Text of Richard Edmonds’ speech on Dresden commemoration

This is the translation of an intended speech to be given by Richard Edmonds in the centre of Dresden, 17th. February 2018. Unfortunately the Police closed the meeting down before Richard was called to speak. There now follows what he intended to say:

Richard Edmonds at the 2014 NF Remembrance Day ceremony

Friends, my name is Richard Edmonds. I am British and I have travelled here to Dresden to say that the bombing of Dresden in February 1945 was a crime, a crime which was committed by the British government. As we know, in the final weeks of the Second World War hundreds of British bombers mercilessly attacked this city. The blood of the victims stains and besmirches the hands of the government that ordered this dreadful attack.

It was Churchill’s government which ordered the attack on Dresden. And it was Churchill’s government which started the bombing war: the bombing war which deliberately rained terror, mutilation, fire and death onto the homes of millions of defenceless civilians, women, mothers, children and old folk. And the British government openly and shamelessly confirmed in the official history of the British Royal Air Force that it was Britain that started the dreadful and pitiless bombing war. I quote from the official history of the Royal Air Force:

“It was we British who started the bombing war which aimed deliberately to target civilians.” End of quote.

Fact: it was British bombers which deliberately bombed the German city of Muenchen Gladbach as early as April 1940; in the early summer of 1940 British bombers repeatedly bombed the towns of the Ruhr district. The reaction of the German government against these repeated bombing attacks on German towns and cities came only months later. For example, the notorious attack by the German Luftwaffe on Coventry came as late as November 1940.

The role of Churchill’s government in initiating the bombing war and its increasing barbarism is clear. For example the leading British official and Secretary of State at the British Ministry of War, James Spaight, described in his official book, “ Bombing vindicated”, and I quote:

“We British started the bombing war which was aimed deliberately at civilians living in homes hundreds of miles behind the fighting front-lines.” And the British Secretary of State, member of Churchill’s government said that “we are proud, proud of what we did”: Quote from “Bombing vindicated”. These are the words of the British Secretary of State and member of Churchill’s war-time government. Hundreds of thousands of civilians fell victim to the British and American bombing war. It is of course a war-crime for a soldier to aim his weapon at a civilians. The British and Americans gave themselves permission a million times over to commit this particular war-crime. And Churchill’s Secretary of State was “proud” of what they had done. One sees the source the of the cold-blooded barbarism.

In war-time Britain there were principled individuals who publicly spoke out and condemned Churchill’s merciless bombing war. One of these brave individuals was the British academic, Charles Percy Snow, and I quote:

“The British plans to bomb and to destroy German working-class residential areas, were plans motived by a deep sadistic impulse to kill thousands of women and children.” And Charles Percy Snow continued, “ What will future generations think of us Britons ? Will future generations say that we were but wolves in the form of men ? Will future generations think that we British forswore our humanity ? They will have the right to say so. “ End of quote.

As a British person in the centre of Dresden here on this day of mourning, I would like to say that with all decency, the present British government should apologise to the German people for the crimes committed by Churchill’s government and in particular for the sadistic impulse of Churchill’s government to murder defenceless civilians, mothers and children.

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