Dresden 1945 – The Real Holocaust

Dresden 1945 – The Real Holocaust

Twenty-five years ago, as Allied planes rained death and destruction over Germany, the old Saxon city of Dresden lay like an island of tranquillity amid desolation. Famous as a cultural centre, and possessing no military value, Dresden had been spared the terror that descended from the skies over the rest of the country.
In fact, little had been done to provide the ancient city of artists and craftsmen with anti-aircraft defences. One squadron of planes had been stationed in Dresden for awhile, but the Luftwaffe decided to move the aircraft to another area where they would be of use. A “gentleman’s agreement” seemed to prevail, designating Dresden as an “open city”.
On Shrove Tuesday, February 13th, a flood of refugees fleeing the Red Army, sixty miles away, had swollen the city’s population to over a million. Each new refugee brought fearful accounts of Soviet atrocities. Little did those refugees retreating from the Red terror imagine that they were about to die in a horror worse than anything Stalin could devise.
Normally, a carnival atmosphere prevails in Dresden on Shrove Tuesday. In 1945, however, the outlook was rather dismal. Houses everywhere overflowed with refugees and thousands were forced to camp out in the streets, shivering in the bitter cold.