Obama is planning on visiting Dresden (Germany) to "acknowledge how Germany suffered during the Second World War". Dresden is famous for being the site of one of the deadliest air bombing campaigns in history; it is thought more died in the fire bombing of Dresden then in either of the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Still, this smacks to many as almost apologizing for killing Germans in World War Two.
Nazi Germany is one of the clearest examples of an actual 'bad guy' in a war. Besides their aim of conquering at least Europe, parts of Africa, and making their way toward Asia (yes, I know their original intention was "living space to the east", but that did not last very long), there is that matter of the Holocaust. The Nazis systematically rounded up, dehumanized, then starved and worked to death some six million Jews and another 5.5 million other "impure". That is, unless the victims were among those that were just pushed into gas chamber or an oven to be cooked alive. I could continue, but it is not necessary. The point is that it is clear that Germany was the 'bad guy' in World War Two.
Why then the need to 'acknowledge their suffering', suffering they brought on themselves by trying to conquer the world and annihilate the "impure"? I can not answer that question. Of all the stops on what some are calling "Obama's apology tour", this stop bothers me the most.
I do have one thought; if memory serves, Churchill ordered the fire bombing of Dresden. Maybe this is another shot / snub at England (Berman Post: Obama Snubs Brown and Berman Post: Obama Give Queen Elizabeth ... an iPod).
"Visiting a concentration camp will send an important message to Israel and Jewish voters back home — who have sometimes been suspicious towards him — that he fully recognises the horrors of the Holocaust.
But he will be aware of the sensibilities of his German hosts before the D-Day commemoration and by travelling to Dresden — a city destroyed by ferocious Allied bombing in February 1945 — Mr Obama will also acknowledge how Germany suffered during the Second World War."
Update (6/6/2009): Obama does not apologies (Berman Post: Obama Speaking at Buchenwald And Normandy).