Numerous events are being held in Dresden today to commemorate the destruction of the city 79 years ago. With the traditional human chain through the historic center and across the Elbe, politics and society want to send a particularly strong signal for peace and democracy this time. Once again, many protests have been announced against the appropriation of the anniversary by right-wing extremists - the police are prepared.
The official program ranges from silent commemoration in cemeteries and churches to a citizens' sing-along, vigils and rallies, concerts, church services and a memorial walk. At the time of the first attack on February 13, 1945, the bells of the inner-city churches ring out as usual while people join hands for a few minutes. Saxony's Minister President Michael Kretschmer (CDU) and Lord Mayor Dirk Hilbert (FDP) also join in.
February 13, 2024: "Together vigilant" on the 79th anniversary of the destruction of Dresden
Thousands are to be united once again as a "strong sign of remembrance, the protection of our democracy and the courage necessary for this", according to the appeal by the city and civil society entitled "Together vigilant". It stands against crimes against humanity and the undermining of democracy and at the same time protects a society "in which human rights and the dignity of every single person are respected".
The main focus of the police operation is the evening, when AfD and right-wing events and counter-protests are planned on the Altmark. Both right-wing and left-wing extremists are expected to attend. The police want to guarantee freedom of assembly for all those who come together peacefully and without violence and, as in previous years, are focusing on communication and de-escalation. The Dresden officers will be supported by colleagues from other federal states and the federal police.
The former royal seat was destroyed by Allied bombs on February 13, 1945 and in the days that followed. According to research by historians, up to 25,000 people lost their lives. The right-wing extremists see this as a war crime by the Allies and thus relativize German guilt for the outbreak of war. Last Sunday, a far-right march in the run-up to the anniversary was met with thousands of counter-protesters
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