For more than 60 years Britain's Bomber Command led by Arthur 'Bomber' Harris has been vilified for causing up to 500,000 deaths in the carpet bombing of Dresden during World War II.
But now, after a four-year investigation, a panel of German historians has said that the true number of dead from the Allied air raids in January 1945 was between 18,000 and 25,000.
It suited the Nazi propaganda machine to claim that half-a-million women and children had been incinerated in the firestorm. It helped persuade a struggling population that this was awaited them all unless they fought for Nazism with their last breath.
Then the Communist East Germans perpetuated the myth, mindful that it served their purposes by showing the destructiveness of capitalism and fascism combined.
In the last decade neo-Nazis have sought to keep the lie alive as they praise many of the policies of the Third Reich.
By the mid 70’s historians were beginning to question the real total of casualties.
Although many records lay in the still-Communist archives of Dresden, the accepted figure dropped to between 50, 000 and 150,000 deaths, based on Nazi German records and declassified Allied intelligence reports.
Then, when the wall fell and more records became available, the accepted number dipped even further, to 35,000.
TVNL Comment: Is this historian going to be arrested for holocaust denial? He is questioning the accuracy of the official account of World War II. This is what accused holocaust deniers do and they get arrested for it. Why is this kind of questioning permitted? Why is it illegal to question how many Jewish people were killed or how many may have actually supported Hitler? It is OK to assert that the Germans perpatrated a myth because it served some purpose, but it is illegal to assert the same thing about the Jewish people. Why?