The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment&analysis -

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

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