Saturday 6 February 2010
Letter from Dresden
The last issue of the New Yorker has a very fine and thoughtful article by George Packer about the city of Dresden, the bombing, commemoration, etc. Readers of the blog will know of my interest in issues of moral equivalency. Packer notes that neo-nazis carry signs at rallies stating: 'Auschwitz + Dresden = 0'. This recalls the debates about the supposed need to prosecute both sides in a conflict, in order to facilitate proper justice and, eventually, reconciliation. I'm a sceptical. Packer gets it right, I think, striking a balance between the need to acknowledge the horror (and the illegality) of the bombing of Dresden, but without distorting the historical record by suggesting that 'atrocities were committed on all sides'. I wish I could refer you to the entire article, but the website will only provide the abstract. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/02/01/100201fa_fact_packer.