The International Campaign for Real History

Posted Monday, January 24, 2005

[] Index to the Traditional Enemies of Free Speech
[] Alphabetical index (text)

Quick navigation

[images and captions added by this website]

Friday, December 10, 2004

 Altmarkt pyre

DRESDEN 1945: Victims were cremated on huge funeral pyres for days after the 1945 British raid.

[Original colour photo by Fritz Hahn, taken on Feb 25, 1945: copyright assigned to David Irving in all western countries in 1961]

Neo-Nazis snub Auschwitz debate

From Roger Boyes in Berlin

GERMAN politicians joined forces yesterday to denounce neo-Nazi deputies in Saxony who walked out of a parliamentary debate honouring the victims of Auschwitz.

click for origin

David Irving comments:

INTERESTING how the "free democracies" react when political opponents tread on a sore spot.
   For sixty years the German government has not dared to excoriate the British for Winston Churchill's terror air raids against their cities during WW2 -- which are now clearly defined as war crimes under the Geneva Convention. So
   Now they even threaten with arrest the elected members of their assemblies who do. Just as in Britain -- as a cab driver remarked to me only two days ago -- it is a criminal offence to criticize publicly the way that Britain is now being swamped, against the wishes of the native English, with Third World and eastern European immigrants. Vox populi, the London cabbies.
   As for German politicians calling for the arrest of their opponents for "racist thinking" -- you can't invent this kind of stuff.
   Interesting, by the way, that there is not a single genuine photograph illustrating the Jewish Holocaust -- the gassing of millions of victims of the Nazis.

Walter Hahn, Dresden

   But there are many of the Holocaust of Dresden, thanks to my late friend Walter Hahn (above) and his camera, who got through the police cordon thrown round the city center and photographed the infernal scene for posterity -- the negatives in the Dresden municipal archives are all marked with red X's: never to be used in public.
   Tough, he gave me a set privately, in 1961, including some in full colour.

Apocalypse 1945: the Destruction of Dresden

Free download of the latest (2005) edition

   Note too that British newspapers never mention the May 2, 1945 sinking by their fighter bombers of the cruise liners Cap Arcona and Deutschland at anchor in the Bay of Lübeck, which resulted in the death of over 7,000 passengers (mostly refugees, but also prisoners). A tiny beach memorial at Timmendorfer Strand commemorates this disaster -- but calls the dead the victims of the Nazis. In World War Two, some people's lives came cheaper than others.

The protest by members of the far-right National Party of Germany (NPD) came at the start of an uncomfortable week for Germany: the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazis' most infamous concentration camp.

The 12 NPD deputies -- a pivotal force in the Saxon parliament -- had tried to ambush a debate on Auschwitz and discuss instead the Allied bombing of Dresden.

Holger Apfel, the NPD leader, said that the "bombing holocaust of Dresden was cold-blooded planned mass murder" and then led his deputies out of the chamber rather than stand during a minute of silence for the victims of Auschwitz.

"We cannot permit our young people to be corrupted by this racist thinking," Otto Schily, the plainly furious Interior Minister, said. The Dresden public prosecutor said that he was considering pressing charges of racist slander. Georg Milbradt, the Christian Democrat prime minister of Saxony, and other prominent mainstream politicians called for a ban on the NPD.

The fear is that the neo- Nazis could exploit this year of anniversaries, playing on anti-Semitic sentiment to win votes in the crucial regional election in North Rhine Westphalia in May.

The Centre for Anti-Semitism Research in Berlin estimates that 15 to 20 per cent of Germans have anti-Semitic attitudes. Some 54 per cent tell pollsters that "Jews exploit the memory of the Holocaust to their own advantage".

The furore over the neo-Nazi manipulation of the 60th wartime anniversaries reflects Germany's confusion over its many historical taboos. In particular, it is wondering whether it can commemorate its own wartime dead while shouldering the blame for the Holocaust. The answer, it seems, is not in this most politically delicate of weeks.

Gerhard Schröder, the Chancellor, [above, with leaders of Germany's Jewish community], is due to address the German parliament tomorrow and although in the past he has in clear that Germans should be allowed to mourn, his speech will be concentrated solely on the Holocaust and Germany's historical obligation to stamp out anti-Semitism.

German participation in the Auschwitz liberation ceremonies will be relatively low-key, although President Köhler will make a short speech at the camp during the commemorations on Thursday. Germany's season of remembrance will begin in earnest only after the Auschwitz ceremonies are over. Every week until May will mark some kind of suppressed memory -- of British bombing raids, or of the sinking of refugee ships carrying thousands of the 1.5 million German women and children who fled westwards from the advancing Russians in early 1945.

On February 13, Germany will remember the single deadliest British bombing raid on Dresden, but there are taboos still about commemorating the killing or abuse of Germans. Many German families have accounts of Russian brutality, of great-aunts who were gang-raped or nailed to trees and bayoneted, but those stories have remained largely unpublished.

Instead, many Germans have embarked on their own personal odyssey to find the missing pieces of German history. Ingrid Sharma-Ward is one of them. For decades the 68-year-old former secretary, who lives in Hertfordshire, has been searching for her younger brother, lost with the rest of her family when the Wilhelm Gustloff cruise liner was torpedoed by a Soviet submarine on January 30, 1945.

More than 9,000 Germans died in the Baltic seas. Yet apart from a modest plaque on the German island of Rügen, there is no memorial -- and no certainty about the fate of many who disappeared on that night.

"I remember how my mother reached over to a sailor and gave him my younger brother, Klaus," Mrs Sharma-Ward told The Times. Her mother, her sister and one of her brothers died that night. It is probable that Klaus did, too, but there was always the hope that the sailor had saved the two-year-old.


After years of searching, Mrs Sharma-Ward traced someone who could be Klaus to the East German port of Rostock. The man, though well into middle-age, resembled Klaus, had a nose like her grandmother, musical tastes like her father, and had been adopted by a sailor. Yet the man wanted no contact with his would-be sister and refused a DNA test.

"Of course it hurts," Mrs Sharma-Ward said. Sometimes, however, German history has to stay buried.

Click image above for pre-war aerial view of Dresden from the west, also photographed by Walter Hahn. The oval sports stadium visible at the left was the target reference marker for the first attack.

The above item is reproduced without editing other than typographical

 Register your name and address to go on the Mailing List to receive

David Irving's ACTION REPORT

or to hear when and where he will next speak near you

© Focal Point 2005 F Irving write to David Irving