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It is now the 50th anniversary of the terror bombing and burning of the non-military cultural center of Dresden GermanySomewhere between 35000 and 135000 civilians were killed in the Feb 13-14 1945 attack The Bonn government is attempting to use the commemoration of the Dresden bombing to expand German imperialisms diplomaticand military reach Working-class and progressive German groups are protesting this misuse of a great tragedy They correctly pointout the responsibility of German capitalism and the Nazis own war crimes for the destruction of German cities during the war The crimes of Nazi Germany however should not prevent the US working-class movement from re-examining the aims of USand British imperialisms vicious bombing of Dresdens civilians as World War II drew to a close Dresden was a center of cultural and architectural wonders including the famous Zwinger Museum and Palace and the cathedral theFrauenkirche There were no military objectives of any consequence in the city--its destruction could do nothing to weaken the Naziwar machine US and British air warfare had left Dresden intact until that point By February 1945 refugees fleeing westward before the onrushing Red Army had doubled Dresdens population The Sovietmilitary forces were poised to seize the city from the Nazis It was at that moment that the military and political strategists of Britainand the United States decided to launch a terror bombing attack Winston Churchill was Britains prime minister then He was also responsible for war strategy especially regarding its politicalaims Churchills goal in Europe was not only to destroy the military machine of Britains imperialist rival--Germany--but to stop theadvance of the Soviet Union With the latter in mind he decided to bomb Dresden Churchill US President Franklin Roosevelt and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin had just met at Yalta to discuss the division ofpost-war Europe Churchills goal in bombing Dresden was to impress the Soviets with the air power of the Western capitalist alliesand to make sure that the Red Army would seize
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