Dear Mr. Hitler, so sorry

Dear Mr. Hitler, so sorry

: The German tabloid Bild demands that the visiting Queen Elizabeth apologize for bombing Germany.

Hmmm. Sounds like those who say we should be sorry for liberating Iraq.

  • Michael

    Well, perhaps the fire-bombing of Dresden is regrettable.

  • How are these things possible? Lately, I wonder if I’m living in an Ayn Rand novel. Because I was pretty sure that was exagerated fiction. Maybe not.

  • Soybomb

    Hmmm. Sounds like those who say we should be sorry for liberating Iraq.
    Hey, don’t talk about the Democratic Party that way!

  • Well, if we ever do actually liberate them, it would be nice. But we’ve installed a puppet regime and killed at least 100,000 of them so far… an apology might be in order, along with a prayer that God forgive us for our sins. (We did put Hussein in power in the first place)


  • Retread

    So Bild wants a few words of regret, huh? Here’s a few: sorry we didn’t get it done faster.

  • Mike/SFO

    Well,………uh…….Ja, maybe?….When they apologize for their untold thousands of V-1 &
    V-2s terror rockets launched against the British Isles, and for their egregious lack of gratitude for both the gift of democracy and the Marshall Plan billions. Oh, yeah, also, they forgot about the Luftwaffe’s terror raids against the England in the Blitz, including their signature Coventry bombing. Get a life, Deutschland!

  • DFR

    From a tactical point of view, the bombing of Dresden was arguably unnecessary and possibly gratuitous. You could call it just retribution for the Blitz, if you are into that sort of thing, and it was possibly a moral builder for the Allies.
    It could also be argued that it was consistent with the “area bombing” strategy the Allies were following. And there WERE valid military targets in the city, the Zeiss-Ikon optic works for one.
    Did it shorten the war? Probably not. Hitler was crazy, and fought until the allies were on his front door. Literally.
    There is an excellent, concise article on the subject at:
    One relevant quote from the article:
    > Churchill, who approved the targeting of Dresden
    > and supported the bombing campaign prior to the
    > event, in face of public disquiet at the results later
    > distanced himself from the bombing of Dresden.
    > On March 28 A few weeks before the end of World
    > War II in Europe, Winston Churchill drafted a
    > memorandum to the British Chiefs of Staff:
    > It seems to me that the moment has come when the
    > question of bombing of German cities simply for
    > the sake of increasing the terror, though under
    > other pretexts, should be reviewed … The destruction
    > of Dresden remains a serious query against the
    > conduct of Allied bombing.
    An apology, sixty plus years after the fact, though, is silly, no matter how you might feel about the action itself.

  • PeWi

    What do you expect from a newspaper that endorses Bush? It is a rightwing rag, and it is alone in that demand, as it is in its endorsement of Bush (12% of Germans would vote for him)
    People only buy this p o s because there are naked women in there. fgs.

  • lets be honest

    The Guardian calls Friedrich a “revisionist German historian.”
    this is a simplistic description. Friedrich is considered to be a very serious historian. His work on the exposing, detailing and criticism the rise of neo-fascists 1980’s and 90’s and holocaust revisionism has been quoted an huge of scholarly publications.
    The intentional terror bombing of Germany, especially in the latter nine months of the war was a strategy criticized within the UK and US since the wars end. It’s moralilty and and military effectiveness are even questioned UK and US in military quarters. (And “terror” is a term used not in a revisionist retrospect but by the allied architects themselves.)
    Since several architects of the bombing invisioned creating a penalty and effect that would cross into future generations, it is not exactly off base for those future generations to revisit the issue.
    Dresden is an interesting example as it was bombed purely as a non military target. It was bombed during a time when a) the railheads to the death camps known and not bombed due to lack of bombing resources; and b) the Normandy planners wanted more bombings of rails leading to the French coast.Bomber harris and his US eigth air supporters refused were cold to those two latter target sets in favor of city bombing.
    Harris was like the advocates of transformation today. He wished to make a point (this is not from readings of Friedrich but of US miliary historians). He wished to show that by terrorizing a civil population by the treat and by actual mass death infantry was no longer important.
    I highly commend Ian Buruma’s review of Friedrich’s book, which is now in translated in English, in last month’s NY Review of Books.
    Friedrich has gone overboard, and as someone mentioned Bild isnt a serious paper (to call it the widest ciruclation is like calling the US readers digest of the 1960-90’s – or drudge today the widest circulation). but the central problem is the same, take away the right or left wing in germany who have alternately supported the emphasis on the bombings as a “holocaust,” correctly deny their political starting point – and the bombings, especially from late 44 still do present an unaddressed moral wrong

