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Photo: Dresden air raid victims being cremated 500 at a time on the Altmarkt square, Feb 25, 1945 (copyright photo by the late Walter Hahn from Apocalypse 1945: the Destruction of Dresden)

Stars & Stripes
London Edition, Saturday, May 5, 1945, Vol. 5, No. 156

Air Raid on Dresden Killed More Than 300,000

by Dan Regan
Stars and Stripes Staff Writer

With the 1st Army, May 3 (Delayed) -- The Allied air raid on Dresden on Feb. 13-14 killed 300,000 persons, according to a report by Dresden police to a group of 600 -- British and French -- prisoners who were given passes by the Germans to enter the American lines.

Nine British PWs were working in Dresden during the raid and said the horror and devastation caused by the Anglo-American 14-hour raid was beyond human comprehension unless one could see for himself.

One British sergeant said,

"Reports from Dresden police that 300,000 died as a result of the bombing didn't include deaths among 1,000,000 evacuees from the Breslau area trying to escape from the Russians. There were no records on them.

"After seeing the results of the bombing, I believe these figures are correct."

"They had to pitchfork shriveled bodies onto trucks and wagons and cart them to shallow graves on the outskirts of the city. But after two weeks if work the job became too much to cope with and they found other means to gather up the dead."

"They burned bodies in a great heap in the center of the city, but the most effective way, for sanitary reasons, was to take flamethrowers and burn the dead as they lay in the ruins. They would just turn the flamethrowers into the houses, burn the dead and then close off the entire area. The whole city is flattened. They were unable to clean up the dead lying beside roads for several weeks," the sergeant added.


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Our dossier on the Dresden raids

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