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How Dresden Looked After a World War II Firestorm 75 Years Ago

Germans on Thursday marked 75 years since Allied bombs destroyed the eastern city of Dresden, with national leaders emphasizing atonement and the universal mourning of the war’s victims even as the far right has promoted a revisionist view of the Nazi state.

Images of Dresden’s skeletal, burned-out buildings have become synonymous with the ravages of war. The inferno devastated the city, the capital of the state of Saxony, resulting in temperatures so hot that they caused the stone dome of the Church of Our Lady to collapse. It was rebuilt after reunification and consecrated in 2005.

But in Germany, the attack also sowed the seeds of debate over victims and responsibility, one that has taken on new meaning as a resurgent far right in the country’s east promotes a revisionist history of World War II.

Mourning all of the war’s victims has been central to Germany’s remembrance efforts since reunification in 1990.

“Today, when we remember the history of the bombings in our country, we remember both the suffering of people in German cities and the suffering that Germans inflicted on others,” President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a speech at the official ceremony on Thursday.

“We, as Germans, do not forget our guilt and we remain true to our responsibility,” he said. “Always.”

Read entire article at NY Times