Echoes of Dresden, another devastating act of horror

I refer to Máirín Quill’s letter (Irish Independent, March 23), in which she wonders how such a great nation can inflict such evil. The nation she refers to is Russia.

World War II ended in September 1945. With the war almost won, the British and the United States annihilated Dresden in February 1945. In four air raids between February 13 and 15, 772 RAF and 527 US Army Air Force heavy bombers dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices.

The bombing created a firestorm and destroyed 1,600 acres of downtown.

An estimated 22,700 to 25,000 people were killed. There were 40 cubic meters of rubble for each surviving inhabitant of Dresden.

Seven narrow-gauge railways were built in Dresden and 5,000 workers were employed to clear the rubble, and clearing was not completed until 1958.

The women of Dresden formed a human conveyor belt moving the broken bricks in their buckets.

The image captured by German photographer Richard Peter, titled “View of Dresden from the Rathaus Tower”, has become the quintessential image of German rubble.

An exhibition of numerous rubble removal artists took place at the Army Museum on Nordplatz in Dresden.

Perhaps Mrs. Quill can contemplate how Britain and the United States fell so low towards the end of World War II. The head of the RAF was Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris. In 1992, Britain’s Queen Mother unveiled a statue of Harris, which sparked outrage over Dresden.

Hugh Duffy, Cleggan, County Galway

If the Earth were threatened, we would all unite to defend ourselves

I has been i just wondered if there was an external threat posed to the survival of the earth, all nations – including russia, usa, china, eu states and ukraine – would come together to defeat this extraterrestrial entity, whether extraterrestrial or meteorite.

In 1954, the Bilderberg Group was created in order to maintain peace in Europe and increase transatlantic trade with the United States and Canada. It is surely time for the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine to be invited to an emergency meeting of this powerful political group in a neutral venue where all issues can be debated under Chatham House rule.

John Finegan, Bailieborough, County Cavan

No excuse for the UK, US and France not to go to war

I to understand Rory O’Connor’s view that Germany is reluctant to be dragged into war with Russia because of post-traumatic stress caused by its history in two world wars, in particular the unconscionable genocide of Jews by the Nazis and the murder of millions of civilians. First World War? No country was innocent. But, I am led to believe that the UK, the US and, to some extent, France were the winners. What is their psychological excuse for doing nothing?

Harry Spillane, Mount Merrion, County Dublin

Remembering a mother who did her best for her children

My mother passed away 30 years ago, but I think of her often, not just on Mother’s Day.

I think of the widowed woman with two children and another born five days after the death of her husband. Left without a husband or a home, she raised us in a rented room in another family’s house, as was the norm at the time, until she got a home of her own.

She was mother and father to us, taking all the available work and trimming and scratching to ensure our survival.

Nothing was ever wasted – she was recycling before the word was coined.

She neither drank nor smoked. She loved her garden and I think she was happy with how we all got together.

Her name was Nora and she was the best mother we could have wished for.

John Higgins, Ballina, County Mayo

No more Fine Gael kite – this time from Simon Harris

What is it Fine Gael and kite flying? Once again we had to listen to a Fine Gael minister, Simon Harris in this case, kite-flying over the reduction (or even elimination) of the €3,000 student levy.

So, with three children, one of whom is already in the third degree, he had my attention.

Fast forward a few months and I hear none of this is going to happen – instead we get a €200 increase in the Susi grant (Student Universal Support Ireland). Cue the disappointment once again.

This grant is a joke, given that it is based on gross income in a country with very high taxes and living costs. I’m going to give my vote to another party – not that we’re spoiled for choice.

Patrick O’Connor, Ballyneety, County Limerick

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