I Survived the Bombing of Dresden and Continue to Believe it Was a War Crime

by Victor Gregg

AS A PRISONER of war held in Dresden, I still suffer the memories of those terrible events and my anger refuses to subside.

I wasn’t new to murder and bloodletting. I had enlisted two years prior to the outbreak of the Second World War and by the time I was 21 I had taken part in one major battle and various smaller ones. I had been in fights where the ground in front of me was littered with the remains of young men who had once been full of the joy of living, laughing and joking with their mates. As each year of the war went by, the fighting got more ferocious, new weapons were introduced and fresh young men became the targets. How I remained a sane person through all this I don’t know.

Then came the evening of the 13 February, 1945. I was a prisoner of war held in Dresden. At about 10:30pm that night, the air raid sirens started their mournful wailing and because this happened every night no notice was taken. The people of Dresden believed that as long as the Luftwaffe kept away from Oxford, Dresden would be spared. The sirens stopped and after a short period of silence the first wave of pathfinders were over the city dropping their target flares.

As the incendiaries fell, the phosphorus clung to the bodies of those below, turning them into human torches. The screaming of those who were being burned alive was added to the cries of those not yet hit. There was no need for flares to lead the second wave of bombers to their target, as the whole city had become a gigantic torch. It must have been visible to the pilots from a hundred miles away. Dresden had no defences, no anti-aircraft guns, no searchlights, nothing.

My account of this tragedy, Dresden: A Survivor’s Story, was published on the day of the anniversary in 2013. I gave a number of interviews around the publication, in which I insisted that the affair was a war crime at the highest level, a stain upon the name Englishman that only an apology made in full public view would suffice to obliterate.

Many — including some writing comments underneath articles on the Guardian Web site — have criticised me for this. Reading through the criticisms I have to admit that some of the things I have written have caused many people some hurt, but to these people I would say that as a person I still suffer at times the memories of those terrible events.

From being regarded as some form of hero on the one hand, to a “Nazi supporter” on the other, has taught me that there are so many sides to any question. I have learned to try to understand those who disagree with my outlook. Like Kurt Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse-Five, I wrote as I witnessed. I have no axe to grind. I just sat down and tried to empty my mind and clear away the residues of the nightmares that I still occasionally suffered from.

My justification for still harbouring these attitudes is the events in European history since the ending of the Second World War. The massacres in Bosnia at Srebrenica, the hurling of Tomahawk missiles by British naval cruisers into the centre of an inhabited Benghazi, the manner in which as a nation we still tend to be sympathetic to the use of superior aircraft strength to bomb overcrowded refugee centres. These are the reasons my anger has refused to subside.

Perhaps I should be more realistic and knuckle down to the concept of the brutality of the human race, but I have always been a stubborn individual. I am not a diplomat. I just happen to have witnessed the worst that man has to offer and I like it not one bit. Bearing in mind that I care deeply about the future of all my children and grandchildren, please allow me to express my anger.

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Source: The Guardian via The Daily Archives

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Patrick Pappano
Patrick Pappano
14 February, 2021 6:45 am

In Descent Into Slavery, Des Griffin asserts that the total destruction of Dresden had as its aim urban renewal. After the destruction, the land could be bought up cheaply and very little would have to be spent on demolition. David Irving claimed that another aim was to show the Russians what would happen to them should they turn on the British. My own take is that Dresden was the location of a late 19th century convocation on the “Jewish Problem.” Of course, the wall-to-wall artwork located in Dresden would have been a thorn in the side of the Jews. The British did the heavy lifting saving the light stuff for the Americans like strafing the fleeing population the next day. There is even a story of an American airman chasing… Read more »

14 February, 2021 7:22 am

“ Every Russian, English, and American soldier is a mercenary of this world conspiracy of a parasitic race. Given the current state of the war, who could still believe that they are fighting and dying at the front for the national interests of their countries! The nations want a decent peace, but the Jews are against it.”

– Joseph Goebbels

Walt Hampton
Walt Hampton
14 February, 2021 6:03 pm

These are not my own words,
but I adopt them as my own:

Yesterday, sadly, marked the 
76th anniversary of the horrific 
Allied ‘bombing’ of Dresden 
Germany that caused the GENOCIDE 
of up to 500000 innocent lives.  
And yes, that was indeed cold 
blooded murder as Dresden had 
absolutely NO ‘military value’ 
at all and was overladen with 
millions of refugees fleeing 
the advancing Soviet armies. 
The criminal allied commanders 
ordered that murderous attack 
and history will eventually 
show that they were indeed 
nothing but ruthless killers 
of innocent lives at Dresden…

20 February, 2021 4:14 pm

Germany, There is no ‘Statute of Limitations’ on War Crimes. The ICC, ‘International Criminal Court’ can look into these matters on genocide on the German population. As Dresden 400,000 perished is not alone, there was the bombing of Hamburg 100,000 perished, Nuremberg, Darmstadt, Cologne, Stuttgart, Wurzburg. As well as the ‘Eisenhower Death Camps’ of surrendered German soldiers, over one million starved to death. The genocide of Germans would be easy to prove considering we do know where the bodies are buried, we walk on them every day in our cities.

Reply to  LaVerne
21 February, 2021 8:32 am

The (((International Criminal -sic – Court))) will do no such thing…..

Reply to  PrinzEdelhart
21 February, 2021 5:09 pm

Prinz, They will be forced to, due to the evidence. Lets play their game. The important history here is to have the word “Genocide” attached to what happened to the German people. As well as Ukraine with the ‘Holodomor.’ How about Japan with Hiroshima & Nagasaki. “Their” game is a play on words. Genocide is the key.

Reply to  LaVerne
22 February, 2021 8:06 am

No amount of evidence worked in the latest muh(s)Election fraud cases in the Democratic People’s Banana Republic of Northern Brazil , formerly known as the United States…..

Reply to  PrinzEdelhart
22 February, 2021 11:43 am

It’s not over anymore then WW2 was for Germany & the rest of the world. You seem to be easily defeated.

Angry Swede
Angry Swede
21 February, 2021 4:04 am

I said it once and i say it again: the once who justify the firestorm over Dresden are often the same ones who condemn the nukes over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Some might say i generalize but i have seen and heard this kind of hypocrisy in real life.
So i guess they think it would be more an act of mercy to drop phosphorus over the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki instead of nukes. Sure, they didn´t have to deal with the fallout in that case so by all means but….

Reply to  Angry Swede
21 February, 2021 8:30 am

The whole point of the conflict somewhat misleadingly labeled ‘WWII’ was the extermination or at least perpetual enslavement of the German people. No such plans existed (yet…) for the Japanese.
The Japanese didn’t bring down the Khazar Empire, the Goths and Rus did…..
There aren’t any blonde girls in Japan, either.

21 February, 2021 3:51 pm

The English are cyphers, Elliot’s Hollowmen…just shabbos goy attack dogs who are absolutely incapable of original thought or of conscientious introspection, just like their evil kosher owners and that includes all those traitors and cuckolds who do nothing while their kehilla’s import Muslims daily rape their daughters and the same insolent aliens beset top positions in their former homeland…at least they don’t speak German, the ridiculous buffoons.