been lost.
Provocative thought isn't it ?
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Re: victims

Post by Andreas » 09 Jun 2005 22:01

HaEn wrote:There just are no bodies to be recovered; just ashes mixed in with the rubble of the buildings.


Somewhere in the vicinity of 22,000 bodies were recovered, IIRC.

HaEn wrote:And "should the Allies not have terrorized the civilians of Berlin and Rthern"? Bingo, you got it.
Berlin kept being shelled and bombed, when the "resistance" of the Army rag tag units was just about nil.


It's Rethem, and that statement is simply not true. You tell that 'resistance about nil' stuff to the relatives of the allied soldiers on all sides who died in April and May 1945 because the Germans kept resisting although the game was up. I have seen the bullet holes in many of the buildings in Berlin, and the combat there is well documented, as are the significant Soviet losses.

So how in your opinion were the Allies going to defeat Germany if any civilian killed post (say) 1st April 1945 is a victim of Allied terror? By asking the German troops to please be so kind to only set up their defenses in open fields? The criminals are the German leaders, down to the officers who decided to hold on to villages, towns and cities throughout Germany with no regard for their civilians, thus forcing the Allies to attack these places. You may think different, that is your right, but you would be wrong about it if you did so.

All the best

Andreas

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HaEn
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recovered bodies

Post by HaEn » 10 Jun 2005 01:16

Not ALL bodies were reduced to ashes, it depended on how hot the firestorm was in a particular area, and as in any fire, for some reason some part burns clean, others do not.
The point was that the "bodycount", as such, was meaningless.
The point of Berlin and Rethem (the last a typing mistake by me, due to arthritis in my fingers) , I realize that fighting house to house still took place, but blanket bombing the whole city was at that point already no longer necessary. The greatest portion of the German was ready to give up. Actually this bombing gave some groups MORE resolve to hold out till the last. Ironic but true. And getting back to Dresden, Mr. Harris had made the remark that with peace looming over the horizon, it would be a shame to waste a bunch of perfectly good ordnance by not using it. The latter statement came from an Internet source, and may have to be taken with a bunch of salt. But it would be fitting.
But I will bow out. Thi is a topic that can go on forever, and getting nowhere.
Remember though that there are THREE sides to every report; Mine, Yours, and the FACTS.
HN

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Post by walterkaschner » 10 Jun 2005 02:41

Panzermahn wrote:

Irving revised the figure of Dresden's bombing victims in his 1995 edition of Destruction of Dresden (Apocalypse: Destruction of Dresden). By the way, the figure of 300,000 victims that Allied apologists attributed to Irving's mention in his 1963 book, was actually a hearsay from other sources which Irving gave the lowest and the highest estimate in it.

In his 1995 book, Irving stated that the most possible number of victims in Dresden was 35,000 after reexamining other sources (which what exactly revisionism is) compare to the static dogmatic mentality of the Allied apologianism. (Only sources from Allied archives are considered the real thing. Other sources are just plain Nazi apologia)


It would be greatly appreciated if Panzermahn would furnish the exact quote and page reference for Irving's casualty revision in his 1995 edition, as I don't wish to waste my time in rereading the entire book again. I wasted enough of that with the 1963 edition.

But even if that were Irving's view in 1995 it took him over thirty years, in the face of an enormous quantity of contrary evidence, to come off his initially incredibly inflated figures. At a Press conference on 29 June 1989 he stated that the raid "burned Dresden to the ground, killing anything between 100,000 and 250,00" refugees. In a television interview on November 28, 1991 he proclaimed that in one night 125,000 were killed in Dresden. And as late as 1993, in a promotional video for his Australian visit, he stated that over 130,000 died in the air raid. See Richard J. Evans Lying About Hitler (Basic Books, 2001) at 181-2.

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

An exlusive [sic] pictorial series from the book: THE BRITISH FIRE RAID ON DRESDEN KILLED A HUNDRED THOUSAND CIVILIANS IN TWO HOURS


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

As to Panzermahn's notion that "only sources from Allied archives are the real thing....other sources are just plain Nazi apologia" I suggest that he depart from his favorite English source and familiarize himself with the following German sources:

Götz Bergander's Dresden im Luftkrieg: Vorgeschicht, Zerstörung, Folgen (Würzburg 1998) [Bergander was a Dresden resident at the time of the bombing.]

Landeszentrale für Politische Bildung, Hamburg und Dresden in Dritten Reich: Bombenkrieg und Kriegsende (Hamburg 1993)

Friedrich Reichert, ed. Verbranndt bis zum Unkenntlichkeit: Die Zerstörung Dresdens 1945 (Dresden, 1994) [Reichert was an official with the Dresden city Museum.]

Helmut Schnatz, Tieffliegger über Dresden: Legende oder Wirklichkeit? (Köln, 2000)

Max Seydewitz, Die unbesiegbare Stadt: Zerstörung und neuaufbau von Dresden (Berlin 1955, rev. 1982) [Seydewitz was Communist Premier of Saxony immediately after the Russian takeover and later was director of the City's art collections.)

Walter Weidauer, Inferno Dresden (Berlin 1965, 2nd ed 1966). [Weidauer was High Burgomaster of Dresden for many years immediately after WWII. Weidauer's estimate of the number of victims was certainly not based on anything from the "Allied archives" but rather from the original of the Final Report issued by the Dresden Police on March 15, 1945, which document was given him by the daughter-in-law of the police official who had dictated and initialed it. It stated that there were 18,375 dead, 2,212 badly wounded, 13,718 slightly wounded, 350,000 homeless and re-quartered. Bergander supra at 265, cited in Evans, Lying About Hitler supra at 167.]