  • Ralf Goergens

    Bild is known for headlines like “Castrated by mother-in-law’s dachshund”. People who buy the paper have corresponding mental capabilities and are liable to like bullshit like “The Queeen should apologize for Dresden.”

  • Todd

    Was that a parody, Mike Warot? It was entirely fact free but, the timing and delivery were off a bit.

  • Cridland

    > But we’ve installed a puppet
    > regime and killed at least
    > 100,000 of them so far…
    A bullshit number, but more to the point: Do you seriously think the Hussein crime family was anything but a puppet regime? Saddam first appeared on the CIA payroll in 1959.
    Bush is insisting that we pay market prices for that oil, instead of installing another dictator (as his dad would have done). For that he gets my vote. At last, the boomer generation comes through!

  • Strange that the Guardian picks it up that way. As far as I can tell the English tabloids (in particular the Daily Express) wrote about claims for an apology first. This was swiftly denied by both British and German diplomats, which didn’t stop the tabloids going on about it though.
    Bild did pick it up (they seem to pick up quite a few things from the English tabloids at the moment) and that was about it. When they first picked it up (which was on Thursday last week, several days before the spread the Guardian mentions appeared) I believe there was a question mark on the page (as in “Should the Queen apologise?) and they refered to the English tabloids.
    “Disclaimer”: This is based on what I’ve read on the web, the print editions might have been different.
    In any case, it’s not as clear cut as it seems. But: As you write in your other post about responsibility of the link, you might want to be careful with what you link to and post. As far as I know you understand at least some German, so you could have checked on the Bild website.

  • ahem

    It’s so good to see such ignorance of fact on display from our host.
    Coventry and Dresden have made their peace, and it would be good for HMQ to acknowledge that.

  • bryan

    Like Gandhi’s comment, when asked what he thought of Western Civilization, we can say that the liberation of Iraq and the introduction of democracy “would be a good idea”.
    Regarding Churchill’s bombing of Dresden. As he used poison gas against the Kurds in Iraq before the Second World War (he thought eliminating them would solve the “Kurdish problem”), can we not send the Queen to Iraq to apologise for that before she apologises for the carpet bombing of civilians in Dresden.
    Of course the Queen will be very busy rushing around the world conveying our apologies to all and sundry, and will have to make another trip back to the Kurds when she gets to the 1980’s because, after all, we were complicit in aiding, abetting and arming Saddam in his atrocities too. Back then he was “our bastard”, doing our dirty work against Iran.
    In the not too distant future she will be back in Iraq apologising for our current use of depleted uranium and cluster bombs, which the civilians in Iraq are going to suffer from for quite some time.
    Once we have apologised (via the Queen) for all our dirty acts in our distant and recent past, we can assume the moral high ground and start asking for apologies from other countries.
    PS, unfortunately the list of things we can demand apology for are pretty short. Anyway, I’m looking forward to when we demand an apology from the US for kidnapping and indefinitely locking up our citizens in Guantanamo Bay.

  • Sorry, she can’t apologise for bombing Germany or gassing the Kurds until she’s apologised for the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s.
    (And for those of you who think that’s absolutely ridiculous, well, that’s my point!)