Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Dresden Firestorm: History and Reconciliation

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

Ultimately, the end of historical analysis is to understand where we come from and how to avoid the mistakes of our ancestors. The former is pleasant and healthy, but in the modern age, the latter is vital. It has become apparent in the post-World War II era that the human race has the capacity to destroy itself, and in order to avoid this termination, we must learn to change. War crimes must be avoided, not only those borne of fascism, such as the Holocaust, but those borne of democracy, such as the Dresden fire bombings. My work encompasses the immediate reactions of the Allies, the Nazis, the survivors, as well as the work of contemporary historians and the lives of modern Dresdeners. I inspect past and present reactions to the Dresden attacks for evidence that our society is making a moral progression away from war crimes. With this search, I analyze not only the opinions of survivors, war officials of both sides, and historians, but the shifting paradox of remembrance that modern Dresdeners face. The complex web of ethics of the past and present, of citizen and official, forms a lesson regarding the path toward a world without war crimes.

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Dresden Firestorm: History and Reconciliation

Ultimately, the end of historical analysis is to understand where we come from and how to avoid the mistakes of our ancestors. The former is pleasant and healthy, but in the modern age, the latter is vital. It has become apparent in the post-World War II era that the human race has the capacity to destroy itself, and in order to avoid this termination, we must learn to change. War crimes must be avoided, not only those borne of fascism, such as the Holocaust, but those borne of democracy, such as the Dresden fire bombings. My work encompasses the immediate reactions of the Allies, the Nazis, the survivors, as well as the work of contemporary historians and the lives of modern Dresdeners. I inspect past and present reactions to the Dresden attacks for evidence that our society is making a moral progression away from war crimes. With this search, I analyze not only the opinions of survivors, war officials of both sides, and historians, but the shifting paradox of remembrance that modern Dresdeners face. The complex web of ethics of the past and present, of citizen and official, forms a lesson regarding the path toward a world without war crimes.