HaEn wrote:

"The number was based on recovered bodies" .
Ever been in a bombardment ? Or sometimes the resulting 'firestorm"" ?
There just are no bodies to be recovered; just ashes mixed in with the rubble of the buildings.


As Andeas has pointed out, there have been something in the neighborhood of 22,000 bodies recovered.

According to Walter Weidauer, who as subsequent Mayor of the city was surely in a position to know, only in four instances was it impossible to to establish the number of casualties in any one place, and the total for the four could not have been over 100. Only in a very small number of cases were the bodies so mutilated or burned that the exact number could not be ascertained; the majority of the victims having died of suffocation as the natural consequence of a firestorm, which swiftly consumes the oxogen in the atmosphere. There were, of course, bodies buried in the extensive rubble which remained undiscovered at the time of the official Police Report. But Weidauer (supra at 120) states that in the twenty years following the air raid a total of less than 1,900 bodies had been uncovered from the ruins, and Reichert (supra at 61) states that not a single body had been found subsequent to 1990, despite the heavy archeological excavations on the Altmarkt and elsewhere. And see Evans, supra at 149-84, and Frederick Taylor, Dresden (Harper Collins 2004), Appendix B: "Counting the Dead", at 443-56.

Haven't we already flogged this poor old horse to death more than once on this site? It seems to keep rising like a Phoenix from the ashes for reasons which I fail to comprehend but which I am becoming less and less inclined to view charitably. Irving is a convicted charlatan and the death toll in Dresden was in the 25,000 - 35,000 neighborhood! Doesn't that number suffice to turn one's stomach? Why in the name of all that's holy isn't that toll horrible and sickening enough?!? What legitimate purpose can support insistence upon a figure 4 times higher, in the face of all evidence to the contrary? I'm listening for an answer.....

Regards, Kaschner
Last edited by walterkaschner on 10 Jun 2005 06:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: victims

Post by WalterS » 10 Jun 2005 05:42

HaEn wrote:"25,000" ???? my foot.
There were at the time many more people present in the city, many of them forced labor from other countries, (one of them a family member) that were not even counted as inhabitants, furthermore there were because of the collapse of the fronts massive troop gatherings in and around the City, as well as throngs of regugees fleeing the Soviet onslaught.
But it is not polite to question the victors is it now ? So many of the reaeachers(sic) will bravely parrot the accepted number that falls within 'normal" casualty probability.
However the thing to consider is that there was no need for the criminal bormbardment; Germany already had lost, everyone knew it.
Mr. Harris should have stood trial next to the Germans at Nurnberg.
Just the feelings of an old man.
HN.



Well, at least in this latest rant HaEn acknowledges, unwittingly no doubt, that there were arms production centers in Dresden utilizing slave labor. The existence of these arms production centers as well as Dresden's transportation network made the city a target.


However the thing to consider is that there was no need for the criminal bormbardment; Germany already had lost, everyone knew it.


Everyone except the Germans. HaEn conveniently ignores the fact that less than 2 months prior to the Dresden raids, the Germans launched a huge counter-offensive in the Ardennes, causing some 81,000 American casualties including 15,000 POWS and 19,000 killed. The Germans sure weren't acting like a "defeated" nation. [source for figures: Charles MacDonald, "A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge" p. 618]

On the very day Dresden was bombed, Feb 13, the Germans were launching a large counteroffensive in Hungary in an effort to recapture Budapest. Not the actions of a "defeated" nation.


And let's also not forget the V-weapon attacks on British civilian populations which continued unabated into February, 1945. During the week prior to the Dresden raid 180 V-bomb attacks were launched against England. [Beevor, "The Fall of Berlin, 1945" p. 83] Again, not the actions of a "defeated" nation.

See also: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/ww2/A1143532 and http://www.spaceline.org/history/4.html

HaEn also conveniently ignores the fact that the German government could have surrendered at any time, acknowledging defeat and thus sparing its populace further suffering. Instead, the German government launched military offensives, shot rockets at civilians in England, and stepped up its war production efforts.

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Post by Andreas » 10 Jun 2005 08:43

walterkaschner wrote:Haven't we already flogged this poor old horse to death more than once on this site? It seems to keep rising like a Phoenix from the ashes for reasons which I fail to comprehend but which I am becoming less and less inclined to view charitably. Irving is a convicted charlatan and the death toll in Dresden was in the 25,000 - 35,000 neighborhood! Doesn't that number suffice to turn one's stomach? Why in the name of all that's holy isn't that toll horrible and sickening enough?!? What legitimate purpose can support insistence upon a figure 4 times higher, in the face of all evidence to the contrary? I'm listening for an answer.....

Regards, Kaschner


Morning Walter

I see this in the context of trying to move the German people from perpetrators to victims. As I said in a previous post, there is now a party in the Saxonian parliament that equates the Holocaust and Dresden. Clearly this only works even in the deranged minds of these people if you invent a sufficient number of casualties. 35,000 won't do, hundreds of thousands are better. One also has to have a number that is larger than Hiroshima and the fire-bombing of Tokyo, because second-'best' won't do either. 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.

Anyway, that is my take on it.

All the best

Andreas

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