DRESDEN BOMBING WAS NECESSARY TO SAVE JEWISH AND ALLIED LIVES
That Jonathan Samuel considers the bombing of Dresden a war crime ( Letters, May 23) shows clearly his ignorance of what happened in 1933-1945.
The few Jews left in Dresden at the time of Allied bombing of that city were only saved from deportation as a result of the chaos that followed the raid. The vast majority of the one-time large Jewish community of Dresden had already been deported to concentration camps, with the help and connivance of its population.
What did the “good” burghers of Dresden expect as a result of the terror that they and their countrymen spread across Europe — Red Cross food parcels dropped from the skies as a reward? Ernest G Kolman Greenford, Middlesex
Fifty million people died in the Second World War, mainly civilians. On September 9, 1940, I was dug out of a shelter that had been hit by a German bomb. My mother, father, three-year-old brother, grandmother and two aunts weren’t so lucky and were all killed.
At seven years of age I was orphaned, as were countless others.
The civilian population of Dresden plus the other German cities, towns and villages could have stopped the war. They didn’t have to accept Hitler and the Nazi dictatorship. They didn’t have to wave flags with the swastika emblem as the German army, navy and air force embarked on their murderous occupation of foreign lands.
Jonathan Samuel should be reminded that history has a habit of repeating itself. The people of Iran have to rise up to stop the dictatorship running their country, marching towards a nuclear catastrophe. We should all try and tell the world what happens if dictators are allowed to thrive, not try and lay blame 60 or more years after the event. Jack Simons Falmer Road, Brighton
The allies would have won eventually, but how many more soldiers would have been killed as a result of the extra time needed, without the bombing, including the destruction of the Ruhr dams which devastated the industrial heart of Germany? The same applied to Japan. Without the atom bombs, many thousands of American soldiers would have died in the extra effort needed to force Japan’s surrender.
So Jonathan Samuel and his ilk are quite happy to play with the lives of our allied soldiers — as well as our civilians on whom V1 and V2s were falling — by extending the conflict with no bombing. My response is, thank God for Lord (bomber) Harris! Maurice Conway South Woodford E18