Echoes of Dresden, another devastating act of horror


I refer to Máirín Quill’s letter (Irish Independent, March 23) in which she wonders how such a great nation could do so much evil. The nation to which it refers is Russia.

The Second World War ended in September 1945. With the war almost won, the British and the USA wiped out Dresden in February 1945. In four airstrikes between February 13 and 15, 772 RAF heavy bombers and 527 US Army Air Force heavy bombers dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices.

The bombing unleashed a firestorm and destroyed 1,600 acres of downtown.

An estimated 22,700 to 25,000 people were killed. For every surviving Dresdener came 40 cubic meters of rubble.

Seven narrow-gauge railways were built in Dresden and 5,000 workers were employed to clear the rubble, and the clearance was not completed until 1958.

The women of Dresden formed a human conveyor belt that moved the broken bricks in their buckets.

The picture by the German photographer Richard Peter with the title “View of Dresden from the City Hall Tower” became the German rubble picture par excellence.

An exhibition of numerous rubble clearance artists was held in the Army Museum on Nordplatz in Dresden.

Perhaps Ms Quill can reflect on how Britain and the US sank so low towards the end of WWII. The head of the RAF was Arthur “Bomber” Harris. In 1992, Britain’s Queen Mother unveiled a statue of Harris, which caused outrage over Dresden.

Hugh Duffy, Cleggan, County Galway

If the earth were threatened, we would all unite in defense

I was I just wonder if, given an external threat to Earth’s survival, surely all nations – including Russia, US, China, EU nations and Ukraine – would come together to defeat this extraterrestrial entity, be it an extraterrestrial or a Meteorite.

In 1954, the Bilderberg Group was formed to maintain peace in Europe and promote transatlantic trade with the US and Canada. Surely it is time that the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine were invited to an emergency meeting of this powerful political group in a neutral venue where any issues under Chatham House rule could be dealt with.

John Finegan, Bailieborough, Co. Cavan

No excuses for Britain, USA and France not to go to war

I to understand Rory O’Connor’s view that Germany is reluctant to be drawn into a war with Russia because of the post-traumatic stress caused by its history in two world wars, particularly the ruthless genocide of Jews and the Nazi murder of millions of civilians will. First World War? No country was innocent. But I think the UK, the US and to some extent France were the winners. What is their psychological excuse for doing nothing?

Harry Spillane, Mount Merrion, County Dublin

In memory of a mother who did the best for her children

My mother died 30 years ago, but I think of her often, not just on Mother’s Day.

I think of the widowed woman with two children and another child born five days after her husband’s death. With no husband and no home, she raised us in a rented room in another family’s house, as was the custom at the time, until she got a house of her own.

She was mother and father to us, taking whatever work was available and stinging and scratching to ensure our survival.

Nothing was ever wasted – she was recycling before the word was invented.

She neither drank nor smoked. She loved her garden and I think she was happy with how we all turned out.

Her name was Nora and she was the best mom we could ask for.

John Higgins, Ballina, Co. Mayo

More Fine Gael kite flying – this time from Simon Harris

What is it about Fine Gael and kite flying? Once again we had to hear a Fine Gael minister, in this case Simon Harris, flying kites over the reduction (or even elimination) of the €3,000 tuition fee.

With three kids, one of whom is in the third grade, he had my attention.

Fast forward a few months, I hear none of this is going to happen – instead we get a €200 increase in the Susi (Student Universal Support Ireland) grant. Cue the disappointment one more time.

This scholarship is a joke as it is based on gross income in a country where taxation and cost of living are very high. I will vote for another party – not that we are spoiled for choice.

Patrick O’Connor, Ballyneety, Co Limerick Echoes of Dresden, another devastating act of horror

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