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66th Anniversary of of the bombing of Dresden.

In 1945, after WWII was as good as over, the British Royal Air Force and the American Air Core turned the city of Dresden into a massive firestorm. Winston Churchill had previously declared the city to be a safe zone for German refugees. The population of the city swelled with over one million refugees who were fleeing the red army. Churchill went back on his promise because he feared Joseph Stalin. He wanted to prove to Stalin that he could be just as brutal. 100,000 or more people were killed. The vast majority were women and children. About 500 American POWs also perished.

Reports by the US Air Force concluded that at least 45,000 civilians had perished. The US and Britain had refused to declared such bombing campaigns as War Crimes during the 4th Geneva Convention in 1949, because doing so could be construed as an admission of guilt. Such bombings have since been declared war crimes by the international community.

The massive war crime was kept secret from the American public until Kurt Vonnegut, who had been an American POW in Dresden during the bombing, published Slaughterhouse Five in 1969. Vonnegut’s book caused a great shock among the US population who had primarily only heard romanticized accounts of the war.

In 1963 British journalist David Irving published a book on the bombing of Dresden, after writing a series of 37 articles on allied bombing campaigns for a German publication.