Mortality count

September 26, 2013

The suggestion that I “fabricated” a death-roll for Dresden is untrue (review of The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945 by Richard Overy, Books, 19 September). In my book The Destruction of Dresden (1963), I cited the figure given to me by Hans Voigt, the German official charged by the lord mayor of Dresden with establishing the death-roll in 1945; he was in a better position to assess the number than Overy.

Your review does not mention that I found two years ago in the British National Archives a decoded message dated 24 March 1945, in which the mayor is quoted as stating that 80,000 to 100,000 victims of the air raid are listed as “missing”, which he had stated a day or two earlier meant “dead and unidentifiable”.

David Irving
Eton

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