The Fire-Bombing of Dresden, Germany in 1945 with Dr. Finn Ballard

The Fire-Bombing of Dresden, Germany in 1945 with Dr. Finn Ballard


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

In February 1945, just two months before V.E. Day, only one of Germany’s major cities remained largely undamaged by the battles of WWII. Flanked by numerous factories supplying the national war effort–and connecting Berlin to Prague by rail–was the city of Dresden. However, shortly after nightfall on February 13th, British Lancaster bombers reduced the city to rubble (killing more than 22,000 civilians) and it remained in a state of ruin for decades thereafter.

Our conversation will examine the narrative timeline of the deadly fire-bombing of Dresden, which took place between February 13th and 15th. We will also discuss the last-ditch propaganda campaign this attack on the German homefront generated for the Axis powers.

Additionally, we will learn about the restoration of this Saxon city post-Cold War. Today it holds a paradoxical position as both the former capital of German Neo-Nazism and a beautifully picturesque destination for travelers. Finally, we will pose the question which still divides WWII historians: was the firebombing of Dresden a necessary wartime operation or a war crime?

Led by an expert on modern German history, Dr. Finn Ballard, this Conversation will tell the tale of one of the most devastating attacks to occur within the European theatre of World War II. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a nuanced understanding of one of the most controversial events of the war.

To learn more about German History with Context, please click here.

Finn grew up in Northern Ireland before moving to England to study and later teach in the department of Film and Literature at the University of Warwick. He completed his doctoral study on German folklore and popular cinema in 2012, and has published extensively in the fields of Film Studies and Gender Studies. Since 2008, he has been living and guiding in Berlin. He now works as a historical advisor for television and film productions set in Berlin, particularly during the Weimar era or Third Reich. He is a journalist for the 'Siegessauele', Europe's foremost Queer magazine, and organises events at Berlin's English-language bookstore 'Another Country'.

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
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(9)
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C
C.F. (Santa Monica, US)
An absolutely wonderful an important conversation about a very difficult topic

As always, Dr. Finn presents a very thorough, well researched, and well-rounded discussion. However, this one is particularly sensitive and difficult, and he handled the presentation and various differing opinions with grace and honesty. I would highly recommend this one, as well as any of the other presentations he does, particularly as they relate to the WWII and the Nazis.

L
L. (Saint Paul, US)
Excellent

Very good presentation, packed with information, helped me better appreciate the controversy surrounding this bombing

G
G. (Brantford, CA)
Thé Fire-Bombing of Dresden 1945

This was a fascinating talk. It raised some different points of view on the ethics of the bombing. Dr. Ballard is an excellent teacher.

h
h.s. (Philadelphia, US)

Informative, well organized, fascinating

K
K.K. (Concord, US)
Dresden Firebombing

It was an excellent presentation on the history of Dresden before the bombing and up to present day and how the issue is still divided.

Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
100%
(9)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
C
C.F. (Santa Monica, US)
An absolutely wonderful an important conversation about a very difficult topic

As always, Dr. Finn presents a very thorough, well researched, and well-rounded discussion. However, this one is particularly sensitive and difficult, and he handled the presentation and various differing opinions with grace and honesty. I would highly recommend this one, as well as any of the other presentations he does, particularly as they relate to the WWII and the Nazis.

L
L. (Saint Paul, US)
Excellent

Very good presentation, packed with information, helped me better appreciate the controversy surrounding this bombing

G
G. (Brantford, CA)
Thé Fire-Bombing of Dresden 1945

This was a fascinating talk. It raised some different points of view on the ethics of the bombing. Dr. Ballard is an excellent teacher.

h
h.s. (Philadelphia, US)

Informative, well organized, fascinating

K
K.K. (Concord, US)
Dresden Firebombing

It was an excellent presentation on the history of Dresden before the bombing and up to present day and how the issue is still divided.