| 15°C Belfast

Human chain protest in Dresden

Close

People stand along side each other to form a human chain commemorating the 66th anniversary of the allied bombing of Dresden (AP)

People stand along side each other to form a human chain commemorating the 66th anniversary of the allied bombing of Dresden (AP)

Far right demonstrators carry torches as they march on the 66th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden (AP)

Far right demonstrators carry torches as they march on the 66th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden (AP)

/

People stand along side each other to form a human chain commemorating the 66th anniversary of the allied bombing of Dresden (AP)

Thousands of people have formed a human chain in Dresden to protest against a far-right march on the 66th anniversary of the Allied bombing of the city in the Second World War.

Officials said 17,000 people formed the chain around the rebuilt city centre. It was reported that they included Germany's interior minister and Saxony's governor.

Three waves of British and US bombers on February 13-14, 1945, destroyed Dresden's centuries-old baroque city centre.

The total number of people killed has long been uncertain. In 2008, a panel commissioned by Saxony officials found that the firebombing killed no more than 25,000 people - far fewer than scholars' previous estimates that ran as high as 135,000.

Dresden remembers the victims while also recalling "nights and days in which Warsaw, Rotterdam and Coventry were earlier reduced to rubble by German bombers", said deputy mayor Detlef Sittel.

Far-right groups have long sought to exploit the bombing. A few thousand supporters marched today from the city's main station, carrying torches and banners with slogans such as "the victims were our families".

The far right is a marginal political force in Germany and has no seats in parliament. However, Saxony, where Dresden is located, is one of two states where the far-right National Democratic Party has seats in local government.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required


Top Videos



Privacy