Friday, May 8, 2009

Obama to 'Acknowledge How Germany Suffered During WWII' in Dresden

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).

1 comment:

  1. President Obama's visit to Dresden and the Buchenwald camp

    Do you want a journalist to investigate the story and produce a report FOR YOU?

    US President Barack Obama is planning a personal trip to Dresden and the former Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald in search of his family history. He is due to arrive June 4th, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama. The President and his wife plan to stay in a five star hotel in the historic city centre of Dresden, which was largely destroyed in World War II.

    Shortly after the bombing of Dresden, Obama's great-uncle, Charlie Payne, who served in the US army, participated in the liberation of a forced labor camp that was a part of Buchenwald. Charlie Payne witnessed scenes of great horror at this camp, where 50,000 people died.

    The Obama visit is highly anticipated in Germany. As a presidential candidate he spoke to around 200,000 people at Berlin's Victory Column, an event which generated massive media attention.

    Our reporter will be talking to the people of Dresden to find out what they think about their high profile guest. Has this small town been turned upside down by special security arrangements? Do people welcome President Obama with open arms, given the complex sensitivities of his visit? How do they feel about him seeing the former concentration camp?
    You can also suggest other angles... Just tell us what you want!
    Some group of people interested? Then tell us ( and we'll do that! Please see our website

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