But he will be aware of the sensibilities of his German hosts before the D-Day commemoration and by traveling to Dresden — a city destroyed by ferocious Allied bombing in February 1945 — Mr Obama will also acknowledge how Germany suffered during the Second World War.
As JWF writes, “Nice message, huh? Sure, you killed millions of people in the most hideous ways imaginable, but hey, we weren’t any better.”
There’s no doubt the Germans have increasingly cast themselves as victims in WWII (and “victim” is a but a stone’s throw from “hero”). This sort of idea plays with the German public. They want their suffering acknowledged too.
But should this be done?
It should be noted that Reagan blundered into something like this, and it caused a firestorm of criticism. (Um… no Dresden joke intended with “firestorm.”)
Heh.™ Follow the links in this item from February for a couple of fairly lengthy posts that explore our thoughts on the bombing of Dresden and the decades of historical revision that incident has undergone.