The Focus from a different perspective

COMPARED WITH THE RAPE AND MURDER AND LOOTING ENGAGED IN by the Russian armies at the war’s end, the terror and slavery and hunger and robbery in the Eastern zone today, and the genocide practiced by the Poles and Czechs, the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Germans condemned at Nuremberg to death or lifelong imprisonment appeared as minor in extent if not in degree. It was impossible to travel through the devastated towns of the Western zones without it seeming strange and horrible that we should sit in judgment on the Germans who had never succeeded in killing nearly so many civilians as we did, or in perpetrating worse atrocities than our obliteration bombing of whole cities. Were the German gas chambers really a greater crime against humanity than our attacks on such nonmilitary objectives as Dresden, where we inflicted the most horrible death imaginable on a quarter of a million people in one night, by dropping phosphorus bombs on this undefended cultural center crowded with refugees fleeing west before the Russian advance? This atrocity was among our greatest war crimes, since we demonstrated that our objective was the murder of civilians. We even machine-gunned from the air the women and children fleeing into the countryside from the burning city. Nor was Dresden the only example of horrible death inflicted on the people of towns which had neither war industries nor any “military importance.” [1]

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1. Utley, Freda. 1949. The High Cost of Vengeance. Henry Regnery Company, Chicago. Page 182.
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