The US destroyed Dresden, Germany, and the civilian population


Dresden in March, 1945

In the final winter of World War II, the eastern German city of Dresden was reduced to rubble, killing tens of thousands and sparking a bitter debate over whether the attack was justified…

Population of the city was largely anyone’s guess as refugees flooded into the city shortly prior to the bombing as Soviet troops advanced to the city’s east, however common estimates put the population at the time of bombings at greater than 650,000.

I won’t waste anyone’s time quoting those who ordered the bombing. I’ve outlived all my friends and relatives who fought in that war…or were victims of the Nazis. None agreed that what we did was justified.

4 thoughts on “The US destroyed Dresden, Germany, and the civilian population

  1. So it goes says:

    “Once World War Two ended, the Dresden’s survivors began the daunting task of cleaning and rebuilding their city. The volunteers spent years clearing the rubble by hand and carting it away.”
    The photographs of this undertaking are remarkable.
    “On the Natural History of Destruction” is a 1999 book by the German writer W. G. Sebald. Its original German title is Luftkrieg und Literatur, which means “Air war and literature”. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/feb/22/highereducation.history

    • Footnote says:

      Trümmerfrau, literally translated as rubble woman) is the German-language name for women who, in the aftermath of World War II, helped clear and reconstruct the bombed cities of Germany and Austria. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tr%C3%BCmmerfrau
      “3.6 million out of the sixteen million homes in 62 cities in Germany were destroyed during Allied bombings in World War II, with another four million damaged. Half of all school buildings, forty percent of the infrastructure, and many factories were either damaged or destroyed. According to estimates, there were about 400 million cubic meters of ruins (a volume of over 150 Great Pyramid of Gizas) and 7.5 million people were made homeless.”

  2. Vergangenheitsbewältigung says:

    “…Every day we walked into the city and dug into basements and shelters to get the corpses out, as a sanitary measure. When we went into them, a typical shelter, an ordinary basement usually, looked like a streetcar full of people who’d simultaneously had heart failure. Just people sitting there in their chairs, all dead. A fire storm is an amazing thing. It doesn’t occur in nature. It’s fed by the tornadoes that occur in the midst of it and there isn’t a damned thing to breathe. We brought the dead out. They were loaded on wagons and taken to parks, large open areas in the city which weren’t filled with rubble. The Germans got funeral pyres going, burning the bodies to keep them from stinking and from spreading disease. 130,000 corpses were hidden underground. It was a terribly elaborate Easter egg hunt. We went to work through cordons of German soldiers. Civilians didn’t get to see what we were up to. After a few days the city began to smell, and a new technique was invented. Necessity is the mother of invention. We would bust into the shelter, gather up valuables from people’s laps without attempting identification, and turn the valuables over to guards. Then soldiers would come with a flame thrower and stand in the door and cremate the people inside. Get the gold and jewelry out and then burn everybody inside.” Kurt Vonnegut, Paris Review interview (1977)

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