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It is now the 50th anniversary of the terror bombing and burning of the non-military cultural center of Dresden Germany Somewhere 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 diplomatic and military reach Working-class and progressive German groups are protesting this misuse of a great tragedy They correctly point out 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 US and 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 the Frauenkirche There were no military objectives of any consequence in the city--its destruction could do nothing to weaken the Nazi war 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 Soviet military forces were poised to seize the city from the Nazis It was at that moment that the military and political strategists of Britain and 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 political aims Churchills goal in Europe was not only to destroy the military machine of Britains imperialist rival--Germany--but to stop the advance 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 of post-war Europe Churchills goal in bombing Dresden
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