Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles Gray

Table of Contents
The allegation that Irvin... >>

Introduction

11.1 As I have already pointed out, Denying the Holocaust contains no reference to the bombing of Dresden. As explained in paragraph 4.4 above, the evidence is nevertheless admissible in support of the plea of justification. Before addressing the way in which the Defendants seek to place reliance on this topic, I shall summarise the events in question.
11.2 Early in 1945 Soviet forces were advancing on Germany from the East driving back not only the German military but also a large number of refugees. It was against that background that the Allies embarked on a policy of carrying out bombing raids upon German cities, amongst which the principal targets were Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden. Of these cities Dresden was at that time the least industrialised. It was an historic city in which were contained many of Germany's finest old buildings and cultural treasures. There were industries (including armament factories) there too but the city's main function was as an administrative, transportation and communication centre.
11.3 On two successive nights, 13 and 14 February 1945, British bombers carried out massive bombing raids on Dresden. The ostensible purpose of the raids was to disrupt military industrial production. However, the target of the raids was not the industrial sector but rather the historic centre of the city, consisting for the most part of timbered residential buildings. The consequences of the raids were on any view horrific. The effect on industrial capacity was modest and the disruption of transportation limited. But the damage in terms of loss of life and destruction of property was catastrophic: a very substantial number were killed, consisting almost exclusively of   civilian residents and refugees, and some 15 square kilometres of the heart of the city were razed to the ground.
11.4 One of Irving's most widely read books is an account of these events, entitled Apocalypse 1945: The Destruction of Dresden, first published in 1963 under the title The Destruction of Dresden. He has also made frequent reference to the bombing of Dresden in his speeches (some of which are mentioned in section VIII above).
The allegation that Irvin... >>

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