The Next Europe Trip: Will Obama Apologize for WWII?

The rhetoric employed by Friedrich went so far as to suggest an equivalence between the Allied bombing of German cities and the genocidal conduct of Nazi Germany itself. In keeping with this rhetoric, the publisher's original blurb for the volume described the Allied bombing campaign as a "campaign of extermination [Vernichtungskampagne] that was systemically planned and carried out by the British and Americans." In the meanwhile, the publisher has toned down the formulation. The current version of the blurb "merely" speaks of a "terror campaign against German cities and their residents that was systematically planned and carried out by the British and Americans."

As a result of the passions provoked or released by Friedrich's book, the expression "Bombing-Holocaust" has passed into the German lexicon. Although especially favored by so-called "extreme right" circles (i.e., more-or-less openly neo-Nazi ones), the term merely expresses what is implicit in ostensibly more mainstream discourse.

It is virtually unthinkable that Obama could give a speech in Dresden and not allude to the bombing of the city. Most of the city's historical monuments -- which Obama's advance team were apparently inspecting -- were severely damaged or destroyed in the bombing and had to be rebuilt. Moreover, for Obama to visit both Dresden and Buchenwald would suggest precisely the sort of outrageous parallels that have become commonplace in Germany at least since the publication of Friedrich's The Fire.

(As so happens, although tens of thousands of persons died there, Buchenwald was not one of the camps specifically devoted to the extermination of Jews. But far be it from Obama to know that. When, during the election campaign, he first referred to his Uncle Charlie's WWII exploits, he said that his uncle had helped to liberate "Auschwitz." Moreover, Charlie Payne did not really participate in the liberation of Buchenwald either, but rather in that of Ohrdruf: a lesser-known, affiliated camp some sixty kilometers away.)

As discussed in my earlier PJM report here, the principal sponsor of Obama's literary career has been Germany's Bertelsmann Corporation, which offered him a reported $2 million advance when he was still largely unknown. Obama's 2004-2008 tax returns list over $6 million in income from the Bertelsmann subsidiary Random House (and over $2 million in what appears to be indirect income from Random House). This would not be worth mentioning here, were it not the case that the "in-house" historian of Bertelsmann and the Mohn family, which controls the corporation, is none other than Dirk Bavendamm. As likewise discussed in my earlier report, Bavendamm is an openly revisionist historian of the Second World War who, among other things, describes WWII as "Roosevelt's war."

As bizarre as it may seem, President Obama's impending trip to Dresden suggests that German revisionists have a friend in the White House.