chapter  10
22 Pages

Dresden Will Never Be Hiroshima

Morality, the Bomb and Far-Right Empathy for the Refugee 1
WithA.K.M. Skarpelis

This chapter takes the case of the 1945 Dresden aerial bombings and shows how a diverse set of actors have recast the tragedy since the publication of the newly established number of dead. Despite the much lower death toll inviting comparisons to other aerial city bombings—London, Tokyo and Nuremberg—the far right has since 2010 publicly begun to frame the bombings as unique and as a war crime. Oddly, the German left similarly on the 2017 anniversary reframed the bombing as occasion to call for the integration of Syrian refugees, mistakenly arguing that many displaced persons had perished in the 1945 bombings. The chapter argues that newly established and sound historical findings matter little in the instrumentalised and agenda-driven struggle over memorialising historical tragedy and tries to make sense of how facts came to not matter from a sociological perspective.