The airstrikes call it “bomb terror”, the numbers of victims give them wrong: Right-wing historians have demonstrated on the occasion of the Allied bombing of Dresden. Also the AfD took up this.
By sunset, dozens of skaters are on the Dresdner Lingnerallee. On the skate ramp, they practice tricks and stunts until they are displaced by police vehicles. Two policemen in combat gear watch as they drive home towards Dresden’s trendy district. The skatepark, which is usually populated by teenagers, will be a gathering place for neo-Nazis from across Europe on 15 February. They protest against what they call “Anglo-American bomb terror.”
This refers to the bombing of the Allies on 13 and 14 February 1945. For years, the event was the largest Nazi march in Europe with up to 6,500 participants. This Friday, there were still up to 1,000, as the news agency dpa announced. The neo-Nazis themselves speak of 1,250 participants
Wrong victim numbers
On their march they tried to carry a perfidious sacrificial cult into the world. Right-wing extremist historians claim that Dresden was not involved in the war. In fact, the city housed thousands of soldiers in 1945, was a military hub and operated armaments production. Also the numbers of victims, examined several times by historians (PDF), are not high enough for the demonstrators. Instead of officially up to 25,000 neo-Nazis want to spread almost ten times, 200,000. Revisionists speak of “bomb terror” and “bomb holocaust”, thus relativizing the extermination of the Jews. Her historical role models are Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and British Holocaust denier David Irving. Both had such terms with reference to Dresden early in circulation.
This year activists of the right-wing populist movement Pegida also headed the demo, such as right-wing extremist Katja Kaiser. It is active according to observers for the group wavelength, with which the AfD also collaborates at events . Kaiser has regularly participated in neo-Nazi marches for years.
Right-wing extremists from other countries join in
The scene of the deniers is not limited to Germany. Right-wing extremists also traveled from other countries, coming from France, Italy, Greece, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Russia and the Ukraine. This is not surprising: meeting applicant Maik Müller is networked throughout Europe, he welcomed the participants in the march in German and in broken English.
A speaker from the Czech Republic claimed that during the Second World War not a single German bomb fell on her land. She was silent on the war crimes of German ground forces. The other speeches seem to have been agreed – again and again the catchphrase of the “Anglo-American bomb terror” is falling, trying to absolve German National Socialism from its guilt.
The march was accompanied by counter-demonstrators, with 500 to 1,000 participants, depending on the source. Several groups tried to get on the route of the history revisionists. The police cracked down on the blockade attempts. Also journalists were affected by measures, some report of punches. A reporter from the Sächsische Zeitung documented on video how he was repeatedly pushed and shoved away by officials. He had made himself known as a journalist.
AfD uses right-wing rhetoric
Among the far-right demonstrators were many young people who do not fit into the typical scene. The youtuber Nikolai Nerling has through his history revisionist videos influence on a younger target group, which was previously barely accessible to the old cadres of the NPD. Shortly before the march, Nerling posted a promotional video for the event, which was viewed almost 14,000 times. Underlaid with shouting and explosions he spreads in the claim that there were low-flying attacks on Dresden. This is demonstrably wrong . But parts of the AfD have apparently joined the myth. Just a week earlier, the Dresden youth organization Junge Alternative had invited a speaker on the topic.
Other AFD officials had spread advertisements for the neo-Nazi march on the Internet. And the Bundestag faction also participated in the relativization : At one of the central memorial sites in Dresden representatives of the party laid a wreath with the inscription “The Civilian Victims of the Allied Bomb Terror In Silent Memory”.