Up to 25,000 died in Dresden's WWII bombing - report
The Dresden Historians' Commission published its report after five years of research into the 13-15 February 1945 air raid by Britain and the US.
The study was aimed at ending an ongoing debate on the number of casualties in the German city.
Germany's far-right groups claim that up to 500,000 people died.
They say the bombing - which unleashed a firestorm in the historic city when Nazi Germany was already close to defeat - constituted a war crime.
Critics say there was no military reason for it, but others argue that Dresden was an important logistical point close behind German lines, as the Soviet Army approached from the east.
'Crux of argument'
The Dresden commission said it had used records from city archives, cemeteries and other official registries and compared them with published reports and witness accounts to reach its conclusion.
It also noted that fewer refugees fleeing the Eastern front were killed in the air raid then was previously thought, rejecting reports that many victims' bodies were never recovered.
"Remembering the Allied bombings of Dresden... still carries importance for the social-political understanding of how history is seen, how society is shaped, and how identities are formed," the commission said.
"In this debate, the number of people killed in the raids on Dresden has long been a crux of the argument that is key to certain views."
comments powered by Disqus
- 115-Year-Old Shipwreck Finally Located Along Lake Superior's 'Shipwreck Coast'
- There’s no surge in immigrant children across the border
- A Chinese boy has made the discovery of a lifetime by stumbling across a 3,000-year-old bronze sword
- President Nixon Overrode Near Consensus of Senior U.S. Officials on Threat Posed by Israeli Nuclear Program in 1969
- Are Biblical Epics Epically Racist?
- Eric Hobsbawm is remembered as a polyglot of a kind that's vanished
- Once again Ken Burns turns to Geoffrey Ward to write his script, this time about the Roosevelts
- Historian warns that countries go into decline when they become rigid, oppress minorities, and become weak militarily
- NYT praises Kissinger’s new book as right for the times
- Critics question accuracy of new conservative-leaning social studies textbooks up for adoption in Texas